Jul 21, 2022

Avatar Accelerator to Launch Over 12 New Calgary Cleantech Startups with $500,000 Financial Support

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The Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF) has announced up to $500,000 in funding to support Avatar Accelerator, a venture studio of Avatar Innovations, in creating, developing and growing Calgary companies driving energy transformation.

Reigniting downtown Calgary

Avatar Innovations will have the potential to earn funding from OCIF over a three-year agreement by achieving specific milestones, including the creation of at least 12 startups, headquartered in the Energy Transition Centre (ETC) location right in the heart of downtown Calgary.

"Calgary is a recognized leader in the global energy transition and this OCIF investment helps local innovators turn their game-changing ideas into real solutions by leveraging the city's strengths as a cleantech innovation hub with strong industry collaboration," remarked Brad Parry, Chief Executive Officer of OCIF.

Located in The Ampersand building, the ETC is a result of a collaboration between the University of Calgary, Innovate Calgary, Avatar Innovations and the energy sector. In January, Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) announced an investment of over $2.1 million to support the ETC in bolstering cleantech innovations in Alberta, while also advancing economic opportunities for Canadian businesses committed to helping achieve Canada’s net-zero carbon goals.

"The Energy Transition Centre will be a catalyst for new and emerging clean technology solutions and local energy transition startups,” said Suncor Chief Climate Officer, Martha Hall Findlay. “Getting to net-zero emissions won't be easy – and it is initiatives like this that will enhance Calgary's leadership in Canada's energy transition.”

In 2021, the Alberta Energy Transition Study found that the pursuit of net zero has the potential to create 170,000 new cleantech jobs and contribute $61 billion in gross domestic product to Alberta’s economy by 2050.

Launched in 2018 by the City of Calgary, the OCIF is a $100 million initiative to make milestone-driven grants to select organizations that strengthen the local innovation ecosystem and align with Calgary’s new economic strategy, Over $68.5 million has been allocated thus far to 23 projects in the cleantech space.

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