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The road to Inventures starts here.

Elevate your pitch, elevate your chances at making an impact at Inventures.

About Ascent

As the smoke clears from Launchpad, a new opportunity emerges on the horizon: Ascent. But what exactly is Ascent? Essentially, it's the pitching bootcamp designed to equip participants with the skills and confidence needed to present their ideas at the TC Energy Ingenuity Competition during Inventures. The competition, presented by TC Energy, will allow participants to compete for a $50,000 prize pool. 

So, how does it all work? To start, interested individuals or teams must apply before April 14. Once accepted, participants embark on a month-long comprehensive pitch bootcamp. This program includes a series of workshops and personal coaching sessions, all tailored to the individual needs of each participant. 

The ultimate goal of Ascent is to help participants master their pitch and perfect their deck. The bootcamp culminates in on-campus semi-finals, where the top five teams are selected to advance to the main event: pitching at Inventures.

But what exactly are the perks of pitching at Inventures? Beyond the enticing $50,000 prize pool, this event stands as one of the largest innovation gatherings in Alberta, drawing over 4,000 attendees from more than 30 countries. It's an opportunity to showcase your idea in front of a global audience of angels investors, venture capitalists, and corporate partners. Selected participants will receive free tickets to Inventures, granting them access to a wealth of speakers, panels, sessions, and international keynotes.

Apply now

Applications will close on April 14, 2024 at 11:59 P.M. MST.

Turn CO2

Last year's winner

In recognition of their groundbreaking innovation, Turn CO2 was awarded $30,000 through the competition. This significant funding allowed the startup — under the leadership of Nick Fylstra, Jack Jarvis, and Oliver Calderon — to further develop and scale their technology, bringing their sustainable solution to a wider audience.

Full story

Did we miss your question? Email us directly at to let us know what you're curious about, and we'll get back to you with answers.

Key information

Did we miss your question? Email us directly at to let us know what you're curious about, and we'll get back to you with answers.

Don't forget to join our info session to learn more about the program.

Ascent was established in 2023 as the continuation of the successful REHAB i2c and TENET i2c programs at the University of Calgary. The Ascent program provides training to the top University of Calgary innovators to pitch their research or early-stage startups at Inventures, the flagship event of Alberta Innovates and one of the largest innovation conferences in Alberta.

The program is open to any University of Calgary researcher, student, staff, faculty, and alumni undertaking a project with commercial viability and can provide evidence of product/technology market fit. 

The applicant’s project must include a compelling plan for leveraging research/R&D to create a product and/or service (e.g., TRL 5+ considered or earlier-stage projects, minimum viable product (MVP), post-prototype). 

  • Applicants must be available to engage in all Ascent  program activities, attend the in-person semifinals, and attend the UCalgary Ingenuity Competition if selected as a top eight finalist. 
  • Applicants (or at least one team member) must be a part-time or full-time founder, engaged or in the process of creating a company. 
  • Applicants  (and team members) must be legally eligible to work in Canada.