Non-profit business accelerator TEC Edmonton is teaming up with telecommunications giant TELUS to launch the T-Squared Accelerator program, which will offer mentorship, development and incubation opportunities for up to four early-stage Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies each year.
T-Squared will be funded with $200,00 contributed annually by TELUS, up to $100,000 of which will go directly to selected start-ups, which will be selected for their focus on platform development in the following areas: seamless customer experience, Internet of Things (IoT), big data analytics, health and wellness data integration and analytics, and technologies to improve high-speed wireline connectivity.
Housed in Enterprise Square, in a downtown storefront space at the intersection of Jasper Avenue and 103 Street, T-Squared will provide ICT companies with 12 months of free incubation space, along with seed funding and the services that we have come to expect from accelerator programs, such as business mentorship, market research services, investor preparation assistance, and networking with investors.
“The young, innovative ICT companies selected for the T-Squared Accelerator will receive product development guidance and customer insight from TELUS, at a level they might not otherwise have access to,” said TEC Edmonton CEO Chris Lumb. “At the same time, they will get mentoring, market research, licensing and patenting expertise and other resources from TEC Edmonton. The combined package will grant them tremendous growth opportunities, which in turn benefits our region’s economy and startup industry.”
TEC Edmonton is joint venture between the University of Alberta and the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC), the stated goal of which is “to capture the value of the innovation in our region, for our region.”
“Alberta’s innovation system is showing great progress,” said Lumb. “There’s always room for improvement, but a systemic approach to encouraging innovation is fast emerging. The accelerator space is another example of industry, government and economic development agencies cooperating to nurture companies that will diversify Alberta’s economy.”
TELUS’ Chief Technology Office is located in Edmonton, which will offer participating companies direct access to product development insights, technical guidance and insights on leveraging global markets.
“TELUS is committed to leading the way with innovative solutions and encouraging Canadian technology success stories in Alberta and across Canada,” said Ibrahim Gedeon, TELUS’ Chief Technology Officer. “TEC Edmonton shares our vision of growing the next-generation of great Canadian tech entrepreneurs, making them a natural fit to collaborate with on the T-Squared Accelerator.”
TELUS plans to invest $4.5 billion in new infrastructure and facilities in Alberta during the next four years, and expects that by 2019 it will have invested a total of $46 billion since the year 2000 in developing telecommunications infrastructure in the province.
Having assisted in the creation of 22 spinoffs from the University of Alberta in the past five years, TEC Edmonton estimates that since 2011, its clients have generated $680 million in revenue, raised $345 million in financing and funding, invested $240 million in R&D, and now employ at least 2,326 people in the Edmonton region.