Friday, May 26, 2017
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Welcome to the NABI Blog. Our Blog is intended to inform, explain, clarify and raise awareness on current business topics and issues. Do you have a story you would like to share on our blog or be featured in our newsletter? Simply send an email and tell us what you want us to know. We want to hear about your success stories.

NABI Commons Bringing New Life to Business Incubation NABI

Imagine a blank canvas. Now imagine four walls being painted, a vibrant co-working space being designed, business coaches and resources being added to the picture, and eager individuals filling the room. This image is being brought to life in the community of St. Albert. 

The Northern Alberta Business Incubator is excited to announce the development of our newest incubation resource – NABI Commons. It will be a place where entrepreneurs, program partners, community members and mentors come together to embrace and explore the world of business. 

“We’ll have coaching, programs and events going on, as well as public drop-in time,” explained Aaron Budnick, Program Director, NABI. “It will be a space where there is always someone to talk to, bounce ideas off of and learn from.” 

NABI Commons is considered a collision zone where entrepreneurs can gather to utilize incubation resources, share office space, engage in peer mentorship, build connections and host private meetings to enhance or kick start business. 

Some of the building amenities will include: 

  • Comfortable couches and chairs for informal meetings
  • An enclosed boardroom for private meetings and events
  • Open desk space for individual or team projects
  • Shared services such as a photocopier, presentation screen and webcasting capabilities
  • Shared kitchen for lunch hangs and coffee top-ups  
  • Free WiFi

“It’ll be something really unique, especially in St. Albert,” expressed Budnick. “There are similar types of spaces in downtown Edmonton, but not everyone wants to go to downtown Edmonton. NABI Commons won’t have an industry focus, it will be an open and vibrant multi-use space, and the location is super accessible for people within the Capital Region.” 

The facility is expected to launch in January. Stand by in anticipation as NABI transforms a blank canvas into a place where ideas collide, opportunities are born and business incubation lives. 

Stay tuned for more information on this new co-working space. Learn more about NABI click here


    The public is invited to our:

    GRAND OPENING of NABI Commons!

    St. Albert's newest co-working/drop-in space! Our new space features low-cost shared offices and desks. These versatile spaces can accommodate all types of events and is ideal for startups, small businesses, freelancers, and visiting consultants.

    Come and enjoy pizza and beer with our team and reserve your spot at NABI Commons co-working space!

    • DATEFriday, June 16, 2017
    • TIME: Open House 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. 
    • LOCATION:  118-205 Carnegie Drive, St. Albert AB Map
    • RSVP:  Before June 14th Register here 
    • COST: FREE

    For more info on NABI Grand Opening contact or call 780-460-1000 

  • Book Review: Kevin O’Leary, Cold Hard Truth, on Business, Money & Life

    Kevin O’Leary, Cold Hard Truth, on Business, Money & Life

    Short Book Review by Dar Schwanbeck, CMC, Managing Director, NABI

    Once (or if) you can get past O’Leary’s hard-assed, unflinching love of money, he does offer valuable insight into entrepreneurship, business and life in general.  Perhaps what’s most interesting is that Kevin is pushing us to be real in our relationships and business dealings; it just so happens that money is his chosen currency.  For some of us our currency might be time, perceived status in the community, etc., but whatever it is, let’s not waste it….nor detract from those who want to accumulate more of it (e.g. money, status).

    Because we at NABI work day-to-day with entrepreneurs, I particularly enjoyed some of the later chapters (i.e. 8 through 12).  In those sections he talks about dealing with failure, tough times and rejection; the soft and emotional sides of making a pitch to investors; knowing your audience; a list of key questions that every entrepreneur should be able to answer (whether in front of investors or customers), and of course, the need to be on top of your “numbers.”  And he’s not talking about the absolute numbers: he’s referring to the underlying assumptions and facts that support your numbers.  Throughout these sections he offers many practical tips.

    I guess what I liked best is that he gives real, straight feedback and has no time for BS.  Somehow I think the world could use more of this.   A good guide and inspiration; a recommended read, 247 pages, DoubleDay Canada, 2011.

  • MY CITY: Of mules, markets and business incubators

    by DAR SCHWANBECK, NABI executive director

    If the mule can be a metaphor for the qualities of a small businessperson or farmer — hard-working, even-tempered, intelligent, and requiring less food than a horse of the same size — then maybe a farmers’ market can be a good parallel for a business incubator. Since St. Albert has both, let’s check this out.

    A farmers’ market is a retail market featuring goods sold directly by farmers to consumers. Due to the growing interest in healthier foods and local products, there were about 6,000 farmers’ markets in the United States in 2012. In St. Albert, the Farmers’ Market is in its 31st year, has over 250 vendors and serves about 15,000 people each summer; economic contribution may be in the range of $5 million to $10 million.

    Business incubators help with the process of starting and growing companies. They offer shared office services, access to equipment, flexible leases and expandable space, all under one roof. There are about 2,500 business incubators in North America. In St. Albert, the Northern Alberta Business Incubator Society (NABI), now in its 24th year, is home to about 100 small businesses, which, in 2012, generated $70 million in sales and a payroll of about $12 million.

    So far, we see strong parallels between farmers’ markets and incubators. Each provides business frameworks where small entrepreneurs can succeed. But what else?

    At markets, farmers can gain new sources of revenue, get higher prices, diversify their skills, access networking and learning opportunities and reduce their costs for land, buildings and lighting.

    In incubators, entrepreneurs get just the space they need — no more, no less. Most have short-term leases that reduce the risk of starting a business. They get the support services they need, and can access all sorts of learning opportunities.

    Seems entrepreneurs have a lot in common with farmers!

    With both, more money is spent locally, and it circulates longer. Both provide outlets for local products and services, helping to start new businesses and expand existing ones. They reinforce local job and business networks, maintaining local employment. Incubators and markets generate traffic for nearby businesses; they help diversify local economies.

    At farmers’ markets, people can meet neighbours and enjoy the atmosphere. They also get fresh food at competitive prices, increased choice and a stronger community.

    Incubators are good for consumers, too. Incubators can produce services and products closer to home. Consumers get to deal directly with company owners and experts, and prices are often lower.

    Incubators and farmers markets have many similarities and a few differences, but both are good for the community, good for small business and great for consumers — and we have both in St. Albert.

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    Northern Alberta Business Incubator Society (NABI)

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    Mission Centre 

    13 Mission Avenue
    St. Albert, AB  T8N 1H6

    Phone:   780.460.1000
    Fax:        780.460.7205

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    Campbell Centre

    200 Carnegie Drive
    St. Albert, AB  T8N 5A7

    Phone:   780.460.1000
    Fax:        780.460.7205

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    Hours of Operation:
    Monday to Friday 8:00am-4:30pm
    Mountain Standard Time (MST)

    Closed Saturday, Sunday and Holidays

    Directions to NABI: Click Here

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