As the Platform Innovation Centre is set to host an opening party later today, the provincial government and the City of Calgary have promised a collective $3.3 million to put the final touches on the long-awaited space.
The Government of Alberta has committed $1.8 million over three years while Calgary’s City Council has approved $1.5 million. The government funding marks three levels of government that have invested in the Centre after the federal government promised $2 million CAD in March to complete the interior design and construction.
The Centre is set to officially open on June 6. The 50,000 square foot Centre has been underway since 2018. It was originally scheduled to open in 2021.
The provincial funding announcement was made by Minister, Jobs, Economy and Innovation Doug Schweitzer, who announced last week that he will not be running for reelection. Schweitzer’s announcement followed shortly after Premier Jason Kenney Kenney resigned as UCP leader.
When asked why the provincial government opted to invest in the Centre as it neared its opening, Schweitzer told BetaKit it’s a reflection of the current momentum in the Alberta tech ecosystem. “We’ve had the opportunity to fund various partnerships, accelerators, [Platform Calgary is] part of our Catalyzer program, but when they made their final pitch to us saying, ‘look, we need you at the table to help get this to the goal line,’ we had to make sure we chatted with our department,” the minister said. “And we were able to come up with the necessary funding to get them to that fully funded piece.”
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The Centre has created space for startup-focused programs, mentoring, networking, and access to capital as some 90 service providers and business accelerators will take up residence. The Accelerator, Alberta Enterprise Corporation, InternGen, Thin Air Labs, BDC, and Lighthouse Labs, are among those taking part.
Platform Calgary occupies two floors within the $80 million building, which also includes a sizeable parking garage. Platform Calgary’s portion of the building is worth $27 million.
As of January, Platform Calgary said that it had raised $5 million toward the Centre’s cost from prominent members of Calgary’s tech sector and investment community. Private sector investment has since risen to $5.5 million, with a overall funding target of $12 million. The municipal and provincial funding brings Platorm Calgary to around $10.2 million raised to date.
The Centre is hosting an opening party later today as part of Inventures, which is taking place in the city from June 1 through 3rd.
Photo courtesy Calgary Municipal Land Corporation.