Entrepreneurial Investments

Regional Innovation Networks

Overview

Alberta Innovates provides technology commercialization advice, mentorship and access to program support and equipment through the Regional Innovation Network (RIN). RINs service these communities and surrounding areas: CalgaryCentral Alberta, Edmonton, Grande PrairieLethbridge, Lloydminster, Medicine Hat and Fort McMurray. Each RIN is made up of like-minded public organizations. They’re passionate about helping small technology and knowledge-based businesses innovate and grow, diversifying the economy and helping build a strong entrepreneurial culture in Alberta. RINs work closely with our Technology Development Advisors, local incubators and accelerators and community partners.

Click the thumbnails below to learn more about Alberta’s RINs, Alberta Innovates’ TDAs and our industry funding programs:

Coaching  Community  Capital 
Alberta Innovates Technology Development Advisors  What does the Alberta Innovates Entrepreneurial Investments branch do? Alberta Innovates Direct Industry Funding programs 

Connectica

Connectica is a self-service tool for SMEs and service providers to connect with other provincial innovators, in alignment with Alberta Innovates’ strategic priority for contributing to an effective Innovation System.

Alberta Clean Tech Guide

The Alberta Clean Tech Guide is a launchpad into the Alberta clean tech ecosystem to assist entrepreneurs in navigating programs and support resources.

Technology Development Advisors

TDAs provide coaching and advice to SMEs in technology- and knowledge-based industries. They work with clients to increase their business knowledge and connect to other partners and services within their respective RINs.

TDAs enhance innovation system navigation and offer improved access to business networks and services for SMEs.

To access a TDA, visit the Connect with Alberta Innovates portal.

For more information regarding eligibility and the intake process, contact Intake@albertainnovates.ca or call 403-210-5229.

GRANDE PRAIRIE
  Bob Hall
Technology Development Advisor
#2000, 11330 – 106 St.
Grande Prairie, AB  T8V 7X9Bob has been a champion for innovation as a key driver of economic development in Northwestern Alberta.  As early as 1999, Bob led a regional team that designed, built and managed an innovation network for Alberta’s Peace Country, which later evolved into Grande Prairie Regional College’s Centre for Research & Innovation (CRI) and now into the Grande Prairie Regional Innovation Network (GPRIN).

As AI’s Technology Development Advisor in Alberta’s northwest, Bob’s assists, coaches and mentors small-to-medium sized companies and entrepreneurs on advancing their innovative ideas and technologies through the commercialization process. Bob works with the GPRIN to further champion the culture of innovation in the region through building relationships and networks with federal business development agencies, economic development offices, educational institutions, chambers of commerce and industry groups. Bob’s interests in special projects include: youth entrepreneurship; company productivity and competitiveness; sensors & unmanned vehicle systems; rail service infrastructure; ‘pollutants-to-products’ opportunities; foresight scenario planning; investment attraction and more. Bob’s business experience includes urban design and project management in land development.

EDMONTON
Rick Davidson
Technology Development Advisor
250 Karl Clark Road NW
Edmonton, AB   T6N 1E4Rick is a seasoned sales and business development professional with over 30 years of experience in the telecommunications sector. Rick offers SMEs the benefit of his years of experience in developing and implementing successful marketing, sales and business development strategies. Rick believes that Alberta’s future lies in innovation and in sustainability of SMEs in the province. Rick is excited to work with SMEs to help identify strategic partners, access funding programs and help them develop strategic business opportunities.
Mike Riou
Technology Development Advisor
250 Karl Clark Road NW
Edmonton, AB   T6N 1E4Mike has technology development and commercialization experience in several industries in Canada and the U.S, and has worked in start-up companies as well Fortune 500 companies.

Most recently, Mike has worked with entrepreneurs and small entities to create technology development, marketing, and business plans and strategies. Through this work, he understands the challenges these organizations face developing products from inception to market entry.

Mike’s experience in areas such as start-up, financing, business strategy, intellectual property, business development and team development enables him to assist Alberta companies during their journey.

Mike believes SMEs are key for Alberta’s continued growth and diversification, and he enjoys the opportunity to work with these organizations to assist in their success.

LLOYDMINSTER
Kara Johnston
Technology Development Advisor
2602 – 59 Ave.
Lloydminster, AB   T9V 3N7Kara, the TDA based in Lloydminster, is a high-energy individual who excels in relationship building. She has vast entrepreneurial expertise and experience in the oil and gas sector, agriculture, retail, and most recently, the construction industry. A former Dean at Lakeland College, Kara built a strong foundation of varied industry relationships and gained valuable insight into both the post-secondary sector and innovation network.

Kara is excited to use her vast experience to focus on her passion – mentoring businesses and fostering the entrepreneurial spirit that is so vibrant in our community and province. She believes that innovation and collaboration are the foundation for the future of the Alberta. As such, she looks forward to assisting entrepreneurs make advantageous connections that will endure them on the path to success.

