Alberta Innovates’ ecosystem-building work is receiving international recognition. The Scaleup and Growth Accelerator Program (Scaleup GAP) Team and the Alberta Innovates Impact Action Lab have been jointly shortlisted for the Startup Ecosystem Stars Award, which honours the most effective and influential government-related organizations that are fostering innovation in their regions through a strong association with a local ecosystem.  

The award acts as an acknowledgement of the robust work carried out by organizations in both national and regional spaces across different continents, work which is essential to creating thriving startup ecosystems. Nominees must create a tangible impact on their regional economy.  

One of Alberta Innovates’ core mandates is to establish Alberta as a global hub for innovation and to nurture our provincial innovation ecosystem. Inclusion on this international stage speaks to the fact this message is being heard around the world. The nomination reflects the role of Alberta Innovates, and specifically the Accelerator program, as a catalyzer for entrepreneurial innovation in Alberta, and the role of our investments in commercializing and strengthening a vibrant innovation ecosystem. The Impact Action Lab’s impact expertise was leveraged to embed an impact management strategy and system approach within the Accelerator program, further distinguishing the innovative approach to ecosystem-building.  

Reesa John, Director of Fund and Fellowship for Scaleup GAP, and Kathryn Graham, Executive Director of the Impact Action Lab, attended an awards ceremony in Paris, France on December 7, an invitation arising from their place on the short list for the award. The gathering, hosted by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the organizer of the award, took place at the ICC Headquarters. Kathryn and Reesa accepted a plaque on behalf of the organization.  

As the application stated, the Integrated Alberta Scaleup and Growth Accelerator Program strategy was co-designed in 2021 with the Impact Action Lab. “The vision is to catalyze an entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem and create tangible positive economic and societal impact for our local and global communities,” Reesa and Kathryn, along with their teams, wrote in the application. “We recognized that if we want to make a positive difference to our entrepreneurs and foster a vibrant 'startup to scale up' ecosystem we need to drive Alberta’s global innovation mindset by attracting global technology firms and investment to Alberta via a world class acceleration ecosystem.” 

Congratulations to the Accelerator and Impact Action Lab teams on their significant achievement.