Airdrie secures grant funding to help entrepreneurs test their business ideas

AIRDRIE, ALBERTA – Airdrie Entrepreneur Common (AEC) has been awarded grant funding from Alberta Innovates to support entrepreneurs in building viable business solutions people love and are willing to pay for.

The project addresses a gap across the entrepreneur support ecosystem in rural Alberta: too many entrepreneurs are not moving from intuition to evidence in their business development process. According to CBInsights, the top two reasons startups fail are 1) they run out of cash and 2) no market need. Airdrie Entrepreneur Common has partnered with the regional innovation networks across Southern Alberta (APEX Alberta, CARIN and RINSA) to collaboratively tackle this gap through curriculum development.

“This grant will help us reach entrepreneurs at the very start of their journey, when they’re making crucial decisions that will impact the success of their business,” said Jessica Williamson, President, with AEC. “We’re excited to roll-out this evolution of the Discover program and assist more entrepreneurs with validating their business ideas in our community.”  

Airdrie will be refreshing the existing Discover program with this new curriculum. Over eight weeks, participants will run experiments to test:

  • Desirability (do customers want this?)
  • Feasibility (can I do this?)
  • Viability (can I make money?)

The program is suitable for tech-enabled startups, and small businesses, across southern Alberta. The learning is also relevant for existing businesses who are looking to revisit their business model and/or add a new product or service.

Discover will run October 3 – November 16, 2023. For more information visit

AEC is a non-profit society founded in 1995, providing resources, training and mentorship to support the start-up and growth needs of Airdrie small busineses. The organization is proudly operated by City of Airdrie Economic Development and Community Futures Centre West.