North Forge Technology Exchange offers a network of services to accelerate innovation and commercialization in Manitoba. These services include mentorship, training and grant writing support as well as access to startup desks, office space, meeting rooms and the Fabrication Lab.
The North Forge startup program takes entrepreneurs from idea to market success, building sustainable, investor-ready companies with go-to-market and scale up plans. Launch and grow an innovative technology company through our mentor-driven, customized program.
When you work with us, you’ll be mentored by world class subject matter experts as you advance through our proven solution validation cycles before going to market.
STAGE 1: Prove it!
Understand every facet of the problem your market faces everyday. Test the meaningfully unique aspects of your proposed solution before spending big money and finally, develop the minimum viable product that your market needs.APPLY
STAGE 2: Grow It!
Join other startups in our cohort program as you finalize your go-to-market strategy, develop a scale up plan, gain more traction and become investor-ready.
When it’s time to take your plans off paper and into the real world, North Forge’s Fabrication Lab has the tools and equipment that make it
possible to affordably produce, tweak and test prototypes.
Events & Training
North Forge’s network includes opportunities for collaboration and education via events including our Lunch & Learns, Ramp Up Weekends and Meetups, as well as orientation and training for the use of our Fabrication Lab.
Grant criteria can be stringent, and the deadlines are always tight. We provide assistance to those enrolled in our Startup Program to ensure companies are eligible, their rationale for receiving the grant is watertight, their research is relevant and the project plan is realistic.
North Forge Technology Exchange clients have access to Pegboard Hosting. Services are offered to clients at cost, and include fast, full gbit service to 321 McDermot. Additionally, clients can turn to Pegboard for development servers, web servers, file servers and production environments, for example, as a backend for an app.
Pegboard Hosting was created with the needs of startups in mind. There are no bandwidth charges or limits and a linear pricing scheme that doesn’t penalize customers for starting small.
The UX Lab is a place for Manitoba innovators to develop a great overall experience for the people using their product.
Powered by Caribou Strategy and Design Consultancy, the UX Lab offers North Forge clients assistance with user and usability testing, user and stakeholder interviews and surveys. The lab incorporates proven approaches such as user journey mapping and personas to strengthen ongoing strategic development of products.
Clients must have a functional prototype, MVP or launched product for testing in the UX Lab. User testing is exploratory, evaluating the promise of preliminary concepts and testing features during implementation.
With PitchBook, North Forge clients have access to private market data, venture capital, private equity and M&A deals, investors and funds. This subscription-only database also provides commentary and analysis of current events, trends and issues affecting technology and innovation-based companies. PitchBook’s software and analysis tools allow for targeted searches, building financial models, creating data visualizations, and establishing custom benchmarks.
Advanced ICT Lab
The Advanced ICT Lab is a digital makerspace that provides the tools for Manitoba developers to develop their tech for commercialization. Powered by Bit Space Development, it is also a place of community and mentorship.
Users can develop, test and build VR experiences at workstations equipped with Unity software and HTC Vive, Microsoft HoloLens and other devices. Possibilities include 360-degree marketing videos and photos, drone photography and videography, room-scale VR, Bitcoin-related applications, video game development and support for legacy VR applications. Podcast studio space and equipment round out the lab’s offerings.
North Forge Technology Exchange clients have access to critical market data, insights and analysis to drive their decision-making.
Specifically, North Forge offers Kable, a subscription market intelligence platform with focused reporting on the ICT technology sector in 10 areas, from enterprise mobility management, software infrastructure and cloud services to information management and enterprise security. Sixty-seven sub-segments are also included.
Additionally, Kable features definitive coverage of the ICT-related aspects of 14 industries, including education, healthcare, energy, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, retail, media and more.
The analytical reports from Kable identify investment patterns and trends, monitor how budgets are set to change, provide information on the top-spending organizations, and provide market opportunity forecasts.
Our partnership with the World Trade Centre Winnipeg brings even more access to business intelligence. WTC Winnipeg is part of a worldwide network, covering more than 300 World Trade Centres in 90 countries. These databases include national industry reports featuring research on new international markets, daily analysis on current events, market overviews, regulatory development and surveys of the competitive landscape.
The Startup Legal Clinic provides advice and assistance on a range of legal issues faced by entrepreneurs, including dealing with prior obligations, company formation, transferring intellectual property to the company, issuing founder shares, vesting agreements, employment, non-disclosure and other startup legal agreements, IP protection, and the basics of capital formation and exit strategies.