First cohort of entrepreneurs receive accelerator support from 500 Global

NEWS RELEASE

EDMONTON, ALBERTA, January 17, 2022 – One of the world’s most active venture capital firms, 500 Global, has officially arrived in Alberta. Beginning January 11th, fourteen seed-stage companies will begin their 10-week training program through the Alberta Accelerator by 500, led by a highly skilled team of coaches, mentors, and startup experts from 500 Global.

Participating companies will be exposed to rapid experiments to test the market and they will learn best practices to help them scale and grow. 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.

The 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 promising tech startups from Alberta and beyond. 

Alberta Accelerator by 500 will alternate operations between Edmonton and Calgary to help diverse founders grow and scale. 

QUOTES

“The Government of Canada is working with partners and industry in encouraging and attracting leading business accelerators to offer their supports to Alberta firms. The arrival of 500 Global in Alberta will help enable promising early- and mid-stage companies to increase their presence internationally while creating high-quality jobs here in Alberta.”

The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs,
Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and
Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

“Creating opportunity and growing companies is what Albertans do best. Our tech sector is taking off and it is exciting to see the first group of tech start-ups begin working in Alberta with 500 Global. Our investments in accelerators make opportunities with organizations such as 500 Global a reality.”

Minister Doug Schweitzer, Jobs, Economy and Innovation 

“We are excited to be bringing 500 Global with its international networks and programming to Alberta to scale and grow our businesses along with our innovation system. The program is available to entrepreneurs anywhere in the province through the Calgary and Edmonton hubs. We look forward to seeing the results that flow from this unique partnership.”

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 to build a center for technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship.” 

Bedy Yang, Managing Partner at 500 Global

“Innovation is a team game and we’re all-in, providing funding and supports to accelerators in the Alberta Scaleup and Growth Accelerator Program that will be operating in Alberta’s capital city. Acceleration is game changing for Edmonton’s entrepreneurs and ensures what 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 

BACKGROUND & FAQs

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). 

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. 

About the Alberta Scaleup and Growth Accelerator program

The Alberta Scaleup and Growth Accelerator Program (Scaleup GAP) is intended to attract Alberta and eligible global companies to strengthen the Alberta ecosystem with a global mindset and provide them access to international collaborations and capital. Scaleup GAP is run by a consortium led by Alberta Innovates. The partnership, which also includes the Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Innovation, Municipal Partners and Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan), are allocating $35 million over three years to retain business accelerators. It’s part of an overall government goal to help create 20,000 jobs and increase technology firm revenue to $5 billion by 2030.

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 in 77 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 division of Innovate Edmonton.