A little more than a year after the introduction of a suite of accelerators through the Alberta Scaleup and Growth Accelerator Program (Scaleup GAP), several Edmonton startups have found themselves moving from one to the next as they work on strengthening their businesses.
Deeleeo, a same-day delivery platform and marketplace, and Fly and Fetch, a shipping company that enlists travellers to transport packages, just participated in the Batch 2 Demo Day for the Alberta Accelerator by 500 on Oct. 20. Now they're both part of the second cohort of the Alberta Innovates Revenue Accelerator powered by GrowthX.
Fly and Fetch's founders started out applying to every pitch competition and program they could find as they sought to learn more about what it takes to succeed, co-founder Victoria Celi Jaramillo told Telling It Like It Is.
"Now we (say), 'OK, we need help. What exactly do we need?'" she said. "And we try to apply to those accelerators that are going to be helping us to go to the next step."
Fellow Alberta Accelerator by 500 alumnus Electronic Grid Systems, whose Swift Charge helps parking infrastructure owners deploy EV charging stations, is now involved in the sustainability stream of Plug and Play Alberta's second batch.
Air Trail is another example of an Edmonton startup that has found success as it graduated from accelerator to accelerator, starting out with the Alberta Accelerator by 500 before gaining significant traction as part of the Alberta Innovates Revenue Accelerator.
"What I've seen Alberta Innovates do... is really map the ecosystem from idea to exit, and begin to be intentional about making sure that founders are resourced along that entire relay race," Goldner said in a podcast interview during Edmonton Startup Week.
Here's what's new with the accelerators that were announced in September 2021 or have since become part of the ecosystem:
- SVG THRIVE Academy: The Calgary-based accelerator for agrifood startups will hold its Demo Day on Nov. 10 in Banff. The current cohort includes Edmonton's Nu Terra Labs (which shared its story with Taproot), as well as Edging AI and iClassifier.
- TELUS Community Safety and Wellness Accelerator: Cohort 2 of this accelerator focused on social and safety challenges, powered by Alchemist X, will hold its Demo Day in November. The three Edmonton organizations in this round are VR Pathways, which shared its story on Bloom, as well as Technology North and Islamic Family. Applications are open for Cohort 3.
- Alberta Catalyzer: The northern Alberta startups in the Velocity cohort of this pre-accelerator participated in a showcase on Oct. 19 as part of Edmonton Startup Week. Edmonton companies in the group include A&D Tutoring, Gaze and Movement Analysis (GaMA), Self Serve Digital Dining, Snaketakes Studios, The Spark, and Synapsis Medical. Applications are open for all streams.
- Alberta Innovates Revenue Accelerator: Joining Fly and Fetch and Deeleeo in the cohort that launched Oct. 19 are fellow Edmonton companies Umay (which shared its story on Bloom), Dryrun, NTWIST, SketchDeck.ai, Pros&Babes, and ValueLaw. They'll be in the program for 16 weeks.
- Alberta Accelerator by 500: Applications are open for Batch 3, which will be based in Edmonton. The program, which is dedicated to expanding the tech innovation ecosystem in the Edmonton-Calgary corridor, will close applications on Dec. 2 and launch the cohort in January 2023.
- Plug and Play Alberta: There are six Edmonton-area companies among the 50 in current cohort of this accelerator. They'll show their work at the Batch 2 Expo in Banff on Nov. 29-30. And applications are open for the next round.
Alberta Innovates started Scaleup GAP with funding help from Prairies Economic Development Canada, Edmonton Unlimited, the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund, and Alberta's ministry of jobs, economy, and innovation, and it seems to be happy with the results.
"The incredible mentoring, education and global networks made available to companies through the accelerators is quite simply unparalleled," Douglas Holt, associate vice-president of investments for Alberta Innovates posted on LinkedIn after taking in the Alberta Accelerator by 500 pitches at Platform Calgary.