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Home » Industry & Business » Supporting Alberta’s Innovation Industry, One Entrepreneur at a Time
Laura Kilcrease CEO, Alberta Innovates

Laura Kilcrease

CEO, Alberta Innovates

Michael Taschuk Founder & CTO, G2V Optics

Michael Taschuk

Founder & CTO, G2V Optics

Ryan Tucker, CEO, G2V Optics

Ryan Tucker

CEO, G2V Optics

Connie Stacey Founder & President, Growing Greener Innovations

Connie Stacey

Founder & President, Growing Greener Innovations

Alberta is quickly becoming a key player in Canada’s tech and innovation sector. With an educated population, excellent research facilities, and a rich innovation ecosystem, the province is showing accelerated progress and promise.

To ensure the continued growth of the tech and innovation industry in Alberta, key players like Alberta Innovates are creating a landscape to drive entrepreneurship and attract capital and investment.

“We think of ourselves as the engine of innovation in Alberta,” says Laura Kilcrease, CEO of Alberta Innovates. “We support innovation across the full spectrum, from funding research and growing businesses to helping the startup community drive new ideas and build new technologies.”

Entrepreneurs are the heart of the lifecycle

From helping secure intellectual property rights at the startup stage to providing grants for market testing once they commercialize, Alberta Innovates supports entrepreneurs throughout their innovation journeys. The organization provides key tools and resources at strategic points to help businesses grow and scale faster.

“We’re not just interested in the entrepreneurial startup,” says Kilcrease. “We’re interested in the entrepreneurial scale-up.”

Supporting innovative companies like G2V Optics

G2V Optics produces advanced, controllable LED lighting technology. It supplies clients in the agriculture, solar, and aerospace industries, where lighting has a critical impact on their bottom line. The company was founded by Dr. Michael Taschuk in 2015, with the mission of making the world better with data and light.

“As a young company, we needed the support of the ecosystem to be able to grow and scale,” says Ryan Tucker, CEO of G2V Optics. “Alberta Innovates was an invaluable resource for us. They provided grants that helped us take critical steps like prototyping and design.”

G2V Optics also participated in the Alberta Innovates Executive Business Advisor program, which paired the company with anexperienced angel investor to help them navigate the complexities of raising venture capital.

In less than five years, G2V Optics has moved from a tiny basement operation to partnering with renowned research institutions and Fortune 500 companies.

“There’s a huge amount of uncertainty that comes with a fast-growing tech business, so having an experienced support system like Alberta Innovates is really important,” says Tucker.

Making connections for Growing Greener Innovations

For Edmonton-based Connie Stacey, inspiration struck as she was rolling her sleeping twins past a too-loud diesel generator. So she set out to build a better one: sustainable, affordable, portable, and much quieter.

The Grengine Power System doesn’t require an electrician or engineer, and can be charged with an outlet, a solar panel, or even a stationary bike. “I wanted it to be accessible to remote markets, where energy poverty is a huge factor,” says Stacey, who is both Founder and President of Growing Greener Innovations.

As a female founder in tech, Stacey faced some unique challenges on her entrepreneurial journey.

“We had a hard time being taken seriously and getting our foot in the door,” she says.

Once Alberta Innovates got involved, things took a positive turn. Alberta Innovates connected Stacey with a Technology Development Advisor (TDA), to provide one-on-one guidance, community connections, and help identifying avenues of capital.

“Our TDA directed us to grants like the Build in Canada Innovation Program,” says Stacey. “He also connected us with a large network of potential investors, funders, and consultancies.”

With the support of the Alberta Innovates commercialization associate grant, Stacey was able to hire a full-time staff member for two years. The organization even sent her to a CEO Bootcamp.

“Having the support of Alberta Innovates has been critical to our success,” says Stacey.

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