Venn Innovation, a non-profit Moncton-based incubator established to connect New Brunswick’s tech ecosystem, has received approximately $475,000 from the federal government in the form of a grant.
“These are the companies that are going to help make sure our communities thrive.”
The organization received the investment from the through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program. The government said the funds will be used to support Venn Innovation’s strategy and programming over the next two years, in addition to creating a new workspace.
“We want to create opportunities for our province and the region,” said Doug Robertson, CEO and president of Venn Innovation. “Supporting innovative small-and-medium-sized enterprises as they grow their business and enter into new markets is critical to building New Brunswick’s, and Atlantic Canada’s, economic capacity and success.”
Founded in 2010 by a group of tech entrepreneurs and stakeholders, Venn Innovation seeks to link New Brunswick entrepreneurs with the incubator’s partners and resources through several programs. One of those programs is Venn Garage, which offers access to mentors, coaching, and workshops. Another is Venn Growth, targeted toward entrepreneurs wanting to generate leads and gain competitive market intelligence.
The new investment will help Venn continue to provide its programming, create a collaborative workspace, and develop a system to track the engagement of those participating in the Venn Garage program. According to Entrevestor, Venn Garage has supported 84 entrepreneurs, including 15 teams that are currently participating in the program since 2014.
“Support for Venn Innovation is one way the Government of Canada is growing the innovation economy, by working to enhance the reach of business accelerators and incubators,” said Carolyn Bennett, minister of Crown-Indigenous relations. “Incubators like Venn are extremely important in the innovation ecosystem, ensuring that startups and small enterprises are able to access training, resources, and networks that increase their success and resiliency as they grow.”
Although the funds come from ACOA, the investment is part of the broader Atlantic Growth Strategy, launched in 2015 by both the federal and Atlantic provincial governments. Venn received about $772,000 from ACOA in 2017 for its coaching programs as well as its competitive intelligence programs.
“We see so many innovative, tech-enabled companies across the region that can compete on the world stage, and it’s exciting because these are the companies that are going to help make sure our communities thrive,” Robertson said.
Image courtesy Venn Innovation via Facebook