COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR ENTREPRENEURS and SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS

Innovation Canada COVID19 Portal revamped their portal and now list Government of Canada programs that may be particularly relevant to this COVID-19 situation.

COVID-19 Continuity has a well laid out general resource page for business leaders, which is regularly updated. 

For tech-based entrepreneurs a good place to start is the MaRS COVID-19 collection

Quick links

Online Resources

Searchable Databases

There are a number of online tools and databases you can use to find out what funding and programs are available to you or your company.

Innovation Canada: funding, facilities, and services available in Canada.

Connectica: funding, facilities, and services available to Alberta based companies.

StartAlberta: lists Albertan investors and companies that successfully attracted investment.

Hockeystick: lists Canadian startups, investment groups, incubators and accelerators. They also recently launched a matchmaking service between startups and funders. 

Tutorials, courses and self assessments

There are a number of courses and toolkits online providing information and tips for entrepreneurs and startups. They range in scope and cost. 

A small selection is provided here to give you a sense of what is available if you just want to learn more about being an entrepreneur or you want some guidance on how to structure your thoughts about an idea you currently have.

MaRS entrepreneurship 101.
Techstars toolkit.
BDC entrepreneurship toolkit.

Information and tutorial about intellectual property and the patent process.

The Canadian Patent Office has guides to copyright and trademarks. The US Patent Office has eLearning modules and entrepreneur resources.

How to Get Started

Startup Edmonton provides hands-on support as you explore and move your ideas forward. You can start with a workshop and then commit to your idea with Preflight, a year-round, part-time program of mentorship, guided sessions, and access to corporate partners to get your product to market.

Business Link helps entrepreneurs navigate the steps toward starting their own businesses by providing one-on-one support through its business advisors. They have great online resources such as the startup checklist, which covers the major items you’ll need to get your business started or their market validation tools, which give you the basics on how to figure out if you have a market of paying customers. They also have services such as Ask a Legal Expert and the Immigrant Entrepreneur Program.

Alberta Innovates provides technology commercialization advice, mentorship and grants through its Technology Development Advisors and the Edmonton Regional Innovation Networks (ERIN).

The following programs are delivered by TEC Edmonton and supported by ERIN and Alberta Innovates:

Entrepreneur Community

Rainforest Alberta is a networking community for entrepreneurs which holds frequent events in Edmonton

Startup TNT holds regular meet ups for entrepreneurs and investors. There is also an active Slack channel for Edmonton entrepreneurs. The invite link is here.

Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is a global, peer-to-peer network of business owners in 60 countries.

Staff, students & alumni of Edmonton post-secondary institutions

ERIN recently launched an Executive-in-Residence (EIR) program for Edmonton based post-secondary institutions. The relevant EIR for each institution is list below.

University of Alberta

The ERIN Post-Secondary Mentor for the University of Alberta is Ryan Heit.

For assistance with intellectual property or related agreements please contact the Technology Transfer Services team (TTS).

eHUB is the entrepreneurship centre for students and the Venture Mentoring Service provides mentorship for graduates, faculty or staff members. There is also The Innovators Handbook, which gives a great summary of the innovation and commercialization resources available on campus.

NAIT

The ERIN Post-Secondary Mentor for NAIT is Dale Schaub

The Mawji Centre for New Venture and Entrepreneurship is another resource available at NAIT for entrepreneurship.

MacEwan: The Social Innovation Centre offer programs, provides learning opportunities and hosts events that help people learn about and engage in social innovation.

Norquest: The ERIN Post-Secondary Mentor for Norquest is Dale Schaub

Concordia: The ERIN Post-Secondary Mentor for Concordia is Dave Damer.

Space

A number of organizations collectively provide
spaces in Edmonton, St. Albert and Sherwood Park. Please contact them for
information about their status during COVID.

Startup Edmonton, Unit B and Homestead have space in Edmonton

NABI has space in St. Albert

URBN has
space in Sherwood Park and Edmonton South

Work Nicer has space in Edmonton and
Calgary.

Roundhouse is a space run by MacEwan
University.

Prototyping and Product Development

The Productivity and Innovation Centre at NAIT features solutions for business innovation that includes product testing, technology adoption, training and certifications, productivity and innovation, applied research, and industry conferences and events. Red Deer College now has a Technology Access Centre. If you have an IRAP approved project you can get up to 20 hours of their time, plus materials and machine time, for $250.  An example of a project is producing CAD drawings followed by 3D printing.

Two groups that may be useful to you as you develop your product on the cloud are Cybera and CANARIE. If you are exploring the use of artificial intelligence in your business, you should connect with amii.

Mentoring and Money

Alberta Women Entrepreneurs (aWe) is dedicated to enabling women to build successful businesses, providing unique programs and services to women at all stages of business through advising, financing, mentoring and network development.

 

Futurpreneur is a national organization that provides financing (loan program) and mentoring for entrepreneurs between the ages of 18-39.

Creative Destruction Labs-Rockies brings together entrepreneurs, investors, and scientists from fields including energy, healthcare, software and hardware, and clean technology to mentor startups and help them raise capital.

 

Community Futures Community Futures has 27 offices across Alberta that offer loan solutions and business development services built for rural Alberta.

Banks providing advice, events and financial products targeted towards entrepreneurs.

Angel investors

There are active angel investors in Alberta. Here are a few groups that are active in the technology space.

Valhalla Angels run programs like pitch nights and Basecamps .

A100 and its members expand networks, connect people and share experiences with the people they work with.

 

Sprout invests in seed- and early-stage companies with series-A funding potential.

Established Companies 

IRAP provides a range of services and funding for more established companies across Canada through its industrial technology advisors (ITAs) and their extensive network of regional, national and international partners.

Edmonton Trade Accelerator Program is run by the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce to provide essential insights, resources, and training to help companies develop and deliver an export plan.

Trade Commissioner Service has a broad range of online, Canada based and international assets available for Canadian business.

Alberta Trade & Investment also has a range of services that are specific to Alberta-based companies looking to export.

 

Export Development Canada has several financial products aimed at helping Canadian businesses selling into international markets.

Health specific resources

Health City connects the health innovation ecosystem.

BioAlberta  is an industry association based in Edmonton.

Institute for Health Economics (IHE) has expertise in health technology assessments.

Strategic Clinical networks are set up to help bring innovations into AHS.

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