Overall views of ATC are mixed, but your feedback highlighted that the Edmonton Research Park objectives, location and programs (including the ATC) have not recently been assessed for value and are not as connected to the organically growing and interconnected tech-innovation community downtown.
We recognize this and with resources always in high demand we need to be rigorous in evaluating the return on investment, quality and level of outcomes generated by all of the programs we deliver.
We also believe there is huge value in tech entrepreneurs being in close proximity to mentors, potential investors and service providers. The ERP and the ATC programs will be considered as part of the YEG Compass action plan work.
There is a belief that for a time Startup had lost their way a little bit and a desire for the return of the unique culture that was at the core of its creation. Key to this was an identified need for the leaders of Startup to have a level of their own entrepreneurial experience.
Thank you. Earlier this year, internally we recognized that the co-working space we provide at Startup should be viewed as a program we deliver vs. a revenue generator tied to their financial stability. The “unique culture” is something we continue to work on with both staff, client founders and teams and building tenants. Our sponsorship of the Mercer Block Party was just one small but public demonstration of our commitment to the culture shift conversation and we’re excited to work alongside the Popes to continue to create opportunities for collisions (stay tuned for updates on renovations, events and more!).
Finally, I would invite you all to pop into Startup the next time you are in the neighborhood and meet some of our new team members who do bring varying levels of their own entrepreneurial experience ranging from founding a company to growing up within a family business. And we’ve codified this entrepreneurial skills and experience requirement in our hiring practices.