CALGARY AB, March 8, 2017 – Today, IBM Canada (NYSE: IBM) and District Ventures have announced the launch of the District Ventures and IBM Innovation Space – Calgary, a new innovation accelerator designed to bring entrepreneurs and big enterprise together to solve some of Canada’s biggest business challenges. Located in Calgary, this unique innovation accelerator will help companies incubate and innovate ideas more rapidly, moving their business plans to commercialization.
The District Ventures and IBM Innovation Space – Calgary will enable entrepreneurs at various stages of their business development to excel through mentorships, exposure to clients, collaboration, and support through the use of powerful technologies such as the IBM Bluemix hybrid cloud development platform and IBM Watson services. Leveraging the success of District Ventures and IBM in accelerating growth stage companies, entrepreneurs will engage with high-level executives, investors, mentors, and each other to further innovate and tackle challenges identified by many of Canada’s leading industries, such as natural resources, healthcare, clean tech, fintech, and agriculture.
“Entrepreneurialism isn’t reserved for start-ups. It should be embraced by companies large and small, by innovators in the smallest of garages to the most sophisticated of laboratories and boardrooms,” said Arlene Dickinson, CEO of District Ventures. “This partnership is a perfect example of what happens when big business and entrepreneurs join forces to do something amazing. Together with IBM, District Ventures is creating a unique accelerator model that matches large enterprises with tenacious innovators who, by using the latest in disruptive technology, can bring real-world solutions to businesses of any size.”
“This Innovation Space is just one more example of IBM’s continued investment in Canadian innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Dino Trevisani, president of IBM Canada. “With District Ventures, IBM will be providing an ecosystem that enables unprecedented agility, value growth, and the capacity to create competitive advantage in the marketplace. This is demand-based innovation at its strongest, leveraging the success of Canadian business and some of the most powerful technologies in the world.”
At the outset, the District Ventures and IBM Innovation Space – Calgary will facilitate approximately 20 entrepreneur and large industry collaborations per year. For more information, visit: dv-ibm-innovation-space.com.
About District Ventures
Founded in October 2015 by Arlene Dickinson, dragon on CBC’s Dragons’ Den and author of best-selling books Persuasion and All In, District Ventures is the first accelerator of its kind in Canada. Located in Calgary, District Ventures connects innovative early-stage entrepreneurs in the food and beverage and health and wellness sectors with a network of peers, investors and business support. Since opening its doors in October 2015, the accelerator has received over 1000 applications from entrepreneurs across the country. It has accepted 30 companies into its program.
IBM is one of Canada’s top ten private R&D investors, and in 2016 contributed more than $478million to Canadian research activities. IBM has a unique approach to collaboration that provides academic researchers, small and large business, start-ups and developers with business strategies and computing tools they need to innovate. Areas of focus include health, agile computing, water, energy, cities, mining, advanced manufacturing, digital media and cybersecurity. IBM and its partners have in the past three years helped create more than 240 high-value jobs and launch more than three dozen new businesses. For more information about IBM’s continued investments in Canadian innovation, please visit: http://www.ibm.com/ibm/ca/en/canadian-innovation.html.
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