April 5, 2022

Creating opportunity for entrepreneurs in agri-food

NEWS RELEASE

Alberta Innovates and SVG Ventures|THRIVE join forces to create $3-million tech pre-accelerator

EDMONTON – Alberta Innovates and SVG Ventures|THRIVE (THRIVE), with support from PrairiesCan, are announcing the THRIVE Academy, a new pre-accelerator in Alberta, to support entrepreneurs, researchers, innovators, early-stage startups and spin-outs in the agri-food technology sector.

$3 million from Alberta Innovates and $700,000 in federal funding through PrairiesCan, will help THRIVE establish the THRIVE Academy, providing training and supports for entrepreneurs to become market- and investor-ready with a goal of building highly scalable companies. Academy participants will be provided with six weeks of intensive programming followed by six weeks of mentoring from industry-leading mentors culminating in a Demo Day which will see participants pitch to industry leaders, potential investors and accelerators like the SVG Thrive Canada Accelerator – part of Alberta Innovates’ Scaleup and Growth Accelerators Program (Scaleup GAP).

THRIVE Academy will offer hands-on training and access to testing sites such as the Olds College Smart Farm and other applied research opportunities to validate early-stage ideas. The program can accommodate up to 15 participants in each of the two cohorts per year. The program will alternate between sites across Alberta over the course of the three-year funding period.

Alongside the THRIVE Academy, SVG Ventures will also be launching the THRIVE Venture Studio. This unique venture builder model will focus on forming new companies in response to some of the most pressing issues across the agri-food value chain. SVG Ventures|THRIVE will leverage its strong relationships with farmers and industry to identify these opportunities, source founding teams and make seed investments in these agri-tech companies.

The continuum of services offered by SVG Ventures – from Thrive Studio to Thrive Academy and onto the Thrive Accelerator provides end-to-end commercialization support for Alberta agri-food companies.

The THRIVE Academy and THRIVE Venture Studio are a collaboration between Alberta Innovates, the Alberta Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Innovation, Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan), Olds College, and SVG Ventures|THRIVE. This partnership is part of Scaleup GAP managed by Alberta Innovates.

QUOTES

“From autonomous farming applications to water and soil sensors, agri-food technologies have tremendous potential in contributing to the competitiveness of Alberta’s agricultural sector while creating high quality jobs. Our government’s support for the Thrive Academy at Olds College will help provide Alberta startups with the foundational support they need to attract investment, scale up their ideas, and establish themselves on the cutting-edge of Canada’s leadership in this dynamic sector of our economy.”

Minister Daniel Vandal, PrairiesCan

“Alberta’s agri-food sector is growing exponentially, and that is another indicator of the strength of the innovation that is happening right here, in our own backyard. Alberta Innovates’ work to partner and support innovators and entrepreneurs means that we can see programs like the THRIVE Academy start at our colleges. We continue to work to diversify our economy, and it’s exciting to see the growth, investment, jobs and solutions that are happening all throughout our province.”

Minister Doug Schweitzer, Jobs, Economy and Innovation

“Growing better businesses in Alberta starts in the earliest stages. Like seedlings on a farm, those good ideas require nurturing and support. THRIVE’s unique programs for pre-accelerator companies will help those innovators and entrepreneurs, who have good ideas, move them to the next stage. We look forward to the results that flow from these programs.”

Laura Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates

“SVG Ventures|THRIVE is pleased to enter this agreement with Alberta Innovates and Olds College. This new program offering allows THRIVE to expand our resources to entrepreneurs, supporting more farmers while increasing innovation and digital disruption across the agri-food supply chain.”

John Cassidy, Managing Director Canada, SVG Ventures|THRIVE

BACKGROUND

About SVG Ventures | THRIVE

SVG Ventures | THRIVE is the leading global agrifood investment and innovation platform headquartered in Silicon Valley, and comprised of top agriculture, food & technology corporations, universities, and investors. With a community of over 5,000 startups from 100 countries, the THRIVE platform invests, accelerates, and creates unparalleled access for entrepreneurs to scale globally to solve the biggest challenges facing the food and agriculture industries. SVG’s global partners include Media Partner Forbes and leading government, agriculture, and technology corporations such as Corteva, Driscoll’s, FCC, Kubota, Land O’Lakes, Trimble, Taylor Farms, Bayer, ICL, Nutrien, Intel, Valmont, UFA, Yamaha Motor Ventures, BASF, Koch and Wilbur-Ellis. Learn more at thriveagrifood.com.

 Alberta Innovates invests in research, innovation and entrepreneurship to drive provincial economic growth and diversity. We ignite the power of innovation through our work with researchers, industry and entrepreneurs to move Alberta to a lower-carbon future, promote the responsible use of land and water, and contribute to the improved health and well-being of Albertans. Alberta Innovates provides technical expertise, entrepreneurial advice and support, opportunities for partnerships, and funding to advance the best ideas. We support a broad range of research and innovation activity – from discovery to use. Collaboration is at the heart of what we do – bringing together bright minds and great ideas. Learn how Alberta Innovates at albertainnovates.ca

PrairiesCan is the federal department that supports economic growth in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Its programs and services help businesses, not-for-profits and communities grow stronger. Its mandate is to support economic growth and diversification in the Prairie provinces and advance the interests of the region in national economic policy, programs and projects. Learn more at prairiescan.gc.ca

Media Inquiries

Alycia Smith
Marketing & Events Manager
SVG Ventures | THRIVE
Alycia.Smith@svgventures.com

Or

Julia Necheff
Senior Business Partner, Strategic Communications Initiatives
Alberta Innovates
Julia.Necheff@albertainnovates.ca
780.918.1625