(From left) Emmanuel Albert, Ed Rodriguez and Dhirendra Shukla of Energia Ventures at the new start-up accelerator at the University of New Brunswick. (Photo: Rob Blanchard /UNB)

The University of New Brunswick (UNB) has launched a new start-up accelerator to advance opportunities in the cybersecurity, cleantech, energy and smart grid sectors.

Energia Ventures, based in the provincial capital of Fredericton, is backed by nearly $1 million in support from the Canadian government, Siemens Canada and UNB.

“This is an important moment for us,” UNB president D r. E ddy Campbel l sa id at Energ ia’s lau nch last December.

“The launch of Energia Ventures keeps the University of New Brunswick at the cutting edge of fostering entrepreneurial activity,” he said. “Given its unique focus on accelerating start-ups involved in clean tech, sustainable energy, smart grid and cybersecurity, Energia has tremendous synergy with our innovation agenda.”

Energia builds on the university’s reputation as a hub for invention, innovation and start-up enterprise. With a long history of success and various centres, institutes and accelerators dedicated to fostering new technologies and businesses, Startup Canada has declared UNB Canada’s most entrepreneurial university.

Ed Rodriguez, managing director of Energia, has vast experience in both the public and private sectors. He outlines an ambitious vision for the accelerator, including plans to extend its reach not only across Canada but internationally as well. “Energia isn’t just about coaching founders toward entrepreneurial success. It’s not just about transforming ideas and technological innovation into useful products and services to be sold in the marketplace for a profit,” Rodriguez said.

“Sure, these are all important aspects of what we work to achieve at Energia. But at the end of the day, this is also about broad social and environmental impact. It’s about leveraging innovation and commercialization to advance a more secure, sustainable and prosperous future — locally to globally.”

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