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Catalyzing knowledge, creating startups, and realizing impact.

From Research to Startup – AEiR is your trusted guide

AEiR's mentorship program offers a unique blend of group mentoring and individualized guidance. Our approach focuses on setting clear, achievable objectives, assisting you in transitioning your research from the lab to the market with precision and strategy. Throughout your journey, our experienced mentors provide comprehensive support, ensuring every step towards commercializing your research is carefully guided and informed by both academic insight and entrepreneurial expertise.


Capital raised by AEiR ventures


Successful applications to CDL .


Innovation teams mentored by our experts.

Jordan's story

AEiR alum Jordan Smith leads QTI, a startup utilizing quantum photon tech for physics-based data encryption.

Chad's story

Dr. Chad Bousman discusses aligning research and entrepreneurship, mentorship's role in his journey, and finding markets for his innovation.

Stephanie & Mehdi

The shared research goals of Dr. Mehdi Mohammadi Ashani, PhD, and Dr. Stephanie Bishop, PhD, motivated them to venture into academic entrepreneurship.


Innovators immersed in entrepreneurial thinking, mentoring, and training


Jobs created from the efforts of AEiR's Alumni companies


Inventions disclosed by AEiR’s innovative ventures

The AEiR Team: Expertise, Experience, Empathy

The AEiR mentorship team at the University of Calgary is a distinguished group of entrepreneurial academics, boasting expertise across diverse fields like medicine, kinesiology, science, engineering, and the arts. The AEiR mentor team is populated with members who are not only accomplished academics, but also proven entrepreneurs, adept at bridging the gap between pioneering research and successful commercial startups. They possess a deep understanding of both the academic pursuit of groundbreaking innovations and the challenging journey of translating these discoveries into thriving business ventures.

In research, our team includes research associates and faculty members, recognized as leaders in their fields. Collectively, this team has secured over $100 million in research funding within the university. On the entrepreneurial front, these same experts have founded multiple startups, served as mentors and advisors in the industry, and even acted as angel investors. Collectively, they have generated over a billion dollars in enterprise value through their commercialization efforts.

Our team embodies a rare synergy where entrepreneurial spirit meets world-class academic research. We are passionate and dedicated to guiding academics from pure research to tangible impact, so they might realize significant outcomes and contribute to a better world.

Why Mentorship?

At AEiR, we recognize that academic researchers are often at the forefront of innovation, possessing deep domain expertise and generating groundbreaking ideas. However, the traditional academic setting may not always provide the necessary support to transform these ideas into impactful ventures. This gap between academic discovery and tangible commercial impact led to the creation of the AEiR Mentorship Program. Our aim is to empower academics to navigate the complex journey from research to a successful startup.

Our Approach

The AEiR program adopts a hands-on mentorship approach, pairing you and your team with experienced mentors who are intimately familiar with both academic challenges and entrepreneurial dynamics. Our mentors guide you through the intricate entrepreneurial ecosystem, helping you utilize resources effectively and align your research with commercial objectives. We focus on strategic planning, accessing venture funding, and reorienting research to meet market demands and user needs. The program's duration varies from six months to three years, offering monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual meetings tailored to your project's unique needs.

Navigating the River

Embarking on an entrepreneurial journey is akin to navigating a river from the mountains to the sea, filled with both challenges and opportunities. Our role at AEiR is not merely to observe from the riverbank but to join you in your boat, providing the guidance and support needed to steer through these waters. We are committed to partnering with you at every turn, ensuring that your journey from academic research to startup success is both well-guided and fruitful.

Want to Transform Your Ideas into Impact?

AEiR Alumni

Ventures who continue making an impact.


Patents filed


Trademarks filed


Invention disclosures


The AEiR program provides a unique opportunity to help transform your innovative academic research into a successful startup, guided by seasoned mentors who specialize in bridging the gap between academia and entrepreneurship. This program not only equips you with the necessary skills to commercialize your research but also empowers you to make a tangible, global impact with your ideas.

Individuals who should apply to the AEiR program are academic researchers with a passion for innovation and a desire to transform their research into practical, market-driven applications. This program is ideal for scholars eager to navigate the entrepreneurial landscape, overcome commercialization challenges, and are committed to making a significant impact on society and the economy through their research-driven enterprises.

Group mentoring means that there are multiple mentors at each meeting. This ensures that you get support from multiple perspectives, and helps mitigate the bias associated with an individual mentor.

Free, zero, zip, nada. The AEiR program is available at no cost, and we take no equity in your company.

Put simply, we increase the chance that you will have a successful startup.

The AEiR mentorship program can vary in duration, lasting anywhere from six months to three years. The length of the program is flexible and is determined based on the specific needs of the teams, the pace of innovation, the area of innovation, and the need to move the innovation beyond the university ecosystem.

The AEiR program was conceived by academics who are also seasoned entrepreneurs, creating a mentorship platform that addresses the unique challenges of commercializing academic research. It's designed to support scholars in launching research-driven enterprises by providing guidance through the complexities of academic entrepreneurship.

No, you need to have an idea, passion, and grit. We can help with company formation when appropriate, and help you think about the team that will support you.

Simple, go to this webform and fill out the application - it is quick and simple.

Digital Content Library

Find further reading, videos, and links from AEiR

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