Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 29/1/2015 (2714 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Since 2007, the Eureka Project -- the business incubator at Smartpark at the University of Manitoba -- has helped about 50 startups that have generated about $50 million in sales.
Now, for the first time in many years, the Eureka Project will have its own reliable revenue stream for a few years.
The province is committing close to $1 million for the incubator, representing about 40 per cent of its annual budget for three years.
"This is huge," said Gary Brownstone, the CEO of Eureka for the past eight years.
"We have faced challenges of sustainability and predictability and this solves both those problems," Brownstone said.
"It will enable us to plan better and execute better and deliver a higher quality and higher quantity of services to the companies we are working with. We're thrilled."
The announcement of the funding by Kevin Chief, minister of jobs and the economy, comes less than two weeks after the first 10 recipients of the province's new $3,000 TechFutures grants.
Chief has been a big supporter of the tech startup community and the talent and energy of the province's young people.
Chief said he's impressed with the network and momentum that already exists in the startup and innovation community thanks to people such as Brownstone and the founders of RampUp Winnipeg, including Michael Legary, the current chairman of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, and Marshall Ring of the Manitoba Technology Accelerator, which was awarded about $1 million in federal funding last year.
"We know if we don't give them the hands-on support they get from a place like Eureka, there are other cities they can get it," Chief said.
"Every dollar we invest, we get a huge return."
Clients of Eureka pay a monthly fee for space and services such as marketing and financial management.
The incubator will meet with about 70 companies per year and ultimately work with fewer than 20 of them.
Brownstone said the network that now exists in the city means there are other places he can send companies for support that do not fit Eureka's model.
Winnipeg is starting to get a bit of a reputation for nurturing its startups. Recently, at least two companies that have worked their way through Eureka and the Manitoba Technology Accelerator relocated to Winnipeg from Waterloo, Ont., and Saskatoon.
In addition to the provincial funding and client fees, Eureka derives revenue from services to the University of Manitoba and corporate sponsors.
The program has matured to the point that the founder of one of Eureka's graduates, Noah Decter-Jackson of Complex Games, is on the board of Eureka and his company may become a sponsor.
Martin Cash has been writing a column and business news at the Free Press since 1989. Over those years he’s written through a number of business cycles and the rise and fall (and rise) in fortunes of many local businesses.