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.”

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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!