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Bioenterprise, Platform Calgary and TEC Edmonton form partnership to accelerate agriculture sector startups in Alberta

Published: Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

Calgary and Edmonton, November 25, 2020 - Platform Calgary, Bioenterprise and TEC Edmonton are collaborating on a new program to help Alberta-based startups and entrepreneurs in the agriculture (ag) sector grow and thrive. Launching in late 2020 with funding support from the Government of Canada, through Western Economic Diversification Canada, this program is the first of its kind in Alberta. 

This new collaboration will accelerate ag sector startups and help entrepreneurs with the business and technology aspects of their venture. The program will be delivered virtually, making it more accessible for participation from entrepreneurs in all parts of the province. Participants will have a single point of access to entrepreneurs in residence, mentors, technical expertise and customized business advisory services for startups and growing companies. 

“The growth of Western Canada’s agricultural sector is a key part of our government’s focus on creating high-value jobs and building a resilient economy,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada. “This collaboration between Western Economic Diversification Canada and three leading business accelerators will help early stage agriculture start-ups blossom by providing them with support and expertise to enable their innovative products and technologies to thrive in a global market. This will lead to the creation of good jobs, helping our economy bounce back stronger.”

 “Bioenterprise has a lengthy history in providing deep agricultural/food expertise, knowledge and connections to businesses across Canada. This partnership with TEC Edmonton and Platform Calgary will increase the capacity and capability within Alberta’s innovation ecosystem.  By connecting universities, community colleges, incubators and accelerators through a collaborative engine, agriculture and food-tech businesses will have access to the critical services and investment dollars that will accelerate business growth and create jobs in Alberta” says Dave Smardon, CEO of Bioenterprise. 

“This is an exciting example of Western Economic Diversification Canada and innovation-focused service providers coming together to support a crucial economic driver across Alberta,” says Darrell Petras, Executive Vice-President, Business Development, TEC Edmonton. “We’re eager to complement Platform Calgary and Bioenterprise by providing deep one-to-one coaching to scaling companies. Building on our collective networks of service providers and investors, we will provide a unique opportunity for Alberta-based agri-tech and food-tech companies to accelerate their growth.”  

“For Platform Calgary, collaboration is at the heart of what we do, and this program is a perfect example of the great work we can do for startups when we come together,” says Dr. Terry Rock, CEO of Platform Calgary. “This program can’t come soon enough; it is a critical time as many businesses and startups struggle with the effects of the global pandemic. Our combined expertise and knowledge will provide all the resources that ag startups need to successfully launch and establish their businesses.” 

With significant growth in the agri-tech and food-tech sectors in recent years, the next step is to engage other stakeholders in Alberta’s ag and food community. The ultimate goal is to support Alberta’s long history of agricultural innovation.

To learn more about Bioenterprise, visit 

To learn more about TEC Edmonton, visit