The firm will set up the Alberta Accelerator by 500 to foster high-potential technology companies
EDMONTON, ALBERTA – September 23, 2021 – 500 Global (formerly 500 Startups), one of the world’s most active venture capital firms, is launching a one-of-a-kind accelerator to nurture seed-stage tech companies in Alberta, Canada. The goal is to support Alberta Innovates in strengthening an Alberta innovation corridor which encompasses Edmonton, Calgary and rural Alberta.
Alberta Innovates, the province’s largest and Canada’s first provincial research and innovation agency, chose Alberta Accelerator by 500 as one of four proposals that will receive a collective total of about $35 million in federal, provincial and municipal funding under an unprecedented entrepreneurial initiative – the Alberta Innovates Scaleup and Growth Accelerator Program (Scaleup GAP).
This includes funding from the Alberta Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Innovation to Alberta Innovates to lead and manage the overall Scaleup and Growth Accelerator Program. The Government of Canada, through Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan), has invested in the Alberta Innovates program to expand funds available to not-for-profit business accelerators. At the municipal level, the initiative will also include Innovate Edmonton and the Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF).
Alberta Accelerator by 500 is intended to fill a gap in the province’s innovation ecosystem by helping local tech companies grow. It will deliver six programs over a period of three years.
Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area with operations on several continents, 500 Global will design and implement a sector-agnostic growth program that will select 10 to20 promising tech startups per batch.
Alberta Accelerator by 500 will alternate operations between the hubs of Calgary and Edmonton to help diverse founders grow and scale from Alberta to the rest of Canada and beyond. To attract and recruit startups from untapped corners of Alberta, 500 Global will mount a virtual “roadshow” throughout the province.
With experience in entrepreneurial ecosystem development, 500 Global will also deliver training sessions, based on its startup program curriculum, to regional accelerators and other ecosystem players.
Applications for the first cohort have just opened up and will close on November 5th. To apply, please visit: ecosystems.500.co/alberta-accelerator
“We look forward to building a long-term partnership with 500 Global to position Alberta as a tech and innovation hub. In addition to helping Alberta-based tech companies scale and grow, we also want to highlight Alberta’s capability to the world, attract global firms and create a global mindset in our local ecosystem. Thanks to funding from our government partners, the scope of the scaleup and growth accelerator program we are leading is unparalleled for Alberta and a tremendous opportunity. We are so pleased that 500 Global is bringing its talents and resources to our province.”
– Laura Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates
“We are excited to expand our footprint in Canada through this program, a first of its kind in the province. We are eager to bring our growth playbook and curriculum to the Alberta Innovation Corridor to support local startups during this important phase in their journey. We look forward to partnering with Alberta Innovates and the program’s contributing partners to build a leading epicenter for technology, innovation, entrepreneurship and investment.”
– Bedy Yang, Managing Partner at 500 Global
“Innovation is a team game and we’re thrilled to provide funding to attract 500 Global to our province. This is game changing for Edmonton’s entrepreneurs and ensures they will receive the support they need to scale, grow and to compete on the world-stage in today’s impact economy. Locally, Edmontonians will benefit from job growth, new investment and a strengthened economy, as well as renewed downtown vibrancy sparked by entrepreneurial activity.”
– Catherine Warren, CEO, Innovate Edmonton
“As we work to develop a diverse economy driven by innovation in Calgary and Alberta, there is a critical role for leading business accelerators to collaborate with existing local stakeholders to support local entrepreneurs and emerging companies that are applying technology to solve global challenges. These acceleratorswill increase the pace of scaling and success for our next generation of companies that willdrive both economic growth and diversification.”
– Mark Blackwell, Executive Chair, Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund
BACKGROUND/FAQs – Alberta Accelerator by 500:
- 500 Global empowers founders with the tools and networks they need to grow and scale their ventures. They have run over 60 sector-agnostic growth accelerators and have supported over 1,500 startups.
- 500 Global has forged local alliances to seamlessly integrate with the Albertan talent base and startup pipeline, via partnerships with Platform Calgary and Innovate Edmonton and the Regional Innovation Networks.
Q: Who is eligible to participate?
A: This program is open to ventures from across Alberta, Canada and around the world. Companies will be selected according to the criteria set by 500 Global.
Q: Why should we support non-Alberta companies?
A: One of the goals is to highlight Alberta’s capability and make Alberta a preferred technology destination for entrepreneurs and industry stakeholders. We want to attract eligible companies to Alberta to strengthen the provincial innovation ecosystem, and provide access to collaborations and connections.
Q: Is there a fee to apply?
A: There will be no fees to apply or participate.
Q: Where will this accelerator be located?
A: The main location will be in Edmonton with a satellite location in Calgary.
For more information about this accelerator, contact:
Director of Global Communications
Senior Manager, Media & Strategic Community Relations
About Alberta Innovates
Alberta Innovates is the province’s largest and Canada’s first provincial research and innovation agency. For a century we have worked closely with researchers, companies and entrepreneurs – trailblazers who built industries and strengthened communities. Today we are pivoting to the next frontier of opportunity in Alberta and worldwide by driving emerging technologies across sectors. We are a provincial corporation delivering seed funding, business advice, applied research and technical services, and avenues for partnership and collaboration.Learn how Alberta Innovates.
About 500 Global
500 Global is a venture capital firm that invests early in founders building fast-growing technology companies. We focus on markets where technology, innovation, and capital can unlock long-term value and drive economic growth. 500 Global has backed over 6,000 founders representing more than 2,500 companies operating in77 countries. Our portfolio includes 33 companies valued at more than $1 billion and 120 companies valued at over $100 million. Our team members are located in more than 15 countries and bring experience as entrepreneurs, investors, and operators from some of the world’s leading technology companies.
About Innovate Edmonton
Headquartered in Alberta’s capital city, Innovate Edmonton leverages, unites, and promotes home-grown innovation as a gateway to solving the world’s most pressing problems. We harness the power of the public and private sectors, ground-breaking academic research, and purpose-driven investment to build a shared prosperity and open international markets. From sustainable climate solutions to public health and digital education, Edmonton is a leading global centre for inspiration, ingenuity, and inclusion. Learn more about Innovate Edmonton and Startup Edmonton, a program division of Innovate Edmonton.
About Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund
Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund was created as a wholly owned subsidiary of The City of Calgary in 2018 to support catalytic investments within the city to help diversify and transform the economy. The fund is administered by Calgary Economic Development and has a volunteer Board of Directors. For more information, visit our website.
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