Alberta Innovates will launch a tech accelerator program to help high-tech entrepreneurs turn ideas into market-ready products and applications.
The program will provide the infrastructure and mentorship to connect startups with the tools, resources, seed funding and skilled talent pool they need to grow their business and create new jobs, while opening connections to potential customers and investors from around the world.
“Alberta has some of the world’s best high-tech talent and we want to create more opportunities for them to succeed here at home. This support gives them the tools to grow and diversify our economy and create new jobs now and for the future.”
~Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade
The Alberta government recently invested $100 million to expand artificial intelligence capacity in the province – this includes $31 million for Alberta Innovates and $27 million for the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii).
“Expanding Alberta’s artificial intelligence capacity begins with successful startups – scaling and growing with the funding and mentoring of a world-class accelerator. With the right investments and infrastructure in place, we can build on Amii’s success and bring that expertise to businesses across Alberta, and around the world.”
~Laura Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates
The $31 million allocated to Alberta Innovates is earmarked for the tech accelerator and three other initiatives – applied research and development, industry solutions, and establishing a stronger global market presence for Alberta.
The overall $100-million investment is estimated to directly support 5,600 new high-paid jobs and roughly $1.5 billion in overall value to Alberta businesses and affiliated startups.
Interest from other major high-tech industry leaders is also anticipated, which would mean millions of additional dollars in new private-sector investment in the province and hundreds of new jobs for Albertans.
“There is a gap in the ecosystem when it comes to the pipeline for early stage companies. Nothing is worse than seeing many of our best startups leave the province to get to an accelerator. We applaud this announcement and believe it will help to keep jobs in Alberta and attract additional outside capital.”
~Cory Janssen, CEO, AltaML
“I have previously been a mentor at a world-leading AI startup accelerator program outside of the province and I have witnessed first-hand the positive impact these programs can have on a local innovation ecosystem and the success graduating companies can achieve. These programs provide startups with mentorship and advice, financial support, curriculum and access to a network that can vastly improve their chances of success.”
~Bruce Alton, founder, A-Partners
“A world-class accelerator is something that has been missing in Alberta and yet found in some of the most innovative cities in the world. I am delighted to hear that a world-class accelerator will be coming to Alberta to help create net new jobs, keep our grads here, allow us to build great and diverse talent and bring in more investment capital.”
~Ashif Mawji, venture partner, Rising Tide
Alberta’s researchers are already ranked third in the world in the area of artificial intelligence and machine learning.