The federal government has given a grant of $475,685 to Venn Innovation to support its Venn Garage incubator.

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency issued a statement Wednesday announcing the grant, which was made through the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program. Carolyn Bennett, the federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, announced the contribution at a reception at Venn’s headquarters in Moncton.

Venn Innovation is a non-profit innovation hub and tech association focused on helping technology companies start and grow in New Brunswick.

“We want to create opportunities for our province and the region,” said Venn CEO and President Doug Robertson in the statement. “Supporting innovative small- and medium-sized enterprises as they grow their business and enter into new markets is critical to building New Brunswick’s - and Atlantic Canada's - economic capacity and success.”

Venn Garage is a program that helps New Brunswick tech companies validate their ideas. It also helps to prepare them for other accelerators in Atlantic Canada and elsewhere. Venn links companies to its network of more than 100 organizations to help them grow and reach international markets.

Since 2014, Venn Garage has supported 84 entrepreneurs, including the 15 teams that are now in the Garage. The organization estimates these companies have created 60 jobs in direct employment.

“We are currently working at capacity in the Garage with 15 companies,” said Alicia Grayeb, Venn’s Manager of Startup Services. “In fact, in the past couple of days, we have accepted four more entrepreneurs, out of which three are women. This means that, at present, around 40 percent of our teams are women-led. Similarly, 60 percent of our teams in the Garage are francophones.”

Said Robertson: “We see so many innovative, tech-enabled companies across the region that can compete on the world stage, and it’s exciting, because these are the companies that are going to help make sure our communities thrive.”


Disclosure: ACOA is a client of Entrevestor.