Zone Startups Calgary to foster innovative startups in Alberta

Strategic partnership between GE Canada and Ryerson Futures

CALGARY, March 30, 2016 /CNW/ - GE Canada and Ryerson Futures Inc. are pleased to announce the official launch of Zone Startups Calgary (ZSC), an accelerator that will support the growth of industrial internet and energy-related startups.

ZSC will identify and drive growth of startups in the oil and gas sector, power generation, big data, analytics, sensors, cyber security, visualization, imaging and other technology areas. The startups in the program receive support to establish market validation, develop customer opportunities and launch field trials while having access to mentors, advisors and future funding opportunities.

"Calgary has a strong and growing startup community," said Elyse Allan, president and CEO with GE Canada. "Zone Startups Calgary will collaborate with this important ecosystem opening another window to help commercialize and scale opportunities, ultimately enabling greater diversification in the Alberta economy."

ZSC will work with GE's Customer Innovation Centre in downtown Calgary and will have access to GE's global market reach, innovations and product and service teams. ZSC startups will also have prioritized access to Predix, GE's software platform for scalable, industrial enterprise solutions.

"As a digital industrial company, GE is finding ways to combine brilliant machines with best-in-class analytics to deliver insight that transforms technological infrastructure, reduces unplanned downtime and maximizes profitability and efficiency," explains Allan. "ZSC will add to the global technology ecosystem and use Predix to find new and exciting ways to improve business."

ZSC will also invite industry to bring forward their business challenges.

"As Canada looks to promote innovation and entrepreneurs, the launch of Zone Startups Calgary will provide entrepreneurs with the support and connections they need to succeed," said Matt Saunders, president of Ryerson Futures. "We're looking forward to helping support and drive innovation in Alberta."

ZSC will leverage the methodology that Ryerson Futures uses to operate successful accelerator programs in Toronto and Mumbai, which have seen more than 100 companies raise more than $160-million in venture capital to fuel their growth over the last three years.

"We welcome Zone Startups Calgary to the local innovation ecosystem," said Peter Garrett, president of Innovate Calgary. "The addition of a new accelerator increases the support for the growing number of entrepreneurial technology companies in our community. We congratulate GE and Ryerson Futures on launching this initiative."

Startups that want to apply for the program or interested corporate partners can visit zonestartups.com/calgary.

About GE
GE (NYSE: GE) is the world's Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the "GE Store," through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry. www.ge.com

About Ryerson Futures
Ryerson Futures Inc. helps innovative startups accelerate their growth through market validation and customer acquisition. It also works with corporations looking to embrace new ideas and innovative technologies, and provides seed capital to high-potential startups. RFI is affiliated with The DMZ at Ryerson University, which ranked as the #1 university-based incubator in North America and #3 globally by the UBI Index.

SOURCE GE Canada

For further information: Karissa Boley, GE Canada, 403-461-7920, karissa.boley@ge.com; Matt Saunders, Ryerson Futures, matt@zonestartups.com

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