The funding will support graduates from science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines in post-secondaries to pursue entrepreneurship, develop business skills and commercialize innovative technologies.

The Innovation Catalyst Grant (ICG) program promotes collaboration between post-secondary institutions and industry to help its participants to develop skills, talent and partnerships to attract investment and commercialize research.

The program is a key initiative under the Alberta Technology and Innovation Strategy with the ambitious goals of creating 20,000 new jobs and seeing Alberta’s tech companies generate $5 billion more in annual revenue by 2030. The program provides two years of funding for participants to develop their start-up companies.

“Alberta’s tech industry is booming. Programs like these strengthen Alberta’s role as a leading tech and innovation hub that attracts talent, business and job-creating investment.”

Nate Glubish, Minister of Technology and Innovation

The ICG Program is administered by partner universities including the University of Alberta, University of Calgary and University of Lethbridge, and gives promising recent university graduates access to business and technical mentorship, as well as labs and specialized equipment to bring their innovative products to market.

The second cohort of ten aspiring entrepreneurs joined the Innovation Catalyst Grant Program in early 2024. These tech start-ups are developing solutions in key areas including medical technologies, environmental sensors, clean energy, advanced manufacturing, and agriculture and livestock.

"ICG has been instrumental in Synapsis's transformative journey, providing both crucial funding and invaluable mentorship. Its support has enabled us to expand our team, explore strategic business models, collaborate with research groups in Alberta, and validate our solutions directly with users, propelling us towards our goals with confidence.”

Preetam Anbukarasu, Synapsis Medical 

"The Innovation Catalyst Grant serves as a vital spark that ignites the flames of entrepreneurship and innovation across our province. The University of Calgary is proud to champion this program, recognizing its transformative power in nurturing ground-breaking ideas and propelling our society towards a brighter, more innovative future. Provincially funded programs like ICG help to foster the continued growth of the start up ecosystem in Alberta." 

Dr. Ed McCauley, president and vice-chancellor, University of Calgary

"Alberta has a strong and interconnected STEM ecosystem, and this government support will help maintain our position as a world-class hub. Alberta's post-secondaries produce talented graduates, and this funding will help them commercialize their ideas." 

Bill Flanagan, president and vice-chancellor, University of Alberta

Quick facts

  • The first cohort of the Innovation Catalyst Grant Program supported nine Alberta entrepreneurs to commercialize new technologies in areas such as advanced sensors, quantum technologies, artificial intelligence, clean energy, media devices, water treatment, telecommunications and agriculture.
  • To date, the first two cohorts of the ICG Program have supported 19 young entrepreneurs across Alberta, investing $5.75 million in their tech start-ups.
  • The third intake will open this spring, followed by another in spring 2025.

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