Government of Alberta announces funding to support entrepreneurship and innovation
Medicine Hat College, in partnership with Community Futures Entre Corp and Alberta Innovates, welcomed Premier Rachel Notley on campus today to announce funding for an incubator project to support entrepreneurship and innovation in the region.
The APEX Incubator project, a two-year initiative developed through a collaborative effort involving Medicine Hat College, Community Futures Entre Corp, and Alberta Innovates (a partnership referred to as APEX), can now move forward thanks to a grant from the province of more than $342,000. The endeavour will increase outreach and capacity to support unemployed or under-employed post-secondary graduates seeking entrepreneurial or innovative opportunities, individuals displaced from the traditional energy sector, and other budding entrepreneurs with innovative ideas or potential projects.
“We are so pleased that our proposal has been approved, and look forward to taking the next steps to bring this service to our community,” says Tracy Stroud, business development manager at Medicine Hat College. “Supporting innovative and entrepreneurial pursuits is more important than ever, and having an open access, free resource to support these individuals in their efforts is a great way to improve their chances of success."
Premier Rachel Notley announces funding of The APEX Incubator at Medicine Hat College along side President and CEO of the college, Dr. Denise Henning and The Honourable Robert Wanner, MLA for Medicine Hat.
The APEX Incubator project will allow for the hiring of an entrepreneurship specialist to provide free guidance to aspiring entrepreneurs. Like a traditional business incubator, individuals will have the opportunity to receive entrepreneurship training, mentorship, and guidance on accessing start-up funding in a physical space designated for community members seeking this support. The incubator will be housed at Community Futures Entre Corp, where the entrepreneurship specialist will triage individuals to support their needs and assist them in accessing other resources including MHC’s Entrepreneur Development Centre and its curriculum, the MHC Makerspace and the college’s industrial 3D printer and accompanying design support. The service will be available to anyone in the community who is looking for support in their entrepreneurial efforts.
“In downtimes when there are not as many employment options, a lot of individuals look to create their own opportunities and pursue self-employment,” says Sean Blewett, general manager of Community Futures Entre Corp. “Through our APEX partnership we will be able to provide access to a number of training opportunities and services to help individuals in developing new technologies, commercializing new products, or starting their own business.”
Premier Notley was quick to point out the strength of the entrepreneurial spirit in the Medicine Hat area, and how important business incubators are in ensuring communities and regions across the province thrive.
John Stroh, Technology Development Advisor, Entrepreneurial Investments with Alberta Innovates echoes the sentiment. “Alberta Innovates is proud to support this regional initiative. With the existing supports that are already available in Southeastern Alberta through APEX, this added component will provide even more support to entrepreneurs and small business.”
The APEX Incubator is expected to be up and running in the next two months.
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