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If your customers are outside the provincial borders of Alberta, is it truly necessary to engage in the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem? What are the benefits if you cannot see this engagement correlating to a sale? In a word – plenty.

Many players in the Alberta ecosystem are eager to support entrepreneurial endeavors. The following list outlines the benefits of immersing yourself and your business in the growing innovation ecosystem:

The answer might be a (local) phone call away

Business support services are abundant in this province. Many organizations offer lunch & learns given by experts in their fields - for free! Not to mention, numerous organizations offer mentorship programs or funding to match you with an approved service provider to help augment your business toolbox.

Who to connect with: TECTERRA, Calgary Technologies Inc, TEC Edmonton, ATB Entrepreneur Centre

You never know who you are going to meet

What is better than a cold call? A referral. How do you get a referral? Utilize your network. The network of the Alberta entrepreneurial ecosystem includes people from the business community, government, support organizations, financial institutions, and universities among others. Monthly events and meetups are a great place to expand your network. The next person you meet may be able to open the door to your next big sale, meeting or influential hire.

Who to connect with: StartUp Calgary, StartUp Edmonton

You will need to woo the best talent

Multinational companies have name recognition, deep pocket books and full HR departments dedicated to recruiting and appeasing the best local talent. Connecting to the ecosystem may give you the exposure you need to compete, giving you access to talent. Universities, technical training institutes or community colleges can also give you a leg up in connecting with the best minds.

Who to connect with: University of Calgary, University of Alberta, Mount Royal University, SAIT, NAIT

What goes around comes around

What you invest into the ecosystem you will see returned to you in spades. Initiatives like Rainforest Alberta encourage the evolution of our social norms to include diversity, free help, trust and paying it forward (amongst other principles).

Who to connect with: Rainforest Alberta

You don’t need to look far to find money

Whether you need access to capital, grants, angel investment, banks or otherwise; there is a healthy source of financers in the province.

Who to connect with: TECTERRA, Alberta Innovates, A100

Whether you need financing, support, connections, talent or advice Alberta’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem can deliver. Get involved and you will see the positive impact for yourself.