University of Calgary

Innovate Calgary offers ‘been there, done that’ expertise to tech entrepreneurs

UToday HomeAugust 28, 2013

When considering commercialization — creating a company based on early-stage technology or an innovative idea — it’s vital to reach out for help to those who have “been there, done that.”

University of Calgary researchers can elect to work with Innovate Calgary to assess the commercialization potential of their technology and to identify opportunities to becoming a new tech company. Engaging with “been there, done that” experts is a stepping stone to successfully launching a new tech company.     

“Many of our startups are based on research conducted at the University of Calgary,” explains Stace Wills, vice-president of Company Creation, Innovate Calgary.  “In these cases we partner with researchers to provide experienced leadership, a limited amount of ‘starter cash,’ and business development services to help start the company on the right path. The path to success is to develop companies so that they become investment ready, then spin out from Innovate Calgary, become financially self-sustaining, and ultimately lead to a profitable exit.”

Innovate Calgary’s licensing team evaluates, protects, markets and licenses inventions created by researchers at the University of Calgary, independent inventors and small and medium sized companies.

A recent start-up company working with Innovate Calgary is nFluids Inc., a privately held, University of Calgary spinout. They have developed a cutting edge fluid additive which has the potential to dramatically strengthen the wellbore and reduce fluid loss, providing a more efficient, environmentally friendly, cost effective and safer drilling operation. They recently secured an investment through Yaletown Venture Partners and are currently making field test arrangements. Other U of C spinout companies in Innovate Calgary’s portfolio include: Circle Cardiovascular, Parvus Therapeutics, NeuroSpheres, and Profero Energy. 

Researchers can engage Innovate Calgary to determine the commercial and startup potential for their technology and to develop the appropriate commercialization path.

“If a researcher is looking to launch a company, our team will conduct internal research and market validation to determine the viability of the opportunity. If the findings look promising, we will propose entering into a partnership with the researcher,” explains Wills.  “Our group adds three key ingredients we call the three Ms: management, money and momentum.  Together, we can take the University of Calgary’s world class research to market.”

Innovate Calgary’s Company Creation program has been launching and accelerating startups since 2007.  For more information please visit,

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