The Calgary Startup Ecosystem

The Calgary startup ecosystem consists of a large collection of government agencies, non-profits, incubators, and accelerators that provide various support and resources to start-ups. I feel a major challenge with the entrepreneurs in Calgary, particularly the early-phase ones, is that they find it difficult to find these ecosystem players and understand how they can benefit their startup.

To remedy this, below is a list of various participants in the Calgary startup ecosystem.

First, I will recommend that all entrepreneurs start with the Alberta Innovators Network (albertan.com); a web portal with links to nearly all of the public and private startup support organizations.

Government

Calgary Economic Development

Calgary Economic Development

Responsible for developing and executing Calgary’s 10 year economic strategy.

Sustainable Development Technology Canada

Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC)

Promotes sustainable development technology and startups in Canada. Focuses on startups solving problems related to climate change, air technology, clean water, and soil.

Community/Non-profit

Startup Calgary

Startup Calgary

Serving early-phase startups from idea to MVP. Creates and maintains a community of startups and entrepreneurs. Seeking to connect people together to create ‘sparks’ of innovation in Calgary.

The A100

A100

A group of C-level tech entrepreneurs and founders who seek to inspire and support the next generation of technology entrepreneurs in Alberta.

Innovate Calgary

Innovate Calgary

Serving clients at all stages between idea and investment-ready. Innovate Calgary offers applied education programs, mentorship opportunities, bespoke consultation services, intellectual property management, and a co-working space. The company operates closely with the University of Calgary and serves researchers, students, and community clients.

TEC Edmonton

TEC Edmonton

Joint organization between the City of Edmonton and the University of Alberta. Offering various educational and consultation services for early and mid-phase entrepreneurs. TEC Edmonton serves clients from all industries, but operates an accelerator for health technology startups, in partnership with AHS.

Accelerators

District Ventures

District Ventures

An accelerator lead by Arlene Dickinson for consumer packaged goods, such as food and beverage. Manages a $40m venture fund. Connects its client companies with retailers and distributors.

Zone Startups Calgary

Zone Startups

A collaboration between GE and Ryerson Futures. Focuses on startups in the energy, clean tech, smart cities, power, and internet of things (IoT) spaces. Includes a $8-10m seed fund for clients.

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