Partner Spotlight - InceptionU

by our Head of Story, Leah Sarich (August 2021)

Thin Air Labs is an Ecosystem Studio which means we ignite growth for many ventures in the innovation ecosystem and we also ignite the growth of the ecosystem itself. One of the ways we do that is through strategic partnerships. Basically we like hanging out with other organizations with similar goals so we can all #BuildWhatsNext together.

So, we thought we’d highlight some of our critical partners in the innovation space.

First up, InceptionU.

We know that our innovation ecosystem requires talent, but not just technical talent. We need to develop a community of people who think differently about the future. At InceptionU they’re not just training full stack developers, they’re helping people and organizations learn how to learn so that they can continue to confidently evolve and meet the needs of a digital future. We call this talent, future-fit.

CEO Margo Purcell describes InceptionU as “a place of meaningful learning. The kind that will stick with you and enable you to be fit for the future without fearing it.”

So why did InceptionU decide to partner with Thin Air Labs?

“Thin Air Labs is fostering what’s needed for us to have a thriving innovation sector in Calgary and Alberta,” says Margo. “There’s such values alignment and understanding of what’s most needed for that to happen that it’s a natural partnership for us. We’re developing the talent that can help companies grow, for the companies here and the ones we want to attract. And these are companies that think and build in a regenerative way to solve the big, global challenges we’re facing. So of course we’d align with Thin Air Labs because those are the kind of companies they attract and that’s the kind of talent we’re developing.”

(InceptionU Co-founders: Greg Hart, Jill Langer, Margo Purcell)

A good example of a meaningful result of this partnership is the internship that has been developed between Thin Air Labs and InceptionU. Thin Air Labs will hire new graduates from InceptionU’s program to work on Thin Air projects with the understanding that they will need guidance as they continue to learn and gain experience.

“This internship with Thin Air Labs means people can come out of our program and step into properly paying work while they continue learning,” says Margo. “This helps to build a bridge from the learning environment to real world experience that allows these new graduates to continue to grow with these ventures.”

Thin Air Labs has hired two InceptionU full stack developers who are currently working on a project with Coril Holdings.

"This partnership with Thin Air Labs, is more eyes, ears and sensors for what is going on in the ecosystem and for what is most needed. It allows us to create together what is most needed for innovation in Calgary, Alberta and beyond." ---Margo Purcell, CEO InceptionU

Margo says internships like this offer hope for people looking to upskill or reskill from other industries.

“We keep hearing that there’s amazing talent available in Alberta, but we know this talent doesn’t necessarily have what these ventures need yet. And for a lot of these small companies, often ones engaging with Thin Air Labs, they’re small teams, so they don’t have the bandwidth to develop someone who is able to contribute value but needs more guidance than someone who’s maybe more experienced. So Thin Air can provide that oversight, that mentorship, that guidance in their learning while they earn a living at the same time.”

It’s a talent development process that continually feeds the innovation ecosystem allowing it to grow and mature.

Margo says, “this partnership with Thin Air Labs, is more eyes, ears and sensors for what is going on in the ecosystem and for what is most needed. It allows us to create together what is most needed for innovation in Calgary, Alberta and beyond.”


InceptionU currently offers two fully immersive, six month programs. The Full Stack Developer program and the brand new Full Stack Designer program. Both start this fall, and are currently accepting applications.

InceptionU also offers short-form workshops and learning opportunities for companies to develop future-fit skills of their existing employees. These sessions are designed to integrate concepts into current challenges in the workplace, to apply learning in real time.

InceptionU is also developing an online course focused on ‘how to think and figure stuff out’ that will be launching in January 2022 to learners everywhere.

Learn more about InceptionU and their programming here.