Over $147 million in investments has been raised and 118 jobs were created by startups incubated by the accelerator programs that the Alberta Scaleup and Growth Accelerator (Scaleup GAP) program brought to the province, according to Alberta Innovates.
Scaleup GAP was created in 2021 to bring more technology and business accelerators to Alberta. Its launch follows a request for proposal Alberta Innovates put out earlier that year to address the “scale-up gap” experienced by startups in the province by pulling in more accelerators to the province.
Since then, Scaleup GAP has helped to deliver five programs: the Alberta Accelerator by 500, Plug and Play Alberta, Telus Community Safety and Wellness Accelerator powered by Alchemist, Thrive Canada Accelerator, and Alberta Catalyzer.
Alberta Innovates said 65 Alberta companies have graduated from the accelerators it supports.
Led by the provincial government’s research and innovation agency, Alberta Innovates, Scaleup GAP is run by a consortium including the Government of Alberta, Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan), and the City of Edmonton, through the business hub Edmonton Unlimited. It is also supported by $35 million from the City of Calgary’s Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund, allocated over three years to retain those business accelerators.
Since Scaleup GAP’s inception two years ago, Alberta Innovates claims 65 Alberta companies have graduated from the accelerators it supports. It also noted 169 businesses have received services from the “pre-accelerators,” which include Alberta Catalyzer.
Among the startups that have received support from Scaleup GAP is Calgary-based Symend, which offers behavioural-engagement software. After going through Plug and Play Alberta’s Sector Agnostic program in March 2022, it announced it secured $54 million CAD in growth capital in November 2022.
While Alberta looks to help its local companies scale globally, it has also attracted businesses from overseas to establish a footprint in the province.
According to Alberta Innovates, 111 non-Alberta companies “have been introduced to Alberta” from around the world, leading to six of those companies registering their businesses in Alberta after completing one of the accelerator programs.
Earlier this month, global software companies Vantage Circle and Eventcombo established new offices in Alberta with plans to hire hundreds of people. Both companies received support from Calgary Economic Development, an economic-development agency funded by the City of Calgary, other levels of government, and the private sector.