This week IBM Canada and District Ventures announced the launch of the District Ventures and IBM Innovation Space – Calgary, a new accelerator designed to bring entrepreneurs and big enterprise together to solve some of Canada’s biggest business challenges.
Located in Calgary, this accelerator will help companies incubate and innovate ideas more rapidly, moving their business plans to commercialization.
Leveraging the success of District Ventures and IBM in accelerating growth stage companies, entrepreneurs will engage with executives, investors, mentors, and each other to further innovate and tackle challenges identified by many of Canada’s industries, such as natural clean tech, fintech, and agriculture.
“Entrepreneurism isn’t reserved for startups. It should be embraced by companies large and small, by innovators in the smallest of garages to the most sophisticated of laboratories and boardrooms,” said Arlene Dickinson, CEO of District Ventures. “This partnership is a perfect example of what happens when big business and entrepreneurs join forces to do something amazing.”
“This Innovation Space is just one more example of IBM’s continued investment in Canadian innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Dino Trevisani, president of IBM Canada. “This is demand-based innovation at its strongest, leveraging the success of Canadian business and some of the most powerful technologies in the world.”
At the outset, the District Ventures and IBM Innovation Space – Calgary will facilitate approximately 20 entrepreneur and large industry collaborations per year.
Founded in 2015 by Dragons’ Den star Arlene Dickinson, District Ventures connects early-stage entrepreneurs in the food and beverage and health and wellness sectors with a network of peers, investors and business support. IBM is one of Canada’s top 10 private R&D investors, and in 2016 contributed more than $478 million to Canadian research activities.