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A prime downtown Edmonton storefront location, which has lain fallow for many months, will soon burst into life.

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The Honourable Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade

On Monday, June 27, 2016, with Alberta’s Minister of Economic Development Deron Bilous in attendance, TEC Edmonton CEO Chris Lumb announced the launch of TEC Edmonton’s “accelerator space” on the ground floor of Enterprise Square, looking out onto the northeast corner of Jasper Avenue and 103 Street.

On the fourth floor of the same building, TEC Edmonton oversees the TEC Centre, where young innovative companies can set up shop in an entrepreneur-friendly environment at reasonable rents, and at the same time have access to TEC Edmonton’s considerable educational, business advisory and technology management expertise.

TEC Edmonton is a joint venture owned by the City of Edmonton and the University of Alberta. It’s a business incubator and accelerator specifically designed to meet the needs of innovative companies created to commercialize new technologies, whether they come out of the University of Alberta or come from the community at large.

The main floor space will also be a home for “startup” companies, but with a qualitative difference.

Sponsored by large Edmonton-based companies looking to both give back to the community and further develop their own product development, this accelerator space will be a partnership.

Rather than creating a product that the inventor hopes will be valued in the marketplace, the accelerator will be a forum for practical mentorship.

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Large company executives will be guiding entrepreneurs in the creation of processes, services and products that could be of immediate and serious interest to the industry in question.

The large-company mentors will offer advice on what is of practical use to their industries. Several large companies with significant presence in Alberta have signed up as sponsors of the TEC accelerator space and will soon be announced.

The large companies will be seriously partnering with TEC Edmonton, jointly assessing and choosing startup companies to be both sponsored and housed in the accelerator space, being co-mentors with TEC Edmonton’s Executives-in-Residence to these adventuresome entrepreneurs.

“Alberta’s innovation system is showing great progress,” said Lumb. “There’s always room for improvement, but a systemic approach to encouraging innovation is fast emerging. The accelerator space is another example of industry, government and economic development agencies cooperating to nurture companies that will diversify Alberta’s economy.”

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