St. Albert Today talked to Rajesh Jaiswal, Executive Director; and Courtney Quirk, Operations and HR Manager; about how Northern Alberta Business Incubator (NABI) in St. Albert is supporting entrepreneurs and businesses looking to succeed.
“NABI embodies an entrepreneurial ecosystem of early stage, growth, and scaling-up businesses,” says the team. NABI provides memberships and services tailored to fit the needs of businesses at various stages of their growth, e.g., “risk-free flexible month-to-month licensing of small offices, large units and co-working space, shared amenities, business support services and programs, and meeting room and storage rentals”. For the home-based and virtual businesses, NABI provides “Corporate Identity and Mail-Service memberships”. The team says that “NABI’s offerings are intended to minimize hurdles of growth” for businesses.
The origin of NABI goes back to 1989 when it was established as the St. Albert Business Development Centre (St. Albert BDC) on Mission Avenue. In 2008 a second location opened in the Campbell Business Park.
“In the beginning, our primary focus was on building entrepreneurship and mindset through mentoring and coaching. Now the opportunity is to help businesses grow and scale,” says the NABI team. “We are building our business support programs through partnerships with other organizations. We select programs that not only benefit NABI member businesses but also various non-member businesses.”
The team notes, “Our offices are priced at market rates but have flexible and non-binding license terms so businesses can quickly pivot based on their needs.” NABI’s free access to the shared facilities also helps businesses license a space that they actually need for their business operation. “Our facilities are accessible 24/7 by resident and non-resident (virtual) members”. They further note that shared spaces are under increased sanitation protocols due to COVID and ensuring adherence to AHS guidelines. “Everyone must follow COVID rules and book space in advance. Non-member businesses can book AV-equipped meeting rooms by the hour or day and storage facilities on a month-to-month basis.”
Over the years NABI has seen many businesses graduate into larger spaces and become regional success stories, e.g., Revolution Electric, Bluebird Janitorial, Estate Connection, Bryers Contracting, Lift Legal and others, and few have even built an international footprint, e.g., Wilson Analytical and MB Events.
One member praises NABI saying, “Using the mail service package at NABI has given our business the professional image we need during our transition period. We are notified when mail/packages arrive, so we never miss important correspondence. Having access to NABI’s on-site meeting space allows us to meet with our clients to discuss important project designs in a comfortable business setting. I strongly recommend to any entrepreneur, whether home-based or mobile, to secure a business address at NABI. It’ll give your company credibility.”
NABI is committed to providing the products, office space, and services that help its members and the business community to thrive. NABI consistently introduces new programs to keep pace with industry needs. NABI’s latest programs include:
Riipen: A platform that connects inventors, innovators, entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations with post-secondary/R&D institutions in Canada, US, UK, and Australia. Canadian businesses can also access Govt. of Canada funded Level Up program to access student help via project-based, 80 hour-long, remote internships at no cost to the businesses and organizations.
LivePlan: An easy-to-use tool for creating financial projections, business plans, and pitch your business model in a format desired by funding agencies, banks and venture capitalists. Limited free access provided to NABI members. The tool can be subscribed for 12, 6, or 1 month period at a NABI special rate using the links: https://partners.liveplan.com/nabi-12-month; https://partners.liveplan.com/nabi-6-month; https://partners.liveplan.com/nabi-month-to-month
Upcoming Business sessions (Free-of-cost, Limited seats):
April 8th- 11am- Using Technology and Productivity Tools to Improve Business Efficiency
Join Barbara McKenzie, CEO of Business Link and Jas Panesar, Founder NewEngage Training Inc. to discuss how technology and productivity tools can be used to improve business efficiency.