Creating a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem in Calgary

 Introducing the CIC


What is the CIC?

The Calgary Innovation Coalition (CIC) is a group of organizations in the Calgary region that support innovation-driven entrepreneurs, startups, and enterprises. Our collective presents a single vision and voice regarding the priorities of Calgary’s innovation community, a unique model for collaboration in Alberta's innovation ecosystem. We welcome sharing our experience! If intrigued, please contact

How does it work?

The CIC supports Business Development Advisors (BDA’s) who primarily work with Calgary-based early stage technology companies to refine and improve their business models. In addition to advising, BDA’s may also approve eligible companies for voucher funding from the Alberta Innovates’ Alberta Entrepreneurship Incubator (AEI) Program. For full details about voucher funding criteria and eligibility, refer to our FAQ.

How can I access voucher funding?

1. Attend a Startup Calgary Business Model Canvas (BMC) workshop led by a BDA. Upcoming dates can be found here

2. Complete our contact form below and email a completed BMC to

3. Once you receive feedback, work with a BDA to refine and improve your business model

4. If eligible and approved by a BDA for funding, submit a funding application

Our BDA’s recommend familiarizing yourself with the Business Model Canvas as well as attending events within the local startup community prior to applying for funding.

Core Members



Our team of Business Development Advisors (BDAs) work with early stage technology companies based in Calgary to help refine and improve their business model.

If you're seeking coaching and feedback on your business model, you must complete the contact form below and submit a completed copy of your Business Model Canvas (BMC) to help us understand your venture. Our BDA's will review your submission within 7 days and get back to you with recommendations and next steps!

Unfamiliar with the Business Model Canvas? Click here to learn more. 
Looking for a Business Model Canvas template? Download one now.

Questions? Connect with us at


Here are some helpful community resources and events worth exploring:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CIC?

The Calgary Innovation Coalition (CIC) was formed in 2016 in response to Alberta Innovates’ (AI) offer of grant dollars into the regional innovation networks (RIN) across the province for entrepreneurial support and development. Rather than flow the money into a single entity for distribution, a collective of 17 organizations came together and presented a single vision of the priorities for Calgary’s innovation community to the Government.

What resources are provided by the CIC?

The CIC funds Business Development Advisors who support and educate entrepreneurs. They provide specific, skill-based support, advice, mentorship and access to voucher funding.

What is the Alberta Entrepreneurship Incubator Program?

The Alberta Entrepreneurship Incubator Program is funded by the Government of Alberta’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and administered by Alberta Innovates. The purpose of this Program is to offer support for individuals who are already building or looking to build highly scale technology startups. Through the CIC, entrepreneurs can access Business Development Advisors (BDA’s) to have their ideas professionally assessed for suitability for the program.

What is a Business Development Advisor? (BDA)

BDA’s are trusted coaches who help entrepreneurs navigate Calgary’s startup support network and advance their businesses.

BDA’s work with entrepreneurs to:

  • Help them understand their business model better

  • Identify gaps/areas of improvement

  • Provide coaching & guidance for personal growth

  • Direct them to programs/organizations that can provide additional support

  • Make connections/introductions to key stakeholders

  • Access to funding administered by Alberta Innovates

Is the information I share with my BDA confidential?

Although BDA’s are unable to sign non-disclosure agreements, your information will be held in confidence within the CIC.

What type of funding could I receive?

After receiving a recommendation from one of our BDA’s, you could be eligible for a funding voucher distributed by the Alberta Entrepreneurship Incubator Program. Funding vouchers include:

  • Seed - up to $10,000

  • Bridge - up to $25,000

  • Growth - up to $20,000

These vouchers are designed to help entrepreneurs obtain one or more service or product providers, or a mentor company to assist with early stages of development.

What is the eligibility criteria for funding?

Entrepreneurs must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Be pre-vetted and recommended by a BDA

  • Be Arm’s Length from the Service or Product Provider(s)

  • Must not have an actual or perceived Conflict of Interest which, in the opinion of Alberta Innovates, cannot be mitigated;

  • Demonstrate why support from Alberta Innovates for the Project is necessary for

  • Reside in Alberta;

  • Be able to provide a plan to determine the viability of their innovative concept and its
    potential market value;

  • Does not have an outstanding balance or otherwise owe money to any Alberta Innovates organization, subsidiary, or partner; and

  • Be willing to provide tax returns if requested by Alberta Innovates.

For additional details, please refer to the AEI program guide.