The Conference Board of Canada defines innovation as a process that creates and uses new ideas and knowledge to generate economic value. Innovation can be in radical, industry-destructive ideas that create new value chains and new businesses. Innovation can also be gradual and incremental through the improvement of existing products, services or business models. In either kind, there are great investment opportunities for the right investor.
The Prairie Provinces offer a number of factors that provide potential for investments in innovation. Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba support new innovation through research facilities, institutions and organizations such as start-up incubators and accelerators. These include the Saskatchewan Research Council, the Canadian Light Source, Innovation Place, Alberta Innovates Technology Futures, Innovate Calgary, Alberta Enterprise, the Banff Venture Forum, Innovate Manitoba, Manitoba Technology Accelerator, among others. The three Provinces also have active angel networks.1
More than $2 of economic impact comes from every $1 spent on innovation in Canada.2
Innovation in Western Canada is focused in five main areas:
Provided below are examples of Innovation investments within Westcap’s portfolio: