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Central Alberta Regional Innovation Network

How to Develop Your Business Idea in Central Alberta

You have a fantastic idea for a new business or to expand your small to medium-sized company. Great news! There are many resources for start-up businesses in Alberta to help you. Yet trying to find the information online for start-ups or development often leads you in circles between agencies.

Central Alberta entrepreneurs can now access all the information, training, and support you need to launch and scale oil pivot, smart agriculture, technology, and manufacturing business ideas with CARIN.

What is the Central Alberta Regional Innovation Network (CARIN)?

CARIN strives to drive innovation and business growth in the tech and knowledge sectors in Central Alberta. By combining resources, CARIN nurtures the economic wellbeing of the individual, community, and province of Alberta. CARIN assists technology and knowledge-based entrepreneurs in Central Alberta with start-up and development by providing three vital cornerstones of support:

  • Advisory Services

  • Funding Resources

  • Catalyst Incubator Program

In partnership with several of Alberta's Agencies and colleges, CARIN helps innovators achieve success in their businesses and grow a resilient and robust economy in Alberta.

What Advisory Services does CARIN offer?

Advisory services connect entrepreneurs to industry professionals and mentors who can assist you in various areas such as legal, tax, finance, market assessment, risk factors, intellectual property analysis, and more.

What Funding Resources Does CARIN Provide?

Funding resources are a crucial component to developing innovation and growth for Alberta businesses. CARIN works with entrepreneurs to navigate grants, financing, and other funding opportunities that best suit their business start-up and growth goals.

Assistance with Grants

Government grants are an extremely valuable tool to help launch a business idea but can be overwhelming and confusing to achieve. CARIN aims to smooth the process with advisory services and access to current new business grants in Alberta. There are several categories that Alberta grants fall into, and they include:

  • Aboriginal Programs

  • Agriculture

  • Arts & Culture

  • Export

  • Miscellaneous

  • R&D Technology

  • Wage Subsidy/Intern Programs

CARIN advisors help you determine what grants you may qualify for and how to navigate the process. For an overview of grand and their links, CLICK HERE.

Assistance with Financing

Traditional banks have strict lending criteria that can be a challenge for new start-ups and existing businesses, preventing them from moving forward with their concept. CARIN helps entrepreneurs navigate new business funding by guiding them to their business-friendly financing partners. CARIN's financing partners include:

CLICK HERE to read an overview of the Alberta start-up funding each institution provides.

What is The Catalyst Incubator Program?

CARIN's Catalyst Incubator program is a unique process where entrepreneurs run their business idea through a series of discoveries and analyses. The Incubator helps to qualify the business idea's viability with the guidance of professional mentors and coaches to develop credible business plans and strategies to see the concept through.

The goal of the Incubator is to help entrepreneurs fully conceptualize their idea from start to finish, avoiding costly mistakes and pitfalls. In the end, participants will know if their idea is viable and have a completed business plan for financing and grant applications.

To read more details about the Incubator Program, read

How Do I Qualify for the Catalyst Incubator Program?

There are several qualities that we look for in a potential candidate. People have great business ideas all the time, but it takes a true entrepreneur to see them through. While you don't have to know all the details of your concept yet, certain qualities help make you successful.

Some of the qualities CARIN looks for include:

  • Trainable

  • Enthusiastic

  • Determined

  • Coachable

  • Driven

  • Visionary

Also, CARIN looks for people with early-stage business ideas that fit within two cohort categories: Manufacturing Success and Oil Pivots and Smart Agriculture and Oil Pivots. However, you don't have to have an established business or business plan to apply for the Catalyst Incubator.

If this sounds like you, then the application process is as simple as filling out the CARIN form online on the website HERE. Scroll to the bottom of the Catalyst Incubator page and fill in the questionnaire.

How Often Are the Catalyst Incubator Sessions, and how long are they?

CARIN hosts Catalyst Incubator programs several times a year and runs for eight weeks each. The Incubator participants currently meet via ZOOM meetings for a combination of coaching, mentoring, and workshops designed around the intake theme and their individual business.

Participants must complete detailed research and assignments based on the week's topic along with the program meetings.

At the end of the three months, successful participants will have a complete business plan with strategies and next steps to begin their new business venture, along with a certificate of completion.

To Summarize…

CARIN helps build and transition businesses in agriculture, technology, oil, manufacturing, and export industries within the Central Alberta corridor. The goal is to provide information, training, and resources to innovative entrepreneurs through professional advisors, partners, and sponsors.

VISIT OUR WEBSITE for more information. CONTACT US with any questions you have.

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To be added to the CARIN distribution list, stay informed on innovation networking events, workshops, courses, trade missions, and government grants.

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