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North Forge strengthens Manitoba’s future in innovation

WINNIPEG – April 20, 2016 – Manitoba entrepreneurs have a new resource that will streamline the highly successful services at The Eureka Project, Assent Works, Ramp Up and the Startup Winnipeg program. North Forge will ensure innovators have all the supports available to them to ensure their best chance for success.

The Eureka Project is Manitoba’s largest, most successful technology incubation program. Member companies have raised more than $130 million in financings and have created hundreds of jobs for Canadians. Eureka is currently working with 25 startups in its offices located in the University of Manitoba’s SmartPark and at its downtown location in Innovation Alley. A crucial part of its support for entrepreneurs includes access to award-winning mentors, investors and other founders, as well as world-class experts in the areas of engineering, programming, and user interface/user experience design.

Ramp Up Manitoba/ Startup Winnipeg programming has focused on increasing the number of tech startups in Manitoba by connecting entrepreneurs with the talent and tools to launch innovative technology and to fuel its growth. Networking opportunities and events, including popular Ramp Up Weekends, have been an important part of Manitoba’s technology and innovation ecosystem, while Startup Space offers affordable access to office space and amenities.

AssentWorks is the largest not-for-profit fabrication lab in Canada, providing entrepreneurs with the specialized equipment they need for the research and rapid development of prototypes.

North Forge will create a powerhouse of complementary services for entrepreneurs. “Collaboration and a shared vision have led to bigger and better things,” says Jeff Ryzner, who will move from his role at The Eureka Project to become president of North Forge. “We have always been big supporters of Startup Winnipeg. Some of our startups had their beginnings at a Ramp Up Weekend, and we send everyone doing physical prototyping to AssentWorks. This partnership is a natural fit. Alignment of our services means more support for Manitoba entrepreneurs.”

“Working together will further build and strengthen Manitoba’s startup tech scene,” says Stuart Henrickson, the I.H. Asper executive director for entrepreneurship at the Asper School of Business and a director of North Forge. “This is the right move for the organizations involved, but more importantly it is right for building our province’s future in innovation and tech by nurturing talent and creating opportunity here at home.”

“North Forge will be a catalyst for innovation. We are sparking potential for new ideas,” says Chris Johnson, a Ramp Up Manitoba founder and chair of Startup Winnipeg. “We’re creating a community of brilliant, driven and focused entrepreneurs with unlimited potential.”

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