Platform Calgary, an organization that offers access to space, programming, and advocacy for startups based in the city, has received a $30,000 investment from the federal government for its student-focused summer incubator program.
“Students with these skills will create a pipeline of late-stage, investable companies.”
– David Yiptong, Platform Calgary
The funding, delivered through the government’s Western Economic Diversification Regional Development Agency (RDA), will be used to add 10 additional students to the program, bringing the total headcount of this year’s cohort to 22. Platform Calgary’s summer incubator program is aimed to provide student entrepreneurs with resources to launch and grow an innovative startup.
“Giving students entrepreneurial opportunities early makes it more likely they will start multiple businesses and have higher success rates,” said David Yiptong, director of programs at Platform Calgary. “Students with these skills will create a pipeline of late-stage, investable companies that will contribute towards employment, economic growth, and industry transformation.”
The four-month program will see students, which have already been selected, receiving support, a virtual workspace with startup community peers, and experienced advisors, as well as formal programming throughout the summer. The program officially began on May 11.
The structure will include lessons and workshops for participating students during the first nine weeks of the program, followed by two months of dedicated time for students to work on their projects. Due to COVID-19, the program will be delivered virtually.At the end of the summer, students will present their startup to a panel.
This year’s cohort includes 22 students from the University of Calgary, Mount Royal University, and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and includes six companies participating in an artificial intelligence stream. In addition to Platform Calgary, the Royal Bank of Canada and the University of Calgary are also supporters of the summer incubator program.
“Initiatives like the summer incubator program make a world of difference for young Canadians, setting them on the path to well-paying careers while bolstering the tech ecosystem in Alberta and across Canada,” said Mélanie Joly, minister of economic development and official languages.
“With the support of Western Economic Diversification Canada, the size of this incredible program will be doubled to help even more of Calgary’s young entrepreneurs pursue their dreams of a future in our tech sector,” Joly added.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government recently committed $962 million in new capital to RDAs and the Community Futures Network. The relief is meant to help businesses and organizations continue operations and continue to pay their employees. It is also available for projects by businesses, organizations, and communities to help prepare for the pandemic recovery.
Joly, who is responsible for the RDAs, encouraged companies including startups in the tech space to reach out to their respective RDAs about the relief earlier this month. Platform Calgary confirmed to BetaKit that its new funding is not related to this COVID-19 RDA relief.
Image source Unsplash. Photo by Toni Reed.