From left: Karen Greve Young, VP Partnerships at MaRS, Hon. Bardish Chagger, and TEC Edmonton CEO Chris Lumb.

Earlier this month, business accelerators and incubators from across Canada met at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto to discuss ways to share best practices and support Canada’s BAI (Business Accelerators and Incubators) organizations. A total of 21 mature organizations participated in the round table discussions, along with representatives from the federal government.

The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism, joined the discussion for an hour during the afternoon and reaffirmed the importance of the work business accelerators and incubators do in advancing the innovation agenda and building the economy.

“We were very excited to have Minister Chagger join us,” said TEC’s Vice-President, Public Sector and Government Relations, Karen Wichuk. “We talked about her vision for accelerators and incubators in Canada, and the important role we play in the innovation ecosystem.”

Minister Chagger with BAIs 170210

Specifically, the discussion revolved around the sharing of best practices and about the potential for a performance measurement framework that would be highly flexible and take into account such things as size, scope and operating environment.

“Minister Chagger was very supportive – her enthusiasm was contagious,” said Karen. “It’s clear that she has a passion for and champions the work of accelerators and incubators.”

Going forward, participating BAIs are committed to continuing the dialogue. A working group will emerge from the meeting and will be tasked with developing the next steps and engaging the BAI community.

“We were pleased to partner with MaRS to initiate and host this meeting – everyone came with the purpose of fully participating,” said Karen. “We are excited to hear feedback from our colleagues across the country and to continue moving forward with the work.”

ICT Finalists

2016 VenturePrize ICT Finalists

The deadline for VenturePrize registrations is fast approaching (February 24 for all streams), and there’s never been a better year for your company to participate. This year is the 15th anniversary of VenturePrize, and we want you and your company to help us celebrate!

In the weeks leading up to the big event, competing companies practice their pitches while honing their business plans among a peer group of companies at similar stages of development. TEC Edmonton’s in-house experts and group of mentors are available every step of the way to provide insight and advice specific to companies in the ICT sector.

Semi-finalists will receive expert feedback from VenturePrize screeners on their pitches and business plans, allowing them to put their best foot forward on event day in May.

The best part about the Telus ICT stream is that the winning company has the opportunity to work directly with Telus to bring their products to life. TVCom, the 2016 Telus ICT winning company, has been working with Telus to test and roll out their consumer technology on Telus’s Optik TV System, in addition to being one of the first companies accepted into TEC Edmonton’s T-Squared Accelerator.

So what are you waiting for? Register your company today!

VPz-Health

2016 VenturePrize DynaLife Dx Health Stream finalists.

As of now, there are only two weeks left to register for VenturePrize – and in addition to this year being the 15th anniversary of the business plan competition, it will be only the second year of the newest competition stream, DynaLife Dx Health.

The health stream offers an amazing opportunity for the region’s health technology companies to showcase their products and innovations to an Alberta-wide audience. “I am very excited for the organizations participating in this years health stream,” says Jason Pincock, CEO of DynaLife Diagnostics. “Our judging panel this year is targeted to include prominent leaders from the Health Ministry, Alberta Health Services, foundations, as well as local and national leaders local from the health industry. There is such great exposure and opportunity for fresh ideas and solutions.”

Here are the top five reasons we think your health company should register for VenturePrize:

Learn from experts who have been there before. Willing VenturePrize participants are matched with an experienced mentor who can provide helpful advice for an emerging company. This kind of one-on-one coaching is invaluable for participating companies leading up to and during the VenturePrize competition.

Get an inside look at what’s out there in Alberta health technology. You’ll get an insider’s look at other health innovations in the region, in addition to opportunities to network and learn from fellow health companies. As an added bonus, seeing other businesses develop and hone their pitches is an excellent motivator to bring your A-game!

VenturePrize is based in Canada’s Health City. Edmonton’s recent Health City initiative is designed to build on and showcase Edmonton as a healthcare and health innovation powerhouse. There’s no better place to build a health technology company, and no better time to showcase your company as the initiative kicks off.

Showcase your company on the big stage. As competitors hone their business plans, in addition to networking, mentorship, and coaching, the top three finalists get the opportunity to pitch in front of hundreds of business and technology leaders, peers, and media. If you’re ready to show Alberta who your company is, this is the place to do it.

Take it from someone who’s been there before. Last year’s health stream grand prize winner, MagnetTx, emphasized the importance of the VenturePrize process in strengthening its business plan and pitch: “VenturePrize helped show us as a credible company, and validated us since our business plan had been reviewed by peers,” said MagnetTx co-inventor Brad Murray.

Hopefully this provided enough reasons to convince you to register your company in this year’s VenturePrize competition. See you there!

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