Last week, 10 Red Deer entrepreneurs took the podium in front of local business leaders to showcase their ideas during the Catalyst Incubator celebration event on March 21.   

The Catalyst Incubator program was designed by the Central Alberta Regional Innovation Network (CARIN) to assist local entrepreneurs move from an idea to export in a faster, seamless way.  

“These entrepreneurs are just beginning their journey. Many of them have never had to explain their idea to a non-family member before joining the Catalyst program. It is amazing to see how much progress each person makes in just two short months,” said Kelly Kierluk, General Manager of Community Future Central Alberta.  

During the eight-week program, each entrepreneur received more than 50 hours of training from mentors.  

The program focuses on supporting start-ups in manufacturing, agriculture, technology, energy innovation, and related sectors.  

The entrepreneurs this year covered a range of industries, such as clean energy, hydroponic agriculture, massage therapy, and equipment design.   

“I’m so glad I took part in this program,” said Justin Travis of start-up Wall Art Inc. “The mentors I have dealt with have taught me so much about who my customers are and how I can best reach them.”