Canadian Manufacturing

Alberta Innovates and SVG Ventures|THRIVE announces a pre-accelerator to support agri-food tech sector

Pre-accelerator participants will be provided with six weeks of intensive programming followed by six weeks of mentoring from industry-leading mentors.

April 5, 2022   by CM Staff

EDMONTON — Alberta Innovates and SVG Ventures|THRIVE (THRIVE), with support from PrairiesCan, are announcing the THRIVE Academy, a new pre-accelerator in Alberta, to support entrepreneurs, researchers, innovators, early-stage startups and spin-outs in the agri-food technology sector.

$3 million from Alberta Innovates and $700,000 in federal funding through PrairiesCan, hopes to help THRIVE establish the THRIVE Academy, providing training and supports for entrepreneurs to become market- and investor-ready with a goal of building highly scalable companies. Pre-accelerator participants will be provided with six weeks of intensive programming followed by six weeks of mentoring from industry-leading mentors culminating in a Demo Day which will see participants pitch to industry leaders, potential investors and accelerators like the SVG Thrive Canada Accelerator – part of Alberta Innovates’ Scaleup and Growth Program (Scaleup GAP).

THRIVE Academy will offer hands-on training and access to testing sites such as the Olds College Smart Farm and other applied research opportunities to validate early-stage ideas. The program can accommodate up to 15 participants in each of the two cohorts per year. The program will alternate between sites across Alberta over the course of the three-year funding period.

The THRIVE Academy and THRIVE Venture Studio are a collaboration between Alberta Innovates, the Alberta Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Innovation, Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan), Olds College, and SVG Ventures|THRIVE. This partnership is part of Scaleup GAP managed by Alberta Innovates.

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“From autonomous farming applications to water and soil sensors, agri-food technologies have tremendous potential in contributing to the competitiveness of Alberta’s agricultural sector while creating high quality jobs. Our government’s support for the Thrive Academy at Olds College will help provide Alberta startups with the foundational support they need to attract investment, scale up their ideas, and establish themselves on the cutting-edge of Canada’s leadership in this dynamic sector of our economy.” said Minister Daniel Vandal, PrairiesCan.

“Alberta’s agri-food sector is growing exponentially, and that is another indicator of the strength of the innovation that is happening right here, in our own backyard. Alberta Innovates’ work to partner and support innovators and entrepreneurs means that we can see programs like the THRIVE Academy start at our colleges. We continue to work to diversify our economy, and it’s exciting to see the growth, investment, jobs and solutions that are happening all throughout our province.” said Minister Doug Schweitzer, Jobs, Economy and Innovation.