Solving Canada’s biggest business challenges

The District Ventures and IBM Innovation Space is a new innovation accelerator founded by Arlene Dickinson’s District Ventures and IBM Canada. The Innovation Space is designed to bring big enterprise and entrepreneurs together to solve Canada’s biggest business challenges.

Located in Calgary, this unique environment will help companies innovate and accelerate ideas more rapidly, and move their business plans to scale.

Our goal is to foster an environment of entrepreneurship in Canada. We will support Canadian entrepreneurs by giving them the tools they need to succeed in the form of leading edge and disruptive technology and a supportive and stimulating environment. We’ll connect entrepreneurs to large enterprises with innovation project opportunities or challenges that need to be solved.

For Large Enterprises and Corporations:

How it works

The District Ventures IBM Innovation Space is for large enterprises looking to test an innovative or disruptive business model, build a POC (Proof of Concept), or launch a minimum viable product that can then be commercialized and scaled.

We aim to provide solutions that create a smarter, more efficient and innovative business environment in Canada by creating solutions for real-world problems. The Innovation Space does this by:

  • Helping enterprises explore potential opportunities or solutions in areas causing business problems.
  • Exposing enterprises to the IBM Bluemix open development platform and Watson Services.
  • Supporting companies with the collaborative build of a business model through the Lean Model Canvas and Design Thinking Frameworks.
  • Identifying the domain knowledge experts in your teams.
  • Partnering large corporations with a qualified start-up, scale-up or entrepreneur and IBM/DV domain experts.
  • Facilitating the development of solutions, on a specified timeline and with a projected return on investment

For Entrepreneurs:

How it works

We’re invested in your growth and longevity. The District Ventures and IBM Innovation Space will enable entrepreneurs at various stages of their business development to excel through exposure to clients, mentorship, collaboration, and the use of powerful technologies such as IBM Bluemix and IBM Watson.

The Innovation Space offers entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to engage with high-level executives, investors, mentors, and each other to further innovate and tackle challenges identified by many of Canada’s leading industries.

We aim to:

  • Help you explore potential markets you would like to focus on.
  • Support you with the collaborative build of a business model through the Lean Model Canvas and Design Thinking Frameworks.
  • Support you with access to a vibrant innovation space, leading edge technology, coaching and mentoring services.
  • Connect you to relevant clients to expand your footprint and grow.
  • Facilitate the enhancement of your business by exposing you to industry needs and market demands.
  • Provide a seamless application process.