Funding, mentorship and workspace available for health companies, researchers and entrepreneurs

Edmonton, AB, Canada (January 16, 2018) – Recruitment is now open for Merck Invention Accelerator, a new health technology accelerator and partnership between TEC Edmonton, Merck Canada Inc. and the University of Alberta. Set to open March 2018, the program goal is to advance the success of emerging health technologies to save and improve lives around the world. More specifically, the program creates collaborations between Merck, TEC Edmonton, and early-stage companies while advancing health-related technologies from Alberta and beyond.

  • Funding to support the advancement of their technology.
  • Access to expertise from Merck Research Laboratories (MRL).
  • Access to University of Alberta facilities and equipment, and TEC Edmonton wet lab space.

“Merck could have gone anywhere in the world yet they’ve chosen to invest in Edmonton,” says Chris Lumb, CEO, TEC Edmonton. “This demonstrates the importance Edmonton places on entrepreneurship and research and we’re excited about the possibility for more health innovations to get the necessary support to thrive.”

Fostering innovation, entrepreneurship and competitiveness is essential to the future of the health sector and to providing meaningful benefit to patients,” says Jennifer Chan, Vice-President, Policy and External Affairs, Merck Canada Inc. “This partnership will provide the tools and resources to help advance research-based health innovation.”

“The university is proud to be a part of Merck Invention Accelerator,” says Walter Dixon, Interim Vice-President (Research), University of Alberta. “Our advanced tools and facilities will play a key role in developing Alberta-made health innovations—innovations that will help save and improve lives at home, across Canada and around the world.”

Merck Invention Accelerator is now accepting applications. An initial review of potential companies and entrepreneurs will begin on February 15, 2018. Program and eligibility information is available here: TECEdmonton.com/MerckInventionAccelerator

This program is generously supported by the Government of Canada, Merck, University Hospital Foundation and the Government of Alberta.

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About TEC Edmonton
TEC Edmonton is a business accelerator that helps emerging technology companies grow successfully. As a joint venture of the University of Alberta and Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, TEC Edmonton operates the Edmonton region’s largest accelerator for early-stage technology companies and manages commercialization of University of Alberta technologies. TEC Edmonton delivers services in four areas: Business Development, Funding and Finance, Technology Management, and Entrepreneur Development.

Since 2011, TEC clients have generated $915M in revenue, raised $444M in financing and funding, invested 246M in R&D, and grown both revenue and employment by 20 per cent per year and now employ over 1,900 people in the region. TEC has assisted in the creation of 27 spin-off companies from the University of Alberta in the last six years.

TEC Edmonton was named the 4th best university business incubator in North America by the University Business Incubator (UBI) Global Index in 2015, and “Incubator of the Year” by Startup Canada in 2014. For more information, visit TECEdmonton.com.

About Merck Canada Inc.

For over a century, Merck has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. Merck is a leading global biopharmaceutical company with a diversified portfolio of prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, including biosimilars, and animal health products. In Canada, Merck is a leader in a broad range of areas such as oncology, infectious diseases, diabetes, and vaccines, and markets more than 250 pharmaceutical and animal health products.

Based in Montréal, Québec, Merck employs approximately 783 people across Canada. Merck is one of the top R&D investors in Canada, with investments totaling $35.2 million in 2016 and more than $1 billion since 2000. For more information about our operations in Canada, visit www.merck.ca and connect with us on YouTube and Twitter @MerckCanada.

Media Contacts:
Jennifer Sheehan
Director, Communications & Marketing
TEC Edmonton
E: Jennifer.Sheehan@tecedmonton.com

T: 780-492-0707

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One year ago, TEC Edmonton expanded its headquarters to the first floor of Enterprise Square with the official opening of TEC Innovation District. Created as another way for technology entrepreneurs to access TEC Edmonton resources and mentorship, the Innovation District quickly became more than a work space.

The Launch Program, operating out of the Innovation District, offers technology-based companies room to grow with support from TEC’s in-house experts.

“Our vision is that companies achieve results with six-month plans, goals, and regular check-ins to keep them accountable and moving forward,” says Lan Tan, TEC Edmonton Director of Entrepreneur Development.

Helping entrepreneurs grow on an individual level is another goal of the program – moral support and the community that comes with working alongside peers gives the extra push.

“A company’s results are dependent on the effort put in,” says Lan. “TEC is there to provide guidance, but the heavy lifting is up to each founder to get to the next level on their own. It takes confidence and grit.”

One TEC Innovation District tenant and Launch Program participant, Michael Taschuk of G2V Optics, agrees: “The main thing that attracted G2V to the TEC Launch program was the regular coaching from one of the executives-in-residence,” Michael says. “After meeting regularly with ours over the past year, it’s clear that if anything, I underestimated how valuable that opportunity was. We have achieved some real clarity in what G2V can be, and made significant progress on achieving our goals.”

“This program helped and guided us throughout the different stages of a startup company with great advice, introductions and support,” says Zack Harb, Founder of Zacxon Inc. and fellow Launch Program participant. “Now our WPPS (Water Pipe Protection System) will be present to the market soon.”

In 2018, we’ll see the same programs continuing in the space with a few new faces around since the use of the space was opened up to our community partners from NAIT, NABI and UAlberta Venture Mentoring Service. TEC Venture Angels will continue to host a free monthly morning talk on topics related to funding and financing.

So what’s the vision for the program going forward?

“We want to encourage our entrepreneurs to adopt a global mindset,” Lan says. “We want companies to continue to grow in Edmonton and also think about expanding beyond borders. We are making our mark in the world.”

Group-shot

TEC Innovation District official opening, January 2017

The Launch Program at TEC Innovation District has seats available for technology-based companies at the prototype stage. Apply here!

A buzz was in the air on Tuesday, January 8 as EEDC CEO Brad Ferguson took the stage to give his outgoing address at the 2018 IMPACT Luncheon. The much-anticipated event had brought together a sold-out crowd of 1,100 business, government and non-profit leaders to celebrate Alberta’s capital city.

In reminiscing over the last five years, Ferguson shared the efforts EEDC took to build Edmonton’s brand – this included insight into the development of the entrepreneurial community. Ferguson highlighted the tech companies graduating from TEC Edmonton’s TELUS T-Squared Accelerator program and the upcoming Merck Accelerator. You can read his full keynote here.

 

At the luncheon, EEDC unveiled a video featuring its past presidents. Allan Scott, who served as president from 2002-2007, recalled some of the big initiatives he took on:

“We created the joint venture TEC Edmonton with the University of Alberta which was to be a business accelerator and…it’s gone on to be ranked as one of the major accelerators in the world.”

“TEC Edmonton’s success,” Scott said, “particularly under Chris Lumb’s leadership, has been a really important part of spurring the technology community and accelerating business”

EEDC also screened its “Edmonton Video,” which captured the essence of what it means to be an Edmontonian.

TEC Edmonton was thrilled to attend and to celebrate Edmonton’s continued economic success!

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