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NEWS RELEASE · 21st May 2010
Ministry of Tech & Eco Dvlp.
A joint investment by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia will support the Alacrity Foundation in delivering a new student entrepreneurship initiative aimed at strengthening technology commercialization in the province.

"Getting innovative technologies to the marketplace is the cornerstone of a strong, diversified economy, and this project will promote British Columbia's reputation as a world leader in innovation," said the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification.

"The Province of British Columbia is highly supportive of the bright, young entrepreneurs who represent the future of our communications technology sector," said Iain Black, Minister of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development. "The Province is pleased to help advance this hands-on mentoring program that will boost the commercial development of next generation ICT and wireless technology."

The Government of Canada and Province of British Columbia, through the BC Innovation Council, are delivering the $2,472,600-investment through the Western Economic Partnership Agreement. The University of Victoria and MITACS Accelerate Program will also contribute an additional $440,000 in support.

B.C.-based teams of post-secondary students and recent graduates will work to carry out information and communication technology (ICT) product development and commercialization projects. Participants will receive invaluable training and hands-on mentoring opportunities throughout the program's duration.

Upon completion of the program, teams that develop products with strong market potential will be incorporated into jointly owned companies with start-up financial support provided by the Wesley Clover International Corporation. The project expects to spur the formation of six new startup companies in the province and reduce product time-to-market.

"Many of the companies that I have successfully founded over a period of more than 30 years have used the skills and energy of students and new graduates," said Sir Terence Matthews, chairman, Wesley Clover International Corporation. "This significant investment in the foundation gives me and my team the exciting opportunity to replicate the model here in British Columbia and give the teams the entrepreneurial opportunity of a lifetime."

Wesley Clover International Corporation, an internationally recognized investment company, established the not-for profit Technology Commercialization and Graduate Entrepreneurship Foundation of British Columbia, also known as The Alacrity Foundation, to build on similar successful entrepreneurship programs started in Ontario and the United Kingdom.

Under the Western Economic Partnership Agreement, both Canada and B.C. are contributing $25 million each, over four years, to strengthen economic activity and improve quality of life in western Canadian communities.