About Edmonton Unlimited

Innovation from here for the world

Now is the time for us, Edmonton's innovators, and our city. Headquartered in Alberta's capital city, Edmonton Unlimited harnesses the power of possibility and brings the very best of Edmonton to the world.

From the sticky problems we solve to the brilliant people who solve them, Edmonton has always been a place that sees opportunity instead of barriers, that supports and encourages one another, and a place where people come to do big things – because they can. 

Together we are building an inclusive global innovation capital – a city of innovators tackling the world’s stickiest issues, including the climate emergency, food security, public health, digital inclusion, social justice and Reconciliation, to name a few. Our new tagline, Innovation from here for the world, speaks to our commitment to supporting our city’s problem solvers in tackling the world’s big problems.   

Ecosystem building cannot be accomplished by one entity alone, and therefore, we must be super colliders! Edmontonians have ambitious goals and we strengthen the ecosystem through our five pillars: Programming, Pathfinding, Positioning, Placemaking and Partnerships

Our History

Our organization was created in May 2020, with unanimous City Council support and a broad mandate to harness the transformational power of innovation and community building. Representing a diverse mix of entrepreneurs and governance experts, our inaugural board was selected by Edmonton City Council, and our Chief Executive Officer, Catherine Warren, joined the organization following a competitive national search.  

From day one, our purpose has been clear: unite a globally recognized innovation community to create jobs and contribute to the city’s enduring economic vitality, resiliency and identity.  

We operate in a big-picture context and are guided by 10 of 24 action items identified in Edmonton’s 2021 Economic Action Plan. To these, we lend our expertise and approach with ambitions of creating 121,000+ new jobs for Edmontonians by 2030. 

Our innovation trajectory also corresponds with global trends and interests, including national and international investors who increasingly seek investment opportunities that provide environmental social governance returns. As with other leading innovation authorities around the world, we align with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. 

In our first 18 months, we achieved several significant strategic milestones: 

  • Focusing on inclusive innovation and Edmonton’s bench strength in addressing global challenges; 
  • Growth through consolidation of entities Startup Edmonton, TEC Edmonton and the Edmonton Regional Innovation Network; 
  • The launch of a novel municipal accelerator fund, including attracting three Silicon Valley accelerators to Edmonton: 500 Global, Plug & Play and the Telus Community Safety & Wellness Accelerator, plus roll-out of the novel pre-accelerator Alberta Catalyzer with Platform Calgary; 
  • The launch of an exciting municipal procurement experiment, Capital City Pilots, giving local innovators a chance to transform city-owned assets, while gaining powerful case studies for investment attraction and business development; and 
  • Downtown revitalization through a new innovative destination. A new home that’s accessible, street-level and welcoming to all. 

As we look ahead, we’re enthusiastic about Edmonton’s limitless potential as an inclusive global innovation capital. We are motivated by the global challenges that others might find daunting, and we invite all Edmontonians to participate in our joint mission – it’s going to be a great ride together. 

Strategic Plan 2021-2025

Were happy to share our Strategic Plan with you our community. It draws upon the vision and expertise of our Board of Directors, numerous documents, and previous bodies of work. We have conducted research of urban innovation communities around the world, and sought out the views of business leaders, post-secondary institutions, innovation thought leaders as well as organizations dedicated to the growth and prosperity of Edmonton for all Edmontonians. 

At Edmonton Unlimited, we are welcoming, inclusive and unconstrained by traditional definitions of innovation, business and entrepreneurship. Together, we will build on our city’s strengths and undeniable passion and support new business opportunities. This plan is a road map for how we will foster job growth, attract investment, and create value for our city. It will inspire innovation in the hearts and minds of all Edmontonians in everything we do and will position Edmonton as an inclusive global innovation capital. 

Note: Our Strategic Plan was designed under our former placeholder brand Innovate Edmonton. You’ll see a newly designed strategic plan aligning with our new brand in the coming weeks. 

Together with our partners and our city’s innovators, Innovate Edmonton will develop and sustain a globally recognized and relevant urban innovation ecosystem. We will create jobs and contribute to the enduring economic resilience, vitality and identity of the City of Edmonton and map local solutions and intellectual property to global challenges and mega trends.

