The Edmonton Public Library (EPL) and Innovate Edmonton are delighted to announce a new partnership with a focus on encouraging and developing new entrepreneurs in the city. Edmontonians with big ideas will have access to a series of four classes and can seek advice from the first Innovator in Residence at the Stanley A. Milner Library.
“We are pleased to welcome entrepreneurial powerhouse and Innovate Edmonton CEO Catherine Warren as our first Innovator in Residence,” said Pilar Martinez, CEO of EPL. “There is a culture of innovation in Edmonton including at EPL, and we are looking forward to Catherine sharing her collaborative vision and invaluable knowledge in this role. We are excited to welcome Catherine to EPL as she supports and inspires entrepreneurs in our city.”
While in residence, Catherine will be available on the second floor of the Stanley A. Milner Library. Budding entrepreneurs are encouraged to meet with Catherine one-on-one during her office hours and ask for insights, advice or feedback.
In addition to the residency, Edmontonians are encouraged to register for Innovation U: An Entrepreneurial Series, which consists of four in-person and online classes focused on innovation and entrepreneurship basics. This program is adapted from Innovate Edmonton’s Startup Foundation to Preflight programs and aims to appeal to a broad audience. Taught by the Innovate Edmonton program team, each class can be taken in sequence or as a stand-alone session and is designed to build upon one another.
“Innovation is a team pursuit and we’re pleased to partner with the Edmonton Public Library to offer this one-of-a-kind public program and residency to inspire Edmontonians to explore their innovation potential,” said Catherine. “Edmonton’s award-winning library offers a whole toolkit for budding innovators, from Makerspaces, including game development studios and 3D printers, not to mention the latest books, data and business intelligence. As a tech entrepreneur and urban innovator, I’m especially excited to hear from Edmontonians and offer my support in taking the first steps on their entrepreneurial path—as we capitalize together on all the Library has to offer.”
This continues EPL’s long-standing record for developing award-winning library innovations, including awards for Capital City Records, outreach services, digital literacy, Indigenous programming and more. EPL is also the first public library in North America to produce a vinyl anthology, a two-storey interactive digital wall, and was the first Canadian library to be named Library of the Year by Library Journal magazine and Gale Cengage Learning in 2014.
“The Edmonton Public Library has been a place for learning and development for many of us and I am happy to see that EPL and Innovate Edmonton are partnering to make innovation advice more accessible,” said Amarjeet Sohi, Mayor of Edmonton. “The Innovator in Residence program is another exciting initiative to support entrepreneurs looking to make the most of this city’s booming business ecosystem.”
The Innovator in Residence will serve a one-year term supporting EPL until June 2023. During Catherine’s residency, she aims to meet and nurture visionary entrepreneurs in Edmonton and support their diverse needs.