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Funding announced for Calgary startups and Platform Calgary

Published: Thursday, March 17th, 2022

Calgary’s leading-edge companies to create more than 1,000 new jobs with scale-up support from the Government of Canada. Federal funding of more than $22.3 million through Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) will provide some of Calgary’s fastest-growing tech firms with support to scale up and enter new markets, while $2 million will help complete the Platform Innovation Centre in downtown Calgary.


Prairies Economic Development Canada Calgary technology firms that are developing new and innovative products, services and applications play a vital role in providing quality jobs for Canadians, spurring innovation, and contributing to a resilient Canadian economy. The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring these high-growth companies have access to the resources, capital and support they need to scale up to the next level and bring their products and services to new markets.

The Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada, and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, announced a major investment of more than $22.3 million in interest-free, repayable funding for 13 leading-edge Calgary businesses that are expanding and producing innovative goods, services and technologies to meet global demand.

Companies receiving support in today’s announcement are playing crucial roles in key economic sectors of Alberta’s economy, including agriculture, clean energy, and digital technologies. The funding for these 13 companies is expected to help create a total 1,000 high- value jobs while also helping Canada meet its commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Calgary companies receiving support include:
- BlackSquare Inc. is receiving $500,000 to scale-up and expand the global market for its digital e-commerce platform.
- Canadian UAVs Inc. is receiving $415,000 to expand its market by introducing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology and related services to Canada’s energy sector.
- Exergy Solutions Inc. is receiving $879,063 to expand its industrial scale additive manufacturing / 3D printing capacity to support energy and decarbonization technology development and deployment.
- Genoptic LED Inc. is receiving $5,000,000 to establish a manufacturing operation to mass-produce its advanced hybrid solar panel and battery storage technology.
- IWR Technologies Ltd. is receiving $1,125,000 to scale-up its Livestock Water Recycling division by expanding its technology into global markets to reduce agriculture’s carbon footprint.
- MRF Geosystems Corporation is receiving $997,500 to expand markets for geospatial products and launch a new LiDAR-based gravel road condition assessment solution.
- MyHEAT Inc. is receiving $1,650,000 to accelerate the growth of its energy efficiency platform, and deliver on its vision of using remote sensing and artificial intelligence to reveal the invisible wasted energy from every building across the globe.
- Nanalysis Corp. is receiving $4,985,000 to expand manufacturing operations and global markets for nuclear magnetic resonance products.
- Natural Distributions Ltd. (operating as Purple Frog Products) is receiving $461,000 to expand markets for plant-based natural products and build in-house manufacturing capacity.
- Organics Express Inc. (operating as SPUD.ca) is receiving $4,368,888 to expand its Alberta distribution centre and implement its FoodX technology platform for e-grocery and supply chain management with a goal of using technology to reduce food waste.
- SumoQuote Inc. is receiving $483,500 to expand to international markets and scale-up its software-as-a-service web application that helps businesses quickly generate visually stunning quotes that set them apart from the competition.  
- Tangent Design Engineering Ltd, Connect For Inc. is receiving $525,000 to expand its product line to include ConnectFor, an industrial Internet of Things sensor platform that enables seamless and secure data transfer.
- Westgen Technologies is receiving $1,000,000 to increase manufacturing capacity for its proprietary methane emissions reduction technologies and to expand to new markets.

Minister Vandal also announced an investment of $2 million to complete the interior design and construction of the Platform Innovation Centre in downtown Calgary. The Innovation Centre will host approximately 60 service providers and business accelerators that give Calgary entrepreneurs and small- and medium-sized businesses a one-stop-shop of programs, mentoring, networking and access to capital. The Centre is expected to facilitate significant economic growth in Calgary, with 750 firms to be supported and approximately 250 high-value jobs expected to be created over the next two years.

Quotes
“These local companies in Calgary are leading the way in innovation and reaching new markets. Our government’s major investment in these 13 leading-edge companies across Calgary, combined with our support for the Platform Innovation Centre in the downtown core, will help ensure the continued growth of Alberta’s thriving technology sector and create quality jobs that help drive our economy forward.”
- The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency


“Our government is empowering innovators to make their ideas a reality and access the supports and resources they need to reach their full potential. Today’s investment in some of Alberta’s most promising technology firms will bolster our province’s growing status as a leader in technology and innovation, create good jobs, and support economic growth in our province.”
- The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance


“Successful, innovative, and competitive businesses are at the heart of Calgary’s economy and quality of life. I’m proud that our government is investing to help more of our high-growth companies to scale up and continue their amazing trajectory for the benefit for our community and all of Alberta.”
- George Chahal, Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview


“Calgary is a city of innovators and the support from PrairiesCan and Platform Calgary will help more of our ground-breaking companies scale their solutions to global challenges. It is critical promising local companies have the ability to reach global markets and this investment is an example of why Calgary is a top tech city to launch and expand transformative technology.”
- Brad Parry, President and CEO, Calgary Economic Development


“Behind every great innovator is a great community. The Platform Innovation Centre is the front door to this community—a single point of access for startup founders as they navigate Calgary’s innovation ecosystem. The funding from Prairies Economic Development Canada has helped us build a landmark public space where founders, investors and business leaders can connect and collaborate. The Innovation Centre will support a collective effort to triple the economic impact of tech in Calgary and make this city a global hub for startups and innovation by 2031.”
- Dr. Terry Rock, CEO, Platform Calgary


“Exergy is proud and delighted to receive access to funding from Prairies Economic Development Canada. This support is critical to our business scale-up. It allows us to invest in and rapidly expand our industrial-scale additive manufacturing capacity and facilities, to provide optimized and enhanced cleantech solutions to industry. Our highly specialized team provides world-class 3D printing solutions, both to enable and support technology developers as they grow their business, and industry players on their decarbonization journey.”
- Fiona Harris, CEO, Exergy


“We could not be more pleased with the support provided by the Prairies Economic Development Canada BSP Program and being chosen to advance our technology and service offering. This is another example of the support we have received to advance the Canada’s unmanned aircraft industry. With this funding we will ensure our rapid growth continues in the UAV industry to meet the needs of our clients with our services as well as sales of Sparrowhawk
to other UAV operators.”
- Ryan Hutchinson, Business Development Manager of Canadian UAVs.


"Nanalysis Corp. is thrilled to be one of the recipients from Prairies Economic Development Canada. Starting in Calgary in 2009, Nanalysis is an international business focused on capitalizing its proprietary technologies in nuclear magnetic resonance that go into NMR spectrometers and magnetic resonance imaging. This investment allows us to accelerate product innovation, expand our manufacturing facility and continue to drive significant growth as we expand our global footprint.”
- Sean Krakiwsky, CEO and Founder, Nanalysis Corp.

Quick facts
- PrairiesCan is investing $22,389,951 through its Business Scale-up and Productivity program. This program supports high-growth businesses that are scaling up and producing innovative goods, services, or technologies. Funding is interest-free and repayable.
- PrairiesCan is also investing $2 million through its Regional Innovation Ecosystem program to support interior design and construction of the Platform Innovation Centre in downtown Calgary. This program aims to create, grow and nurture inclusive regional ecosystems that support business needs throughout the innovation continuum.
- Combined, the total federal investment of $24,389,951 will keep Calgary-based businesses competitive and enable them to scale-up, grow and enter new markets.

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