Since Yardly started, we’ve come to the conclusion that Edmonton is a great place to be an entrepreneur.
The people are open to new ideas, it’s easy to find talented individuals to work with, and the regulatory environment is decidedly business-friendly. However, one of the most understated benefits of doing business in the City of Champions are the many resources available for startups and aspiring entrepreneurs. Whether you’re looking for funding or seeking out affordable office space, Edmonton has what you’re looking for.
Here are six business resources available for entrepreneurs and startups in Edmonton:
Alberta BoostR is a popular crowdfunding platform for startups and small businesses in Alberta. BoostR lets anyone create a fundraising campaign for their startup or small business and only charges minimal processing fees for donations received. BoostR is also an excellent platform for testing new ideas, launching beta products, and gaining market insights because it allows contributors to give meaningful feedback to entrepreneurs and startups using the service. Additionally, BoostR users receive free access to coaching and professional guidance throughout their crowdfunding campaigns.
TEC Edmonton is a world-renowned business incubator for emerging technology based companies in Edmonton. It provides its members with a holistic business solution that covers virtually every stage of building a successful tech company. TEC Edmonton’s network of professional business mentors, consultants, and industry experts assist entrepreneurs with everything from market research to technology management to securing venture capital. Local tech leaders such as Login Radius and One Bridge Solutions have used TEC Edmonton’s comprehensive business services to grow and achieve profitability.
Co-working spaces can be a great way for burgeoning startups to gain access to affordable office space, a network of fellow entrepreneurs, and a whole host of support services. Since 2009, Startup Edmonton has helped countless Edmonton entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses. In addition to providing members with office space and a community of entrepreneurs, Startup Edmonton hosts over 250 meetups, workshops, and conferences. Many of these meetups and workshops don’t require membership to attend and besides the valuable business advice they provide, they are a great way to connect with the movers and shakers of our City.
eHub is a co-working space, startup community, and business clinic for entrepreneurs at the U of A. It helps startups get off the ground by giving them free access to professional business mentorship, office space, fundraising opportunities, and other support services. Unlike TEC Edmonton and Startup Edmonton which tend to prefer working with technology based companies, eHub is open to businesses operating in virtually any sector of the economy. Because of the diverse array of talent at eHub, it’s a particularly useful resource if you’re looking for partners or if you’re looking to join other startups in the City.
Capital Ideas Edmonton
Capital Ideas is a local business network for Edmonton entrepreneurs seeking advice, tips, and guidance from successful business owners in the City. They host a variety of networking events, conferences, and workshops that are usually free to attend. Furthermore, Capital Ideas is funded by the Edmonton Journal and some of its members have gotten free publicity at the Journal as a result of their participation at Capital Ideas events.
The Awesome Foundation is a global not-for-profit that provides micro-grants to entrepreneurs, startups, and inventors looking to turn their ideas into a reality. If you’ve got an idea that needs a little bit of funding to get off the ground, Awesome Edmonton awards several $1000 no-strings-attached grants throughout the year to selected entrepreneurs. Awesome Edmonton’s ‘pitch parties’ are also a great way to learn about other exciting startups in the City and network with other entrepreneurs.
While a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs (myself included) have an I’ll-do-it-on-my-own mentality, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you’re isolating yourself from Edmonton’s business community and ignoring the many support services it has to offer. A lot of the resources listed above are free, so invest some time into finding local business resources that can help you and your startup reach its maximum potential.