Calgary-based startups in Zone Startups Calgary (ZSC), an accelerator for companies in the industrial internet of things, cybersecurity, and energy sectors, will receive a boost with the new ZSC Seed Accelerator Fund.
GE Canada, GE Ventures, BDC Capital, and Ryerson Futures announced the fund to help companies in ZSC that show early commercial traction in a highly-scalable market. ZSC is based in GE Canada’s Customer Innovation Centre in downtown Calgary and is part of an ecosystem of GE engineers, industrial customers and startups working together to solve industrial challenges. The accelerator helps companies establish market validation, develop customer opportunities, and launch field trials while providing access to mentors, advisors, and funding opportunities. There are currently eight companies operating in the accelerator.
ZSC was launched last year by Zone Startups, a global startup acceleration program run by Ryerson Futures, created in 2016 in a partnership with GE Canada. In June 2016, the program also launched Rise Mumbai, an accelerator supporting FinTech startups, in partnership with London-based multinational and banking services company Barclays.
Zone Startups declined to name the amount in the fund. However, managing director Alan Lysne said that the fund will be writing “accelerator-sized” checks to the companies in Zone Startups Calgary that are beginning to show early traction and high potential in a scalable market, which replicates its model in Toronto.
“This new fund is a testament to the success of ZSC and the startup community in Calgary, and shows how successful these accelerators can be for all parties involved,” said Elyse Allan, president and CEO of GE Canada. “The startups are working with some fascinating technology and creating digital industrial applications that are already helping both GE and its customers find operational and cost efficiencies.”
ZSC said that Other corporate partners will join ZSC for the opportunity to engage with early leaders in industrial IoT.
“Working closely with our network of corporate partners has proven to be one of the best ways to help companies realize their market potential and accelerate their growth,” said Alan Lysne, managing director of Ryerson Futures. “Connecting capital, along with our programming and extensive network, will further accelerate the development of companies in our program.”