May Business in Calgary featuring The Inc.
Friday, May 1, 2015
BY ANDREA MENDIZABAL
Entrepreneurs and innovators looking to trade in the
home office for a more inspiring workspace now have
a new option to consider. Tucked into 2,000-squarefeet
of the Alastair Ross Technology Centre in the University
Research Park, the Inc. is where coworking space combines
with mentorship, accountability and peer support to help
entrepreneurs launch and grow successful startups. This
bright and open-concept space is approaching coworking
differently with collaboration top of mind.
Steven McIlvenna, director, entrepreneur development at
Innovate Calgary, talks about Calgary’s newest incubator space.
Q: What is coworking?
Steven McIlvenna (SM): Coworking has really evolved
over the last few years but in essence, it’s a shared work
environment where entrepreneurs and like-minded
individuals can come together to not only share an office or
workspace but also to share ideas and knowledge.
Q: What is the Inc.?
SM: The Inc. is an exciting new addition to the Innovate Calgary
ecosystem. It’s both a physical workspace and community
environment where entrepreneurs have access to Innovate
Calgary business advisers and mentors to support the growth
of their business. The space itself is accessible to our members
24-7 and features drop-in desks, dedicated meeting rooms and
touchdown points, office amenities such as copiers and storage,
and phone booths for quick private calls.
Q: What makes the Inc. different
from other coworking spaces in
SM: It’s more than just a place to work; it’s a coworking
program. We’ve built programming into the Inc. that includes
regular touch points with an Innovate Calgary adviser to set
progress goals and action plans, and to discuss challenges
and opportunities. The advisers and mentors are there to
ease some of the stress of starting a new business and to
guide you through the path of building a successful startup.
You’re not only receiving support from the other
entrepreneurs in the Inc. community. We are working
directly with you to help get you further faster. The goal is
to foster and support a startup learning environment.
Q: Who is eligible for the Inc.?
SM: The Inc. is for entrepreneurs, startups and small
businesses that are ready to move out of the coffee shop,
basement or home office and are looking for a supportive
entrepreneurial community. It’s a place for those who are
willing to learn and who have demonstrated the drive to
move their concept forward. At the Inc., entrepreneurs will
meet other entrepreneurs, and opportunities for collaboration
and growth will naturally occur.
There is a wide fit for members, ranging from pre- to earlyrevenue
startups. We believe that entrepreneurs working in
a community of other entrepreneurs can learn more, grow
faster and build better business.
Q: How can an entrepreneur register
for the Inc.?
SM: The Inc. operates on a membership basis. You can apply
by completing our application form at innovatecalgary.
com/forms/intake-form. From there, we’ll meet with you
to determine whether the Inc. is right for your startup.
Specifically, we’re looking for entrepreneurs who will benefit
from a workspace and mentorship combined.
To learn more about the Inc., and to learn more about
Innovate Calgary and how it supports new and emerging
technology, visit innovatecalgary.com.
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