Small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs in southern Alberta will have more support to expand their operations or turn their business ideas into reality.
With support from the Alberta Entrepreneurship Incubator program, Lethbridge’s Tecconnect is offering commercialization services, networking and mentorship opportunities, as well as access to startup funding to help entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses.
“Supporting business incubators is an important part of our government’s commitment growing the Lethbridge economy. They keep businesses in our city, help local owners and entrepreneurs create new jobs and build on the strengths of our local industries.”
~ Shannon Phillips, Lethbridge-West MLA
The Alberta Entrepreneurship Incubator program is a $10-million pilot project delivered through Alberta Innovates over two years to fund entrepreneur development and mentoring support programs in existing or new incubator spaces.
“We know Alberta small businesses with incubator support have an average 25 per cent growth rate, while nationally the average growth rate is less than five per cent. That’s why we will keep working together to create new jobs and grow and diversify our economy.”
~ Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade
“Together with our partners in the Regional Innovation Network of Southern Alberta, we are pleased to have received funding to launch the Tecconnect+ED series of programs designed to educate and empower entrepreneurs in this region. This support will no doubt create additional opportunities for startups to successfully move forward and enhance the economic diversity in southern Alberta.”
~ Trevor Lewington, CEO, Economic Development Lethbridge
The incubator program gives entrepreneurs access to professional business development advisers who can help them move their ideas forward, navigate greater innovation system supports and nurture the development of companies during the startup period.
“Alberta Innovates is proud to deliver the Alberta Entrepreneurship Incubator initiative throughout the province. This initiative demonstrates an intentional drive toward an entrepreneurial culture in the province, creates new firms which generate new jobs and develops new technologies and support mechanisms for the diversification and growth of our economy.”
~ Laura J. Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates
Tecconnect currently has nine resident companies working in diverse technology areas, such as business management software, digital media and virtual reality, and amphibious, remote-operated industrial equipment.