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Alberta-based food and beverage, healthcare, and cybersecurity businesses among shortlisted applications with a chance at one of two $20,000 grants.

Calgary, AB – Alberta Central, the central banking facility, service bureau and trade association for Alberta’s credit unions, is pleased to announce it has shortlisted five small businesses for the first-ever Big Future Innovation Grant. These successful applicants are in the running to win one of two $20,000 grants to put towards their business’s financial future.

The five shortlisted businesses from an array of industries include Mountain Rhino Corporation, a gluten-and nut-free bakery; Clinical Trial Hero, a mobile app service for clinical trials; Wedge Networks Inc., a cybersecurity software and solutions company; Alberta Food Tours Inc., a tour service for provincial food producers; and Curiocity Group Inc., a localized digital content platform.

“We are thrilled to see innovation thriving and true resiliency across the province during what has been a challenging time given the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for small businesses,” said Ian Burns, President and CEO of Alberta Central. “The response to the Big Future Innovation Grant has been overwhelming and I extend my congratulations to our shortlisted candidates and thank every business who applied.”

After attracting 100 applications just days after submissions opened, all submissions were thoroughly reviewed and scored against a weighted rubric to determine eligibility and overall results. The final five candidates will present their business pitch to an esteemed judging panel made up of professionals from Alberta Central, the Alberta credit union system and local small business owners in early February, with the two winners to be announced on February 23, 2021.

To be considered for one of two $20,000 grants, applicants were asked to showcase how their business has provided innovative marketplace solutions to adapt to COVID-19, how the funds will aid in continuing innovation, and what the future goals are for their business. The two winning small businesses will have the grant deposited into a business account with their local credit union.

For more information about the Alberta Central Big Future Innovation Grant, please visit: www.albertacentral.com/bigfuture

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