If you're an entrepreneur based in Winnipeg or Manitoba, North Forge Technology Exchange is an organization that you should be aware of. As an accelerator and incubator, North Forge supports startups and scaleups in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, advanced manufacturing, and new innovations. North Forge is also the innovation partner for the Province of Manitoba. In this article, we will discuss some key takeaways and highlights from a recent presentation by North Forge's Program and Communications Director, Whitney Graves.
Four-Stage Founders Program
One of the main programs offered by North Forge is the four-stage Founders Program. This program helps entrepreneurs go from ideation to gaining investment and scaling up. The program includes stages, including Pathfinder and Base Camp, where you can determine if your idea has legs and develop your business model and go-to-market strategy. North Forge has also recently launched the Women in Innovation Lab (We Lab) to empower women entrepreneurs and the Global Entrepreneurship Initiative (GEI) to equip international entrepreneurs and newcomers to Canada with the resources they need to launch their startups.
North Forge Fabrication Lab
North Forge also has a fabrication lab located in Winnipeg's Exchange district dedicated to advanced manufacturing. The lab has almost $3.5 million of prototyping equipment and is open 24/7. It is a hands-on learning environment that removes barriers such as access to equipment and cost. The lab provides programming for makers, hobbyists, and those building prototypes to commercialize their products.
Entrepreneurs in Residence
North Forge has ten entrepreneurs in residence (EIRs) who are experts in accounting, finance, sales, marketing, growth coaching, and pitch coaching. The EIRs provide founders with one-on-one mentorship and connect them to the wider community. North Forge has also partnered with organizations to provide more resources to their founders.
North Forge hosts events throughout the year, including Ramp Up Weekend, a startup event where entrepreneurs go from ideation to building a startup in just over 50 hours. The winners of the event have the opportunity to win $10,000. North Forge also hosts other events, including roundtable sessions, where entrepreneurs can network with other industry experts and connect with like-minded individuals.
Whether you're just starting out or looking to scale up, North Forge has something to offer. With a strong focus on STEM-based businesses, advanced manufacturing, and new innovations, they are an essential partner for entrepreneurs looking to succeed in these fields.