Atlantic Canada innovation hub Volta has officially opened shop in Halifax’s Armoyan Centre, and has announced $6.8 million in new federal and provincial funding commitments.
The opening of Volta’s new space comes seven months after the hub first announced it was downsizing its physical office in order to focus on hybrid support for founders. Previously, Volta occupied 60,000 square feet of space in Halifax’s Maritime Centre.
Volta is receiving $3 million from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and $3.8 million from the Nova Scotia government.
The new space, which is roughly one-third the size at 20,000 square feet, includes 20 company offices, four partner offices, a co-working and event space, as well as multiple meeting rooms and call booths.
Speaking to BetaKit in April, Volta CEO Matt Cooper said that the organization’s decision to move offices came after several rounds of research to better understand the needs of its resident startups.
The team found that while dedicated offices were “still valued, there was less demand” given the growing prevalence of hybrid or work-from-home policies.
In late 2021, Volta expanded its programming to support startups throughout Atlantic Canada through virtual services, as well as a virtual residency program, which allows companies outside Halifax or those not needing physical workspace to use Volta’s advisory services, training programs, and resources.
The innovation hub, which has supported startups like Introhive, Milk Moovement, ReelData, and Compilr, regularly receives funding from provincial and federal government agencies to deploy its programming and resources.
Of the latest funding announced this week, the federal government’s Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is investing $3 million into the Atlantic Canada organization, while the Government of Nova Scotia has committed $3.8 million over the next five years. Volta said the capital will support its core operations, as well as the programs, education initiatives, and networking events it offers to local startups.
“The commitment from ACOA and the Government of Nova Scotia is critical to our community’s success,” Volta CEO Matt Cooper said in a statement this week. “Their investment enables us to provide a community center for entrepreneurs to learn, work, and support each other.”
While Atlantic Canada’s tech sector is smaller than other Canadian region’s, its profile has grown significantly in the last few years. The Canadian Maritime region has seen a few significant exits, including Radian6 (acquired by Salesforce for $326 million) and GoInstant (acquired by Salesforce for $70 million).
The region is also home to a growing ocean-tech ecosystem, which is supported by the federally-funded Ocean Supercluster, and in 2022, ranked highly among the world’s “best blue ecosystems” by Startup Genome.
“Atlantic Canada has become a powerhouse when it comes to innovative ecosystems and the startup community,” said MP for Halifax Andy Fillmore on behalf of Gudie Hutchings, the federal minister responsible for ACOA. “Today’s investment will help Volta continue to support high-growth startups and further fuel momentum, marking the region as a hub for ingenuity and economic prosperity.”
Feature image source Volta.