TEC Edmonton, a business incubator jointly run by the City of Edmonton and the University of Alberta, is set to cease operations on June 30, BetaKit has learned.
According to an email sent to the incubator’s partners on Wednesday, obtained by BetaKit, a spokesperson for TEC Edmonton said the university and the city “have decided to revise and expand their partnership” to best serve Edmonton’s innovation ecosystem.
The email also noted that both the university and the city have been developing their own, respective innovation programs and structures. The University of Alberta is set to repatriate technology transfer services, and the decision to cease TEC Edmonton’s operations was “part of this evolution,” according to the email.
TEC Edmonton will continue to operate and serve its clients until June 30, according to the email, while programs and spaces will be reviewed and transition plans will be created and put in place.
News of this closure comes after a year of changes in Edmonton’s innovation scene, which saw its city council establish a new innovation entity independent of the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation.
Launched in 2006, TEC Edmonton was a business accelerator merging university intellectual property with civic and university-based entrepreneurial services. The program provided a wide array of expertise and resources, such as technology evaluation and protection, mentoring, licensing support, potential funding opportunities, and physical space.
Last year, several major changes were made to Edmonton’s primary innovation agency, the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC). Due to the pandemic and resulting financial impact, EEDC laid off a number of workers, including some of its senior leadership team. In the spring, Edmonton’s city council created a new organization responsible for advancing the innovation ecosystem within the city.
Prior to the creation of an entirely new innovation entity, Edmonton’s innovation was driven by the former Innovate Edmonton, a division of the EEDC, which supported startups and scaleups through networking, resources, and funding. Innovate Edmonton’s partner organizations included Startup Edmonton, Advanced Technology Centre, and TEC Edmonton; all of which fell under the EEDC umbrella.
At the time of the formation of the new agency, the future of TEC Edmonton and other programs under the EEDC was unclear.
In its recent email to partners, TEC Edmonton said the news of its closure may “significantly impact” companies working out of TEC’s physical space. TEC Edmonton noted it is working with the university to “ensure minimal disruption as well as a smooth transition.”
BetaKit has reached out to TEC Edmonton for comment.