Kara is a strong advocate of life-Iong learning and is living that belief. She is close to completing her Masters of Business Administration with a focus on Leadership through Athabasca University. Kara’s office is located at Lakeland College’s Lloydminster Campus with the Regional Business Accelerator. Both are key partners to the Regional Innovation Network in East Central Alberta.

CENTRAL ALBERTA
Matt Cornall
Technology Development Advisor
#2915, 100 College Boulevard
Red Deer, AB  T4N 5H5Matt Cornall has a strong background in Business, Economic and Community Development, as well as in project management and program implementation. Originally from the UK, Matt worked in the banking sector and public sector in the UK and with the European Union (EU) before emigrating to Alberta in 2008.

In his time in Alberta, Matt has worked in both the public and private sectors, working with engineering companies in Central Alberta to build their respective Economic Development divisions as well as being a lead on their business development efforts. Matt has also worked as the Economic Development Officer for a community of 14,000 people and most recently as the Investment Attraction and Business Retention officer for the Central Alberta region. In addition Matt is a long running board member and 2015 President of the Economic Developers of Alberta (EDA) association, and the Alberta representative on the national Economic Development Association of Canada (EDAC) board. Matt is also a past community representative and chair of Red Deer’s Community Housing Advisory Board (2009-2014). He is located at the Red Deer College Centre of Innovation in Manufacturing

MEDICINE HAT
John Stroh
Technology Development Advisor
c/o Medicine Hat College, F-1020 – 299 College Drive SE
Medicine Hat, AB   T1A 3Y6John Stroh is passionate about innovation and best practices that can be shared across businesses and manufacturers alike. He believes Alberta’s future direction includes innovation and productivity enhancement, and is excited about supporting manufacturers in his region achieve this. John started his manufacturing career as a young apprentice welder, developed experience through the industry, eventually managing plant and operations of a facility of over 500 employees. His manufacturing management experience comes from a career in industries including truck mounted equipment manufacture, and pressure vessels and piping for Alberta’s oil and gas industry.
 LETHBRIDGE
Bill Halley
Technology Development Advisor
c/o Lethbridge College,  IB2102 – 3000 College Drive South
Lethbridge, AB   T1K 1L6Bill Halley offers 34 years of experience in manufacturing management and project engineering in sectors that include plastics, aircraft, hospital support services, steel, and automotive. Bill offers SMEs the benefit of his six years experience as general manager at Pratt & Whitney Canada, and four years as vice-president of operations at Canbra Foods. Located at Lethbridge College, Bill is a board member of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and participates in the sub-committee for agriculture, industrial and transportation affairs. He is also a member of the University of Lethbridge’s Faculty of Management advisory council.
CALGARY
David Bocking
Technology Development Advisor
3608 – 33 St. NW
Calgary, AB   T2L 2A6David brings over 30 years experience in consulting, product management, marketing and business development to help clients launch successful businesses. He is an accomplished growth leader who delivers insight and innovation across multiple industries with a strong background in telecom, wireless, software, energy and health. He is passionate about creating enterprise value from new market entry, product development, technology adoption and business model innovation. He quickly develops empathy for customer problems, creates solutions, and turns complex scenarios into a strategic vision coupled with a corresponding business model to create, deliver and capture value.

David is an enthusiastic proponent of Lean Startup Methods and tools including Value Proposition Design, Business Model Canvases and Customer Development that guide an innovator’s efforts to rapidly create winning business models.

Michael Kerr
Technology Development Advisor
3608 – 33 St. NW
Calgary, AB   T2L 2A6With vast experience in manufacturing for small and large businesses, Michael assists established companies in innovation (patents, prototype development) and process improvement (lean, automation, ISO). For newer firms, support focuses on technical assistance and business strategy, including cash flow management. His several years of experience funding innovative companies make Michael a valuable partner in helping firms access funding support to develop their ideas. Having been an instructor in Operations Management at UNBC’s MBA program, Michael has taught lean, quality and process improvement techniques to the leaders of numerous manufacturing and service firms from across Canada.
Mike Hrabowiecky
Technology Development Advisor
3608 – 33 St. NW
Calgary, AB   T2L 2A6Mike has spent the better part of the last decade working in the world of finance and brings with him a diverse background of experiences and education to the TDA role. He has had the pleasure of engaging with clients during his time in Personal, Small Business and Commercial Banking, as well as during his various roles within the Property & Casualty insurance segment.

Mike’s most recent role, prior to becoming a TDA, was as an Investment Analyst within Alberta Innovates, so this knowledge and understanding of Alberta Innovates’ investment approach and funding programs will be great assets moving forward.

Mike is passionate about helping Alberta entrepreneurs along their respective paths to commercialization and looks favourably upon our province’s traditional expertise and economic diversification as major drivers for innovation. As our newest TDA, Mike looks forward to providing front-line business and technology advice to SMEs.