Creating a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem in Calgary

Introducing the CIC

What is the CIC?

The Calgary Innovation Coalition (CIC) is a group of organizations in the Calgary region that support innovation-driven entrepreneurs, startups, and enterprises. Our collective presents a single vision and voice regarding the priorities of Calgary’s innovation community, a unique model for collaboration in Alberta's innovation ecosystem. The CIC is supported by Alberta Innovates'Regional Innovation Network (RIN) program. Incubators are located across the province, to support innovative businesses, entrepreneur development and job creation for the growth and diversification of the Alberta economy.

CIC members often explain that a variety of support services exist to create the pipeline of ideas, skills, and talent Calgary needs to create economic prosperity.

The CIC holds monthly tactical meetings to share community events and updates, and triage entrepreneurs to ensure they are navigating community efficiently and find the services and resources they need at the right time.

Who is part of the CIC?

The CIC consists of 39 Member Organizations, all of which work directly or indirectly with innovation-based entrepreneurs in the region. Click here for more information about our Members.

Resources

Are you an entrepreneur working on your next big idea? Here’re a list of links to Member websites and programming:

Innovate Calgary

Alberta University of the Arts

Rainforest Alberta

Alberta IoT

Product Calgary

321 Growth Academy

Valhalla Private Capital

Radicle

Zone Startups

The Accelerator

District Ventures

InterGen

Tundra Solutions / ACE Program

Harvest Builders

Thin Air Labs

League of Innovators

Momentum / Thrive

Fuse33

Protospace

Lift Accelerator

THECIS

Calgary Economic Development

Startup Calgary

Platform Calgary

A100

VMSA

TECTERRA

ACAMP

Alberta Enterprise Corporation

Amii

Business Link

CETAC West

Cybera

Futurpreneur

MITACS

SAIT

Bow Valley College

Mount Royal University

University of Calgary

The Hunter Hub

COSIA

hellotech

W21C

CIC Supporters

Alberta Innovates

Innovation Canada

Western Economic Diversification

NRC / IRAP

Business Development Bank of Canada

Wondering what program is best for you? Check out our CIC Systems map:

Calgary Innovation Coalition Systems Map - download a copy of the systems map

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the CIC?

The Calgary Innovation Coalition (CIC) was formed in 2016 in response to Alberta Innovates’ (AI) offer of grant dollars into the regional innovation networks (RIN) across the province for entrepreneurial support and development. Rather than flow the money into a single entity for distribution, a collective of 17 organizations came together and presented a single vision of the priorities for Calgary’s innovation community to the Government. Since then, the CIC has grown to 37 support organizations that are working together to grow a thriving tech and innovation ecosystem in Calgary and Alberta.

What is our North Star?

CIC’s north star is to support the creation and acceleration of 1,000 technology based startups in Calgary by 2031. Members refer to this as the 10X challenge.The presence of this many active startups in our ecosystem would mean the creation of 50,000 jobs and $50B in direct GDP contribution.

What is the CIC doing to achieve this?

The CIC is meeting this challenge by providing and supporting services offered by our members including:

Cohort based Programs

Short Courses

Funding

Industry advocacy

Policy insights and influence

Lab and prototyping space

Introductions to other industry experts, peers, funders, and customers

Last year, CIC members Calgary Economic Development, Platform Calgary, and comparable organizations in Edmonton partnered with Startup Genome to assess the current state of our ecosystem and where we should focus to accelerate our growth. Through this project, Startup Genome reported the following gaps needing response to achieve the 10X challenge:

Need to increase the number of technology startups and their quality

Lack of early-stage funding

Limited pool of experienced tech talent.

Low Global Market Reach

Following this assessment, CIC members committed to focus its coordinated efforts on Student Engagement, Angel Investment, and Global Reach. By addressing these issues, CIC aims to increase the success of Calgarian startups.

How is the CIC Funded and Governed?

The Government of Alberta, through Alberta Innovates, provides funding to Regional Innovation Networks across the province. RINs are entrepreneur-centric, community-based networks with the goal of providing programs and services to accelerate growth of technology and knowledge-based businesses in those jurisdictions. The Calgary Innovation Coalition acts as the Calgary-region RINand is managed by a contracted Program Director who reports to a Board of Fellows who are elected by Members annually. Funding for the CIC is managed via a three-year grant agreement. Decisions on funding allocations are made by the CIC Fellows.

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