Brass Dome Ventures Ltd. and the University of Alberta have teamed up to launch Innovation Masterminds Edmonton (imYEG), an industry-led accelerator program to support and mentor university-based innovators as they work towards commercialization.
The free program will initially be open to U of A based innovators, but it hopes to expand to other Edmonton post-secondary institutions. It is backed by the federal government through Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), with an investment of $700,550.
"We support innovators right from the inception of their idea or discovery, providing them with assessment and mentorship to advance innovative ideas to the market. imYEG provides innovators with access to the Council of Founders, which is made up of industry leaders from diverse sectors who volunteer their time to support the acceleration of innovative ideas," Brass Dome Ventures wrote in an introductory post.
Researchers will be matched with three to five “founders" who will provide ongoing mentorship with the aim to feed into later-stage accelerators like TEC Edmonton.
“If a university professor wants to create a company, you wouldn't ask for help from somebody who's never done it before,” said Christopher Micetich, CEO of Brass Dome Ventures Ltd. and founder of imYEG.
“You want to ask someone who's thought of a company name, who's struggled through the pain of financing, who actually got a company going and then spent many months on that journey figuring out how to make payroll — those are the people that you get the most valuable experience from.”
According to folio, imYEG will begin by supporting 10 to 15 pilot ventures across a variety of sectors including energy and clean technology, agriculture, life sciences, digital technology, construction, and mining.