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EDMONTON, AB, AUGUST 30, 2023— To support local innovators, Edmonton Unlimited is thrilled to announce the receipt of a significant federal investment of $3 million from Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan), through its Regional Innovation Ecosystems program. The funding was instrumental in the construction of Edmonton Unlimited’s new space at 10107 Jasper Avenue for innovators, operations, program delivery, public events, hot-desking, and strategic partnerships. In addition to capital, the investment will support the city’s innovation agency’s commitment to inclusive innovation, specifically providing Indigenous founders and startups with programming and mentorship as they pursue products and solutions for global markets.
“Inclusive innovation is at the heart of all we do,” said Edmonton Unlimited CEO Catherine Warren. “When we invite, nurture, and build inclusive innovation communities where all innovators have a seat at the table, it translates to novel IP, social cohesion, job creation, economic growth, downtown vibrancy – inspiring a new generation of talent and contributing to a higher quality of life for Edmontonians and people around the globe.”
“Edmonton Unlimited’s new home is already serving as a downtown hub for the important innovation and economic diversification efforts happening across our city,” said Mayor of Edmonton, Amarjeet Sohi. “Thanks to PrairiesCan funding, this new home provides a space for all innovators to start and scale their companies, ultimately creating more jobs and strengthening Edmonton’s economy. Together, we can build a more innovative Edmonton for all of us.”
Edmonton’s tech scene is booming with a 96% growth in ecosystem value in the past year alone. This funding underscores the federal government’s commitment to supporting innovative enterprises, emphasizing their vital role in driving economic growth and generating a dynamic entrepreneurial landscape and employment opportunities in Canada.
“Our government is making investments that empower innovative entrepreneurs across the Prairies to bring their ideas to market, grow their businesses and create jobs in their communities. Our investment in Edmonton Unlimited’s new headquarters in the heart of downtown will enable this important local economic driver to expand its programs and services to better meet the needs of the city’s innovators, including Indigenous business owners and social enterprises, for years to come.”
The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for Prairies Economic Development Canada
“Edmonton is a leader in innovation; with thriving businesses, clear centres of excellence, world-class post-secondary institutions, a vibrant start-up sector, and an incredible culture of entrepreneurship. This investment will bolster Edmonton Unlimited’s work as a catalyst for the competitiveness of our local businesses.”
The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages
The federal funding will be directed toward two key initiatives:
Construction of Edmonton Unlimited’s downtown home and community space
$2 million is deployed to design and construct Edmonton Unlimited’s state-of-the-art space in the heart of downtown Edmonton. Officially opened on May 12, 2023, the vibrant space is an inclusive and accessible home for Edmonton’s diverse innovation communities, inviting local entrepreneurs to convene, collide and collaborate. With loft-style ceilings, ample natural light and various amenities, including hot-desking, a 100-seat program room, a community café, and a 100-seat retractable event space called the “Pitch Deck,” entrepreneurs now have a new innovation destination to call home.
Inclusive program expansion for innovation, business growth, and Indigenous entrepreneurship
$1 million is allocated to expand Edmonton Unlimited’s programs and services across diverse sectors. This investment aims to equip local entrepreneurs with the tools and resources necessary to succeed in the global market by bolstering the capacity of local startups and scaleups. A portion of the funding received will support the recruitment and hiring of an Indigenous Entrepreneurship Specialist to join the Edmonton Unlimited team. This visionary role will be instrumental in promoting entrepreneurship among Indigenous communities, fostering cultural appreciation, and facilitating meaningful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals and communities.
As Edmonton’s newest innovation destination, Edmonton Unlimited hosts various live community engagements, partner events and programming, and international collaborations attracting diverse entrepreneurs and industry sectors. The innovative new space will continue to drive Edmonton’s sustainable prosperity, advancing local solutions for the global market and attracting strategic investment.
“Alberta’s tech sector is booming and there has never been a better time to invest and scale-up a tech company. This funding is good news for innovators that are looking to bring their cutting-edge technologies to market.”
Nate Glubish, Minister of Technology and Innovation
“This is a very monumental time for us all and we fully embrace the work that’s being done here. Many people feel the tectonic shift that’s happening in our innovative ecosystem and it’s welcoming to see that Edmonton Unlimited is providing the gateway to supercharge this transformation. The celebration of diversity is representative at Edmonton Unlimited’s core and that sends a resounding message globally.”
Sahr Saffa, Founder, C-Tribe Society
“Holding space open and welcoming for everyone to focus on innovation, activate Reconciliation and bring supportive communities together will be a unique privilege for all of us who dare to continue taking risks in the Edmonton region. This type of inclusive innovation space fuels the local economy’s success and highlights one of many vital advantages of growing successful companies here – we get diverse and representative companies to win worldwide. We are excited to participate and share in the futures Edmonton Unlimited is instigating.”
Myrna Bittner, Founder, RUNWITHIT Synthetics
Edmonton Unlimited is open to Edmonton’s innovation communities. For a complete list of events, including weekly Community Coffee (9-11am Wednesdays and open to all) and program demos, please visit edmontonunlimited.com/events for more details.
Media inquiries and interview requests:
Vice President, Marketing & Community Relations, Edmonton Unlimited
780.721.5519 | email@example.com
Headquartered in Alberta’s capital city, Edmonton Unlimited unites and promotes homegrown innovation as a gateway to solving the world’s most pressing problems. We provide programs, tools, and support for Edmonton innovators and harness the power of the public and private sectors, ground-breaking academic research, and purpose-driven investment to build 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 Edmonton Unlimited.
Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCAN)
PrairiesCan is the federal department that supports economic growth in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Its programs and services help businesses, not-for-profits and communities grow stronger. Its mandate is to support economic growth and diversification in the Prairie provinces and advance the interests of the region in national economic policy, programs and projects. Learn more at www.prairiescan.gc.ca.