Think of it like an incubator for chickens; the purpose of the incubator is to keep the egg, and then the baby chick, warm and safe, and bring to it the resources it needs to develop and grow, until it is ready and able to survive and thrive on its own out in the world. A business incubator supports entrepreneurs with tools, training, coaching, and other resources throughout the business development process, until the business is ready and able to thrive on its own.
Many Alberta workers in the oil and gas industry were significantly impacted by the recent economic downturn. The Provincial Government is committed to economic diversification, to move the province away from its heavy reliance on oil and gas, spark development in other sectors of the economy, and create new jobs. The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, through Alberta Innovates, has rolled out funding for business incubators/accelerators in all seven regions across the province. A business incubator will help small and medium sized businesses in Central Alberta thrive in this and future economic conditions.
Catapult Entrepreneurs began operating in April of 2017. We are a provincially funded project of the Red Deer Downtown Business Association.
There are three streams:
- In-house Entrepreneurs: These Entrepreneurs will have a dedicated work station in the incubator, with mail and phone service, and potentially some equipment, if required. An individualized incubation program will be developed for each qualifying entrepreneur, that will include coaching, training, information and referral, and potential access to three different funding vouchers.
- Program Entrepreneurs: This stream is for entrepreneurs who do not require a physical work space, but still wish to be in the program. As with the first stream, an individualized incubation program will be developed for each qualifying entrepreneur, that will include coaching, training, information and referral, and potential access to three different funding vouchers.
- Regional Entrepreneurs: For entrepreneurs outside of Red Deer, Catapult has partnered with local organizations in several Central Alberta communities to provide incubation and support to qualified entrepreneurs. As with In-house and Program Entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs in this stream also have opportunity to apply for the three funding vouchers.
We have partners in several Central Alberta communities including, Drayton Valley, Rocky Mountain House, Olds, Stettler, Camrose, Wetaskiwin and all communities therein, with Red Deer as the central hub.
Contact the Business Development Advisors at 587 679 5083, Monday to Friday 8:30 to 4:30 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and to complete a preliminary Self-Assessment Form.
Catapult Entrepreneurs is successful because of the many organizations who contribute knowledge, expertise, and support.
Catapult is funded by Alberta Innovates, a provincial organization that acts as a catalyst for innovation. As an innovation support system, innovators, businesses and researchers can now easily tap into their collective assets – cross sectoral knowledge and expertise, funding, networks and research facilities. Alberta Innovates brings this wealth of resources to the Catapult program.
We are a project of the Red Deer Downtown Business Association (DBA). The DBA is the sponsoring organization for Catapult Entrepreneurs.
Other organizations that comprise the ‘Backbone Team’ for Catapult include:
Community Futures Central Alberta
Red Deer College
Central Alberta: Access Prosperity
Battle River Alliance for Economic Development (BRAED)
Central Alberta Economic Partnership (CAEP)
Catapult also partners with organizations across the region to deliver satellite programming to entrepreneurs in the greater Central Alberta region.