Whether we’re aware of it or not, geospatial technology plays an important role in our day-to-day lives. From GPS to remote sensing and surveying, knowing where things are is a vital part of many companies’ business model.

Tecterra offers guidance, support, and financial aid to small- and medium-sized organizations in Alberta — helping them unlock the potential of geospatial technology to aid in business development.

(1) What is geospatial technology?

It is knowing where things are and using that to solve complex problems. Geospatial technology includes geographic information systems (GIS), positioning, navigation, remote sensing, mapping, surveying, and other techniques and strategies.

(2) What makes geospatial technology and TECTERRA so innovative?

Geospatial technology and information are useful to a wide variety of industries. As the landscape of these industries rapidly change through technological developments, there are opportunities to provide more robust geospatial information to solve problems. To add, knowing where things are adds context and value to solving a problem. For example, you can’t optimize a route if you don’t know your destination.

TECTERRA is the only support centre that provides assistance without taking equity, or IP, or on a fee-for-service basis. Our mission is to support the development and commercialization of innovative technologies in Alberta, create jobs, and help grow companies. Everything we do is based on these goals.

(3) What are some of the ways you help geospatial companies commercialize?

We support our entrepreneurs financially through programs such as our Industry Investment Program, where we take no equity and provide zero percent interest loans up to $500,000. We also offer non-repayable grants that entrepreneurs can use to hire additional support. Lastly, we provide expert advice that can assist companies in clarifying their value proposition and project outcomes, with a focus on commercial outcomes like sales revenue.

(4) Who can use your services?

Any small- or medium-sized startup business in Alberta. Geospatial information must be part of the product’s value chain. We are always looking to support businesses that may not identify as a geospatial company, but are adding value to their product or solution using location information.

(5) How are you able to support the economy in Alberta?

Since its inception in 2010, TECTERRA has supported 225 companies — including 91 startups — and has created or supported over 350 highly qualified professional jobs across Canada. Overall, the organization has generated $207 million in actual economic impact to date, with over $330 million expected from those same investments by 2020.