Good to Grow: Winnipeg’s Business Incubators and Accelerators
Winnipeg’s business incubators and accelerators are ready to help turn innovative ideas into successful business ventures. North Forge Technology Exchange, the Manitoba Technology Accelerator and the Industrial Technology Centre are three organizations mandated to create success for participating clients. Find out more about how each of these entities is positioned to assist up-and-coming contenders by perusing the brief introductions below.
1. North Forge Technology Exchange
North Forge Technology Exchange is an innovation-based economic development agency and a powerhouse community fuelling Manitoba’s innovation economy. It provides entrepreneurs with award-winning mentors, subject-matter experts and a two-stage startup program that has helped over 60 companies access more than $180 million in financing. Armed with Canada’s largest non-profit fabrication lab, North Forge operates out of 27,000 square feet across Innovation Drive (on the University of Manitoba campus) and Innovation Alley (in the historic Exchange District in downtown Winnipeg).
North Forge is a recently formed collaborative innovation network conceived by the teams behind The Eureka Project, AssentWorks, Ramp Up Manitoba and the Startup Winnipeg program. Startup Winnipeg is a member of the Startup Canada Communities Program. Startup Canada is social enterprise supporting and giving a voice to entrepreneurs through online programs, national awards, flagship events, and partnerships with the public and private sectors.
Coming together as North Forge, this new entity can offer more mentorship, training and support for entrepreneurs across Manitoba.
2. Manitoba Technology Accelerator
Established in 2005, Manitoba Technology Accelerator provides people and resources to help innovators, entrepreneurs and startup companies build science- and technology-based business opportunities. As a private-sector, not-for-profit, business incubation organization, it helps companies accelerate to success. Manitoba Technology Accelerator receives financial support to provide business incubation services from the National Research Council Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) and the Government of Manitoba.
Manitoba Technology Accelerator provides business mentoring, coaching, active participation, networking, infrastructure, finance and investment services. The goal of its incubation program is to help member companies enter the market, secure investment or get acquired. By providing a customized incubation program with a low-impact fee structure, this organization makes it possible for members to achieve greater success than they could on their own. Studies show that completion of a business incubation program greatly increases the likelihood that a startup company will stay in business for the long term. Historically, 87 per cent of incubator graduates stay in business.
3. Industrial Technology Centre
The Industrial Technology Centre (ITC) provides a wide range of advanced technical services enabling participating companies to improve their products and processes. Its clients include firms from various industrial sectors, along with federal, provincial and municipal government departments and agencies.
ITC recognizes that companies frequently don’t have all the resources to be innovative and remain competitive in today’s global marketplace. A team of technical experts provides a sounding board for companies with technical issues they cannot solve on their own, then offers technical solutions.
ITC offers services that add real value to all aspects of a company’s operations and the product development cycle, from research through to the end user. Further, it keeps industry up to date on relevant technologies through current awareness publications, webinars, seminars and in-depth training opportunities. Collaboration is the key to company success, and that’s why ITC acts as a hub to bring together stakeholders to share technology needs, exchange best practices and identify solutions.