Our values underpin all we do, our commitment to Edmonton, our employees, partners, and the wider world. At Edmonton Unlimited we value equity, diversity and inclusion, cross-pollination, innovation, bold action, working locally for global impact, working for the public good in the public eye.

We will develop an urban innovation ecosystem that builds productive relationships between all parties. This includes creating and nurturing a network that encourages individuals and organizations to exchange diverse approaches, perspectives, and solutions. It also means creating a powerful and compelling brand promise that is inclusive and representative of local expertise and talent and positions Edmonton on a global stage.

Edmonton is an inclusive global innovation capital with investible companies that tackle global challenges.

Our work is shaped by four fundamental principles:

  • Our reach will be broad
  • We support local innovators and innovation
  • We will be global
  • We will build our city

Programming

We deliver free business development courses and coaching to thousands of local innovators every year. We launched and lead an Accelerator Fund to attract world-class accelerators with an Edmonton footprint, serving local and international entrepreneurs. Our global accelerator partners: Plug and Play, 500 Global and Alchemist.

Positioning

We position our city-of-innovators on the global stage. Through storytelling, media, and marketing, we get the word out where it matters most: to Edmonton’s future customers, talent, investors and more.

Pathfinding

We provide navigation services for founders, directing them to third-party supports, grants & investment, municipal and regulatory opportunities, and the like.

Placemaking

We are building Edmonton’s newest innovation destination in the heart of downtown, soon to be located on 101st and Jasper Avenue, drawing attention to Edmonton’s innovation successes, contributing to downtown revitalization and sustainable development, and fostering civic pride and “innovation identity” in residents and students.

Partnerships

It takes the whole community working in concert to make our mark as a global innovation capital. By forging partnerships locally, nationally, and internationally, we bolster our reach and impact.

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Commitment Statement

Indigenous innovation has taken place on these lands, Amiskwaciwâskahikan/ᐊᒥᐢᑲᐧᒋᐋᐧᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ, Edmonton since time immemorial. At Edmonton Unlimited, we recognize, appreciate, and celebrate the First Nations, Metis, and Inuit innovators whose footsteps have marked these lands for generations. We respectfully acknowledge that we are situated on Treaty 6 territory, traditional lands of the Cree, Dene, Blackfoot, Saulteaux, Nakota Sioux, and Metis. We also encourage, support, and promote the resurgence of Indigenous knowledge and practices and are committed to empowering Indigenous innovation in the spirit of Reconciliation.

In the spirit of Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in Canada, Edmonton Unlimited commits to acting by: 

1

Honouring the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Call to Action #92: “Business and Reconciliation.”

2

Providing education, to engage in conversations with and about Indigenous Peoples to understand the historic Truth of oppression and of systemic racism.

3

Building relationships and partnerships with Indigenous communities, businesses, entrepreneurs and supporting agencies.

4

Creating an environment that is inclusive, equitable and welcoming for Indigenous employees, partners, and public who may enter our spaces, be a part of our projects and programs, or engage with people across the organization.

5

Identifying and supporting opportunities for employment, contracting or procurement for Indigenous businesses and economic development partners.

6

Sharing knowledge and learning with our innovation ecosystem partners to encourage their ongoing Reconciliation efforts and to generate positive and lasting change.

We recognize that this journey of Truth and Reconciliation is one that will require time, resources, effort, attention, and intention across our organization. We are committed to learning, growing, listening, sharing, and taking action to support Indigenous innovation, Indigenous entrepreneurs, Indigenous organizations to realize the vision of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s call to action #92.

Our Partners

Funders

City of Edmonton
Edmonton Regional Innovation Network
Government of Canada

Community Partners

Startup TNT
Edmonton Downtown Business Association
Explore Edmonton
MacEwan University
NAIT

Program Partners

epf-logo
ACCEC_logo
Edmonton Public Library

Corporate Partners

PWC

Membership

Media Partners

Get Started

The best way to start exploring your business idea is with a free, online, 30-minute meeting with our team. We’ll listen to your idea and challenges, make recommendations on how you can move forward, and connect you with lots of opportunities in the community.

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