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  • NORTH FORGE SMARTPARK

    WINNIPEG

    CEO: Joelle Foster

    441 – 100 Innovation Drive
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 6G2• P: 204-262-6400

  • North Forge | East

    PINAWA

    President: Shane Li

    24 Aberdeen Avenue
    Pinawa, Manitoba R0E 1L0 • P: 204-753-5170

  • Fabrication Lab

    WINNIPEG

    Vice-President: Marney Stapley

    3rd Floor, 125 Adelaide Street
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3A 0W4 • P: 204-799-2033

  • North Forge | North

    THE PAS

    Northern Director/Entrepreneur-in-Residence: Jerome Conaty

    University College of the North
    436-7th Street East, The Pas, Manitoba R9A 1M7
    (204) 623-0311

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The New North Forge Founders Program Takes off!

North Forge’s Highly Customized Founders Program Sets Businesses up for Success

Sixteen startups have geared up for growth as they entered Ascent, the third stage of the North Forge Founders Program. Ascent helps startups develop a minimum viable product (MVP), take their product to market, scale up their revenues, and expand their customer base. This unique stage of the Founders Program is highly customized to meet each business’ exact needs as they prepare themselves to take their business to market. Ascent’s unique design also allows startups to take note of their strengths and weaknesses and use them to further improve their business. 

“Never have we needed unique programming for tech-enabled companies and innovators like right now. Entrepreneurs and the community are seeing that there needs to be a shift towards digital transformation in our province. We’re currently seeing this in Manitoba with the incredible number of applications that we have received for this new program,” says Joelle Foster, CEO of North Forge.

For the next year, these sixteen companies will have access to over 20 webinars and subject matter expert sessions, ongoing entrepreneur-in-residence support, and a lead mentor who has been assigned to each one. However, getting access to this stage is not a given, companies must pitch their business to a panel of judges at North Forge to be accepted into this stage of the program.  

“Our first 16 companies in the Ascent stage are an incredible example of the talent that we all know exists in Manitoba. These sixteen businesses mark the beginning of a transformation in the tech sector across the province and represent the vast talent that we all know exists here” says Joelle. 

When Founders get accepted into Ascent, the first course of action is to do a gap analysis with their entrepreneur-in-residence. The gap analysis compares the actual performance of the company with the desired performance of the business, this is critical to shaping the program experience for each founder. From there, mentors, experts, and entrepreneurs-in-residence can help founders bridge the gap between their current performance level and their desired growth targets. 

“When we were designing the program, we wanted to make sure that we were providing startups with all the resources they will need, when they need them,” says Elaine Greer, Director of Programming. “We have a founder first strategy- which means that everything we do puts the founders at the core of our operations. Our program is not a one-size-fits-all, each individual startup is going to be different, they will have different needs as they go through the program. We try to modify our program to reflect that and to ensure that no two experiences at North Forge are ever the same” says Elaine. 

It is not just the staff that sets the North Forge Founders Program apart from any other incubator/accelerator programs, the community plays an equally vital role in the success of the organization. Participants in the program are encouraged to connect with fellow founders in all fields to learn from each other. “The North Forge team’s extensive business-building knowledge and connections to local resources paired with the lived experiences of the entrepreneurs-in-residence have been helpful in guiding my company’s decisions and next steps. I am grateful to be a part of the North Forge Ascent program and their motivated community of founders” says Melanie Derwin, Founder of Serenity Productions. 

It takes a community to raise a business. With North Forge’s years of proven, on-the-ground-experience in entrepreneurship, a team of driven staff members that are determined to succeed, and a strong entrepreneurial community, the Founders Program will start a chain reaction of tech innovation in Manitoba.  

For more information or to apply for the Founders Program, click here

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Bell MTS

Bell MTS is part of Canada’s largest telecommunications company, providing Manitobans with Mobile phone, TV, high speed Internet, and Home phone service.

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MNP LLP

MNP is a leading national accounting, tax and business consulting firm in Canada.

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Thompson Dorfman Sweatman

At Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP (TDS), we are devoted to serving our valued clients. Our collegial workplace fosters greater teamwork, responsiveness and communication, providing better results for clients. TDS is Manitoba’s largest independent law firm.

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Wawanesa

Wawanesa works exclusively with insurance brokers across Canada, offering home, auto, farm and commercial business products.

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Deloitte

Get forward-thinking business advice. With over 150 years of experience, Deloitte is one of the leading professional services firms in Canada.

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RBC

Royal Bank of Canada is Canada’s largest bank, and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services on a global basis. We have over 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 36 other countries.

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Bit Space Development

Bit Space Development Ltd. is an interactive digital media studio that specializes in creating innovative learning experiences for the classroom and workplace. We work with educators and industry professionals from around the world to develop effective solutions for education and training using cutting edge digital media technologies.

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Princess Auto

For more than 85 years, Princess Auto has been supplying trade professionals, home mechanics or people who simply love building things with the tools and equipment they need to figure it out – whatever that “it” may be. With a unique assortment of tools, equipment and products, ranging from hydraulics to welding, Princess Auto complements the home improvement sector rather than competing with it.

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We offer highly skilled service professionals, 24 hour emergency service, preventative maintenance programs, training and emergency rental units. JCV Mechanical offers more than just compressed air products. turn this around and start with JCV mechanical offers more.

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Bockstael

For over 100 years the Bockstael name has been synonymous with construction in Manitoba. From the humble beginnings of a Belgian carpenter, to the fourth generation of family ownership, building is in our blood. We pride ourselves on world-class innovation and a client-first approach to doing business. This is our commitment to serving the province we choose to call home for the next 100 years — and beyond.

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Stu Clark Centre for Entreprenuership

The Stu Clark Centre for Entrepreneurship (SCCE) is here to support entrepreneurial activities across the entire University of Manitoba campus. In addition to supporting students at the I.H. Asper School of Business we also support students from ALL faculties across the University of Manitoba – Fort Garry and Bannatyne Campus including: Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Education and more!

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Canadian Nuclear Laboratories

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North Forge Technology Exchange

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Portage Regional Economic Development

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