BDC helps accelerate Calgary startups

BDC Capital and GE Ventures have launched a fund aimed at startups participating in the Zone Startups Calgary accelerator.

BDC Capital, the investment division of the Business Development Bank of Canada, and GE Ventures, the corporate venturing subsidiary of conglomerate General Electric (GE), launched the ZSC Seed Accelerator Fund on Tuesday.

Joining them in the announcement were GE Canada, a regional subsidiary of GE, and accelerator Ryerson Futures. The size of the fund has not been disclosed.

The announcement was made at the Canadian Corporate Innovation Summit in Toronto, co-organised by our sister publication Global Corporate Venturing.

The fund will help companies in Zone Startups Calgary (ZSC), an accelerator in GE Canada’s customer innovation centre. The accelerator provides access to GE engineers, mentors, advisors and funding opportunities, including from GE Ventures.

The funding will be made available to companies in ZSC that are showing early commercial promise along with opportunities for growth in their sector.

There are currently eight companies participating in ZSC, including water contaminant testing biosensor producer Fredsense, industrial internet of things technology developer Veerum and industrial modelling simulation software developer Stream.

Michael Denham, president and chief executive at BDC, said: “We are excited to join GE and Ryerson Futures to catalyse the ZSC Accelerator Fund and we invite others to join us in funding the active innovation ecosystem in Calgary.

“This partnership is a perfect example of how leading corporations have found new ways to engage and exchange with the innovation ecosystem and, in the process, create opportunities to support and scale the local startup space.”

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