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IBM, ex-Dragons’ Den host opens tech incubator in Calgary

IBM, ex-Dragons’ Den host opens tech incubator in Calgary 

The IBM Innovation Space in Calgary was launched early this month by Big Blue and District Ventures – an organization which helps early-stage entrepreneurs in the food and beverage and health and wellness sectors to network with peers, investors and business support. District Ventures was founded in 2015 by Arlene Dickinson, a South African Canadian businesswoman, investor, author, and television personality. She was one of the early hosts of Dragons’ Den – a show which featured entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas before a panel of venture capitalists in order to secure funding.

IBM Innovation Spaces provide startups with a collaborative space. The facilities are meant to provide early-stage entrepreneurs with the tools and networking opportunities to accelerate the pace of their growth.

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At the Innovation Space, entrepreneurs will be exposed to mentorship, clients, and collaborators and benefit from the use of technologies such as the IBM Bluemix hybrid cloud development platform and IBM Watson services.

 “This Innovation Space is just one more example of IBM’s continued investment in Canadian innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Dino Trevisani, president of IBM Canada. “With District Ventures, IBM will be providing an ecosystem that enables unprecedented agility, value growth, and the capacity to create competitive advantage in the marketplace.”

“This partnership is a perfect example of what happens when big business and entrepreneurs join forces to do something amazing. Together with IBM, District Ventures is creating a unique accelerator model that matches large enterprises with tenacious innovators who, by using the latest in disruptive technology, can bring real-world solutions to businesses of any size,” said Dickenson.

Some of the industries targeted by Innovation Space entrepreneurs are:

  • Natural resources
  • Fintech
  • Healthcare
  • Clean technology
  • Agriculture

Initially District Ventures and IBM Innovation Space – Calgary will facilitate approximately 20 entrepreneur and large industry collaborations per year.

For more information about this program, click on

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