A municipal fund to stimulate technology, the scientific incubator and the training of feminist investors

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“Calgary is going to play a very important role nationally and globally as we journey through what the planet is going to go through in terms of energy.”

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The city has awarded two grants totaling more than $ 3.3 million to expand a leading Calgary incubator for tech and science startups and a training program for feminist investors.

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Funding announcements made on Wednesday will go to two non-profit projects hosted at the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary, the latest grantees to benefit from the council’s $ 100 million Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF). municipal council aimed at diversifying the local economy.

The lion’s share of funds will go to the Calgary location of Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) with the aim of supporting 120 science and technology-focused startups to develop and secure investors through its core program and provide mentorship to 200 other start-ups.

CDL founder Ajay Agrawal has said Calgary is the nation’s leader in entrepreneurship. In his remarks during the virtual announcement on Wednesday, the Rotman School professor also said Calgary’s energy industry had been ‘thrown under the bus’ by the rest of the country, but it was a mistake to dismiss the importance of the sector.

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“Calgary is going to play a very important role nationally and globally as we navigate what the planet is going to go through in terms of energy,” Agrawal said.

“I look forward to the thought leadership that emanates from Calgary and I very much hope that other major economic centers in Canada will support Calgary in the same way that I have seen Calgary support the urgency to innovate at CDL. “

Wednesday’s announcement also saw the federal government pay more than $ 1.8 million to CDL-Rockies (the official title of the Calgary location of Creative Destruction Labs) to expand its program for agricultural technology companies.

CDL-Rockies says it hopes to generate approximately $ 157.5 million in capital investment and create 315 jobs in Calgary over the next five years through the growth of the businesses it supports.

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The organization, which opened its Calgary location in 2017, estimates that its alumni businesses in Alberta have already raised more than $ 200 million in capital and created hundreds of jobs.

Participants in the CDL-Rockies program do not pay fees and the organization does not take any participation from participating companies. CDL was first founded in Toronto and encompasses a network of 10 Creative Destruction Lab locations in four countries.

The remaining $ 333,000 from OCIF, announced Wednesday, will fund early stage investor education for 165 women through Movement51’s Financial Feminism Investing Lab. Movement51 is a Calgary-based nonprofit that works to address financial inequalities that affect women and gender diverse people in Canada.

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“I am delighted that we are investing in businesses led by women,” Mayor Jyoti Gondek said on Wednesday. “Women in this city cannot access the capital they need; firms run by women outnumber those run by men by 63 percent, yet they have access to only three percent of available capital.

“This bold move will ensure that more women with big ideas are able to perform well, not only in our economy, but also to show on the world stage what we can do.”

About $ 59 million in OCIF funds have now been committed to 20 projects in total, including those announced on Wednesday. The fund was established by city council in 2018 to diversify the local economy and is administered by Calgary Economic Development.

[email protected]
Twitter: @mpotkins

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