TEC Edmonton named world’s third best business incubator linked to a university
TEC Edmonton named world’s third best business incubator linked to a university More…
Edmonton, AB, Canada (February 26, 2018) – On February 22, TEC Edmonton was ranked #3 on the UBI Global list of World Top Business Accelerators linked to a university. In 2015, UBI Global ranked TEC Edmonton 16th best in the world, fourth in North America and third in Canada.
UBI Global is a Stockholm-based research and advisory firm that maps and evaluates the world of business incubation. They officially announced their bi-annual ranking at the World Incubation Summit 2018 in Toronto. TEC Edmonton is among 259 finalists from 53 countries selected from 1,370 submissions.
“It’s an honour for TEC to be once again recognized as one of the world’s best and to be a part of this worldwide community,” said Chris Lumb, TEC Edmonton CEO. “What this really says is that the whole regional innovation system is working. This includes the entrepreneurs, innovators and our corporate and government funders who are responsible for making this happen.”
As per UBI Global, a World Top Business Accelerator – Linked to university are business accelerators managed by, affiliated with, or that collaborate with one or more universities.
Over the last 18 months, TEC Edmonton:
Opened the TEC Innovation District: a vibrant street-level co-working space located in downtown Edmonton including 24-hour access for participants along with a full suite of services.
Initiated the TEC Launch Program: an initiative for entrepreneurs to scale up their business.
TEC Edmonton has several corporate and government partnerships including Alberta Innovates, National Research Council Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program, Western Economic Diversification Canada, TELUS, Merck Canada Research Labs and DynaLIFE Medical Labs.
About TEC Edmonton TEC Edmonton is a business accelerator helping 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.
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.
About UBI Global
UBI Global is a Swedish-based data and advisory firm specializing in mapping, highlighting, and connecting the world of business incubation. Through a network of more than 500 member organizations from over 70 countries globally, UBI Global provides matchmaking, ranking, benchmarking, and research services to corporations and business incubation programs.
Previous results from UBI Global’s studies have been featured on BBC Radio, The Chicago Tribune, Le Figaro, Der Standard, The Huffington Post, The Irish Times, France 3, and other media.
When people in the technology world think of innovation, weigh station preclearance for commercial vehicles may not be the first thing to come to mind. However, as the Drivewyze team has shown in the last few years, it was a transportation area desperately needing a high-tech overhaul.
All commercial vehicles must report to weigh stations on the highway. For drivers, this involves a time-consuming process of slowing down, getting into the station, rolling onto the scale and getting a document inspection before getting back up to highway speed to continue the trip. Brian Mofford, Drivewyze Vice President, knew his team could come up with a better way.
Technology that allows commercial vehicles to bypass weigh stations has been around for many years but is traditionally delivered by hardware-based systems requiring a lot of infrastructure, the cost of which to implement ranges from $200,000 to $1 million.
Rather than embarking on an expensive infrastructure project, the Drivewyze team explored leveraging technology already on the market – and in their future customers’ pockets.
“We looked at the problem back in 2010, and looked at location-based services and display and audio alerts,” explains Brian. “Smartphones with GPS became a way to replace the traditional hardware responder.”
From the initial research, the team built a product in 2011 and launched commercially by 2012.
The company’s preclearance technology allows drivers to bypass scales with heads-up alerts from a smartphone or tablet. Drivewyze made this possible by working with law enforcement to set up preclearance information ahead of time: if everything passes, the driver receives a notification that they can bypass the weigh station, saving time, money and fuel.
As a former TEC Edmonton client, the Drivewyze team received help from a TEC Edmonton Executive in Residence to successfully raise $8 million in financing. That same Executive in Residence ended up joining Drivewyze full time for a year as Chief Financial Officer.
Drivewyze has been an Edmonton-based company since the beginning, leveraging software and resources build by Drivewyze’s parent company. Brian cites the relationships they built as well as funding mechanisms in Canada and Alberta as advantageous: “Funding from Alberta Innovates, TECTERRA and the SR&ED program helped in the early days and today.”
Of course, having access to local talent doesn’t hurt either. “There’s a misconception for technology companies that you have to look elsewhere. We’ve been successful in finding quality resources right here in Edmonton.”
Today, Drivewyze technology adoption allows commercial drivers to bypass over 700 stations in 43 states in the U.S., in addition to Alberta. Always looking ahead, the team is working on growing the Drivewyze service across Canada.
After the success of Drivewyze, Brian has a few pieces of advice for Edmonton companies who want to ramp up business: “From a funding perspective, plan to raise a little bit more than you initially expect and account for the unknowns. Leverage funding mechanisms from the provincial and federal forces”
“…And talk to your TEC Edmonton representative!” Brian adds. “They can help guide you to what’s available.”
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