Canadian Indigenous Business Accelerator 2024

The NW Innovation Resource Center in partnership with Global Affairs Canada’s Trade Commissioner Services, and Trade & Investment British Columbia is convening a new cohort of Canadian Indigenous innovators and early-stage startups interested in growing their entrepreneurial skills and fast-tracking their market validation for the USA, with a focus on the US Pacific Northwest (PNW); States of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.

Program Benefits

Content & Activities

The cohort meets virtually for 12weeks on Tuesdays beginning January 9, 2024. Weekly cohort meetings to be held each Tuesday from 4-6pm Pacific Time and will include presentations, demonstrations, discussions, group and individual activities, and Q&A sessions with expert guests. Participants will also be paired with Mentors who can provide support and guidance as needed throughout the program. Content and activities include:

  • PNW market overview and profile – Doing business in the U.S. & Opportunities and challenges for Canadian companies
  • Hands-on practice with design and innovation processes
  • Tips and tools for conducting research and market analysis
  • Strategies for validating ideas and gathering feedback
  • Essential components of Intellectual Property strategy
  • Business model generation
  • Financial planning for operations and investment
  • Sales and marketing strategies
  • Communication and presentation skills for business audiences
  • As appropriate, specific advice for Indigenous enterprises doing cross-border business in the U.S.
  • Canada`s Trade Commissioner Services, including follow-up business connections and trade support in the PNW market.
  • Minimum of 3 Business to Business (BtoB) meetings, including possible in-person activities
  • Invitation to attend Canada`s BtoB program on the margins of Reservation Economic Summit (RES) 2024 – March 11-14, 2024, Las Vegas, NV

Participation Requirements

Cohort members are expected to attend and participate in all 12 weekly online sessions. A limit of 2 individuals from each company can attend.  Ideally this would be the CEO/founder plus a knowledgeable partner or staff member.

A computer with microphone and camera capability along with Zoom and Office Suite software is required.

To get the most from the live sessions, we recommend participating from a quiet location with limited distractions, strong internet connection and the ability to turn on a webcam when appropriate, to enhance the group experience. In addition to the live sessions, participants should anticipate 2-5 hours per week of activities outside the scheduled time. This may include reading, completing exercises, meeting with mentors, and preparing final presentations.

Program Costs

The Accelerator Program is funded through the Consulate General of Canada in Seattle and Trade & Investment British Columbia. No fees or equity exchange are required for participation in the accelerator.

Key Dates

  • October 4, 2023: Applications Open
  • November 30, 2023: Applications Close
  • January 9, 2024: Program Kick-off

Application Process

Applications are currently closed. Please check this page again for future opportunities.


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Diane Kamionka