Local tech sector welcomes 'massive gift' of new global accelerators for startup and scaleup businesses
Edmonton's tech innovation community is welcoming the news of three new top global accelerators coming to Alberta, as well as a new pre-accelerator partnership between Innovate Edmonton and Platform Calgary.
Alberta Accelerator by 500, Plug and Play Alberta, the Community Safety & Wellness (CSW) Accelerator powered by Alchemist, and the Alberta Pre-accelerator, were announced on Sept. 23 as the successful candidates chosen for the $35 million Scaleup and Growth Accelerator Program (Scaleup GAP).
Alberta Innovates, which is funding the accelerators in partnership with Innovate Edmonton, the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund, and the provincial and federal governments, said in a news release that the accelerators would support entrepreneurs and startups at different stages with mentoring, networking, and access to capital. While the Alberta Accelerator by 500 will focus on seed-stage tech companies, the pre-accelerator will offer support to early-stage entrepreneurs.
Chris Lumb, the former CEO of TEC Edmonton which shut down in June 2021, said the new accelerators are a good addition to what was in place previously.
"(The accelerators) bring targeted mentoring to select companies, international exposure to high potential opportunities, and they highlight Alberta as a good place to build a company," Lumb told Taproot. "They also demonstrate a good partnership between the province and the two major cities."
"We are in a much stronger tech economy both here and worldwide at this time than there has been for over a decade," he said. "This means that promising Alberta companies will have more opportunity to raise funds and build international businesses. These accelerators, if delivered well, can help make that happen."