Entrepreneurial Investments

Investing in Alberta Business

The innovation journey is rarely a linear, sequential process. We assist high-growth, high-potential SMEs to reduce the time it takes to commercialize new technology and knowledge-based products, and to scale their business. 

Finding the right fit

Through our funding programs, we invest in high-growth, high-potential companies that will become self-sustaining and positioned to provide economic and social benefits to Alberta.

Where we help

We support innovation in all sectors, and in recent years have increasingly focused on aligning our investment portfolio and funding to innovation in the following focus areas:

Data-enabled innovation

  • Transforming data into actionable information and enabling digital transformation

Digital technology for business transformation

  • Products that leverage technology to sense and measure information to conduct business
  • Development and sale of digital technology valued by businesses. Examples include sensor and measurement technology
  • Saleable products that enable innovative production and distribution

Clean technology for a lower carbon future

  • Innovation for a low carbon future

Innovative production and distribution

  • Additive manufacturing and distribution technologies

Who we help

High-growth, high-potential Alberta-based small-medium enterprises (SMEs) developing and/or commercializing new technology

Companies developing innovative products and processes intended to be commercialized and sold, not for internal productivity benefits.

Refer to the table below for examples.

Looking forward

We remain flexible in our focus areas and adapt our programs as needed. The following are the Alberta Innovates overall corporate focus areas:

  • Digital Health
  • Innovative Hydrocarbon Products
  • Smart Agriculture
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Continuing support in growing Alberta’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Our impact

To clarify understanding of what we invest in to help grow Alberta’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, it’s helpful to review our technology commercialization scorecard for 2021:

 

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Can your tech company contribute to these metrics? If so, check below. We may have a program for you.

Browse our programs

Coaching, Community, and Capital!

Alberta Digital Traction

This program provides funding for Alberta SMEs that rely on software development as core to one or more of their products and/or services and intends to rapidly scale in the global marketplace to accelerate their revenue growth.

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Alberta Innovation Vouchers

Vouchers are for Alberta’s small- and medium-sized enterprises in the technology and knowledge-based sector with technologies in the mid-to-late developmental stages. It could include some early developmental stages.

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Alberta Innovation Micro Vouchers

Micro vouchers are aimed to help Alberta’s small- and medium-sized enterprises in the technology and knowledge-based sector hire a service or product provider to advance their technology closer to commercialization.

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Commercialization Associates

This program is designed to fund high potential, high growth technology and knowledge-based Alberta SMEs to employ a highly trained resource with the goal of advancing business readiness levels and/or accelerating product commercialization.

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Ecosystem Development Pilot Program

The Ecosystem Development Program is a pilot program designed to provide support for non-profit and for-profit entities to deliver launch-ready projects that will assist Alberta technology start-ups and SMEs to scale and grow and contribute to a thriving innovation Alberta ecosystem.

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Executive Business Advisors

The Executive Business Advisor (EBA) Program is a competitive program for promising, high potential, high growth Alberta SMEs that are anticipated to generate jobs, exports and help diversify our economy.

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Export Readiness Micro Vouchers

This program is intended to help Alberta Small and Medium-sized Enterprises align their international plans with global opportunities and to evaluate the risks and benefits of exporting prior to entering new global markets.

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Product ScaleUp Pilot Program

We designed the Product ScaleUp Pilot Program to help propel Alberta SMEs forward as they refine and iterate their highly scalable digital technologies.

The program is a grant of up to $100,000 for one year for qualified SMEs to hire a product associate with expertise in developing, commercializing, and scaling digital technology using a product management model. A matching percentage is required.

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Product Demonstration Program

The Product Demonstration Program is a focused, business-to-business partnership, allowing the applicant to access funding and key alliance resources, which can help accelerate their product to commercialization.

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r&D Associates

This program is designed to fund high potential, high growth technology and knowledge-based Alberta SMEs to employ an r&D professional that has the advanced technical skills required by the SME to make that last leap from research to a marketable product.

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Alberta Small Business Innovation and Research Initiative 

The Alberta Small Business Innovation and Research Initiative is a program that gives small businesses funding opportunities to solve major industry challenges.

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Global Partnerships

Global Partnerships facilitates programs designed to support SMEs from Alberta and partnering jurisdictions in Mexico and China.

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Regional Innovation Networks

Regional Innovation Networks are entrepreneur-centric, community-based networks with the goal of providing programs and services to accelerate growth of technology and knowledge-based businesses in those jurisdictions.

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Technology Development Advisors

Our Technology Development Advisors provide front-line business coaching and technology development advice to small & medium size enterprises in technology or knowledge-based industries to accelerate clients through their client journey.

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News

Celebrating the stories of women in innovation

Today more women are pursuing these careers but they still face challenges in a largely male-dominated workforce.  The United Nations reports that women make up less than a quarter of all people working globally in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) occupations. Here in Canada women make up approximately a quarter of the country’s science and technology workers, according to Statistics Canada.

Graphic showing Thrive Canada's inaugural cohort

Spotlight on Canadian Agrifood innovation

If you missed the event and the announcement of the inaugural THRIVE Canada Accelerator cohort you can check out a...

A photo of Interface Fluidics company Founders L to R - (David Sinton Tom de Haas Stuart Kinnear) with mountains in the background.

Nanotechnology platform comes to industry

The effort paid off, with the company raising US$4.5 million in August 2019, with funding from multinational energy company Equinor and global accelerator Techstars.