Central Alberta Regional Innovation Network

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Generating New Business in Central Alberta with Technology in Oil Pivot & Smart Agriculture



Alberta has quickly become the nucleus of the Candian tech industry, attracting new and existing businesses as focus switches to clean energy transition. CARIN recognized the need to focus on technology development in manufacturing, oil pivots, agriculture, and knowledge-based business in Central Alberta.


The Central Alberta Regional Innovation Network (CARIN) partners with other government agencies to provide information, training, and resources to entrepreneurs in start-ups and existing companies. CARIN focuses on three crucial areas: Advisory, Funding, and the Catalyst Incubator to achieve their goal.

What is The Catalyst Incubator Program?


The Catalyst Incubator program assists innovative entrepreneurs in Central Alberta who are in the start-up phase of a business idea. The Incubator program guides them through a series of focused steps designed to test the concept's viability through to development and creation.


With the guidance of some of Alberta's leading business mentors, entrepreneurs understand risk factors, conduct market analysis, complete research, and determine where they need to make adjustments for their business idea to succeed.


CARIN's Catalyst Incubator takes an entrepreneur's idea from the initial discovery, conceptualizing, and validating to implementation, scaling, and leading in their industry.


For more information about how CARIN can support your new or existing business, read How to Develop Your Business Idea in Central Alberta

How Does the Catalyst Incubator Program Work?

CARIN's Catalyst Incubator takes Central Albertan entrepreneurs from innovation through the think tank to identify opportunities and risks and then into development, scaling, and industry leadership.

Think of the Incubator as a step-by-step guide that takes your initial business idea, plants it in nutrient-rich soil, provides sun and water, and plucks out the weeds. Then, as the idea grows, the Incubator identifies where it needs pruning, if it needs fertilizer, or if it requires adjustment.

You can see where risks could threaten your idea, problem-solve to manage them, or shift the concept in a new direction. The Incubator also shows you how to grow your idea into development and manufacturing— even export.

In the end, you will have a solid business idea and business plan to back it up. In addition, financial institutions, potential investors, and partners will use your business plan to indicate a solid investment in your company.

What Types of Businesses Does the Incubator Look For?


This program focuses on two cohorts that CARIN has identified as key industries needed for Alberta's economic stability: Manufacturing Success, Oil Pivot, Agriculture Technology, and Smart Agriculture.


As the demand for clean energy rises, so does the need for technological and agricultural developments. In addition, it means there are more government grants and funding available to new and existing businesses to transition or pivot from the oil industry into efficient, innovative opportunities.


Manufacturing Success and Oil Pivots


Do you have an idea for a fabulous new product? The Incubator helps participants with design, marketing, manufacturing, export, and all the planning and strategizing that goes with it.


The Incubator is perfect for ideas in energy transition or oil pivots that help develop clean energy and technology too!


Smart Agriculture and Ag-Tech


Farming and agriculture were vital in creating civilizations and are among the oldest professions. Innovations in agriculture and agriculture technology are necessary to keep Alberta's economy strong and find cost-effective and lucrative opportunities for families throughout Central Alberta.

The Incubator is primed to assist entrepreneurs with their ideas for agriculture advancement.


While these two cohorts are the MAIN focus of the CARIN and the incubator program, they aren't limited to them. CARIN will gladly assist entrepreneurs and their ideas within their services or guide them to better-suited resources.

What Are the Benefits of the Catalyst Incubator?

Businesses have a greater chance of success with proper research, guidance, and strategy. By participating in CARIN's Catalyst Incubator program, entrepreneurs have a distinct advantage over competitors and businesses that don't have access to the same resources. Qualified entrepreneurs receive the following benefits from the Incubator:

  • Coaches and mentors guidance

  • Networking to experts in your related industry

  • CARIN's advisory services

  • Business concept evaluation

  • Classes, workshops, and training specific to your industry

  • Individualized insights on building your business within your industry

  • Understanding of consumer needs and potential opportunities

  • A knowledgeable support system to guide you through the process from the ground up

Starting a new business venture can be intimidating and overwhelming, often leading to wasted time and money. With the Catalyst Incubator, participants gain valuable confidence and insight, making them more prepared throughout the lifespan of their business.

What makes the CARIN Catalyst Incubator Different from Other Programs?

There are several incubators for entrepreneurs to choose from, and some may be more suitable than others.

CARIN's Catalyst Incubator is specific to Central Alberta entrepreneurs looking to develop their business concept in the manufacturing, technology, smart agriculture, and oil pivot industries. By focusing on these sectors, CARIN believes there is the most significant growth potential for entrepreneurs and a more robust economy for individuals and communities in Alberta. Close partnerships with several of Central Alberta's leading organizations and minds help contribute to the Incubator program and its participants, giving them a distinct edge as they embark on their new business. Some of CARIN's partners include:

  • Red Deer Polytechnic Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing (CIM-TAC)

  • Olds College Centre for Innovation (OCCI)

  • Alberta Innovates

  • Community Futures Central Alberta

  • Access Prosperity

  • Platform Calgary

The Catalyst Incubator is the only program that focuses on manufacturing, agriculture and oil pivots. With this strategy in mind, CARIN is uniquely positioned to help entrepreneurs in the industries with the highest growth potential and offer the very best of expertise and support available.

Who Can Apply for the Incubator Program?


Not everyone has an entrepreneurial mindset, and those that do have a passion for their business idea that will see them through the challenges and hard work of start-up through to their success.

CARIN qualifies candidates with that passion and enthusiasm to see their idea through but who are also keen to absorb feedback and glean valuable information from mentors and experts in the know.

Certain qualities of applicants stand out:

  • They are trainable, eager listeners and are determined to push through challenges or imposter syndrome

  • They are coachable and take constructive criticism as an opportunity to strengthen their business concept

  • They are patient and understand there is a process to implementing new technology around their industry

  • They are visionary with the ability to foresee opportunities and avoid potential pitfalls

Ideal candidates for the Catalyst Incubator program are also in the start-up phase of their business venture, whether they currently have a business or not.


To SIGN UP for CARIN's Catalyst Incubator, or to learn more, click here.

How Often Does the Incubator Program Run and for How Long?


CARIN runs the Catalyst Incubator program several times throughout the year. Each intake is eight weeks long. Participants from Central Alberta attend ZOOM meetings and complete the assignments based on the week's topic.


Every week, participants attend a combination of coaching, mentoring, and seminars designed around the program topic and their individual business needs.

To see the current Catalyst Incubator programs available, click here.

In Review…


The Central Alberta Regional Innovation Network provides several supports for entrepreneurs hoping to develop their business idea in manufacturing, agriculture and oil pivots in Central Alberta, one being the Catalyst Incubator.

This innovative program was designed to help savvy entrepreneurs capitalize on Alberta's industries projected to have the greatest need and opportunity for growth.

Are you interested in getting more information about CARIN and the Catalyst Incubator program?


CONTACT US and begin the application process today. click here.


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