Entrepreneurs

Applications to the 2023 program are now open. Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. on December 11 in order to be considered. In 2023, the program will be a mix of in person and online.

Wondering if you’re eligible? Read more.

Join us at an info session to learn more

It is highly recommended that you attend an information session before applying.

November 1, 2022 12 – 1 p.m.

Virtual – Register

November 29, 2022 7 – 8 p.m.

Airdrie City Hall Council Chambers – Register

Application process & tips

  • First, ensure you are eligible to participate in the program and can meet the program commitments.
  • Complete the online application form via Jotform. Paper applications are not accepted.
  • Be sure to complete all sections of the form. Be as descriptive and thorough as possible. To see a list of questions asked on the application look here: SMARTstart Application Questions.
  • Include supporting materials: resume, business plan draft, market research, pitch video, etc.
  • You will be notified that we have received your application.
  • A committee made up of business advisors, mentors, bankers and program organizers review all applications. Applications are evaluated on criteria, not first come, first serve.
  • You may be called for an interview (see timelines).
  • If you have questions, contact us.

Will customers love your business idea? Let’s discover!

Customer discovery is an essential first (and ongoing) step in creating a new product, service or business. We encourage idea-stage entrepreneurs to participate in our four-session Discover program prior to entering SMARTstart. You’ll better understand whether you have a business solution people love and are willing to pay for.

2023 Program Timeline

Applications OpenOctober 17, 2022
Information SessionsNovember 1 (virtual) & 29 (in-person)
Application DeadlineDecember 11, 2022
Selection ProcessJanuary 2023
Applicants NotifiedEarly February 2023
Program BeginsOrientation Session February, Launch Event Late February
In-Person SeminarsMarch-June and September-October 2023
Online LearningMarch-July 2023
Draft Plan SubmittedJune 2023
Final Plan SubmittedOctober 2023
Celebration Event/Program EndsLate October/Early November 2023