Propel ICT accelerates that growth.
We are a catalyst for Maritimes-based start-ups. We connect early-stage entrepreneurs with expertise, resources and potential investors so they may drive economic growth and enrich life in the Maritimes.
What that means
Our expertise: When starting something new, we all could use a little boost. Propel ICT mentors understand the importance of helping because each of them benefited from the advice and actions of others when they were starting out. Now they’re helping the next generation of entrepreneurs in a meaningful and positive way. Our mentors cross sectors and skill sets, providing our cohorts with great advice in everything from software development, corporate strategy, marketing and communications and customer development.
Our resources: Propel ICT draws on an extensive North American-wide support network that gives our cohort access to leading thinkers, such as Ash Maurya, author of Running Lean, and investor readiness workshops to give our entrepreneurs the tools they need to build scalable, export-ready businesses.
Our investor community: Propel ICT works closely with venture capital firms, investment funds and the Maritimes’ extensive angel investor community to connect entrepreneurs with potential sources of capital, along with the extensive business experience and professional contacts these investors bring.
It is an exciting time to live and work on Canada’s east coast.
Technological, social and economic change is sweeping across our region, busting apart old business models and assumptions.
We have the opportunity to transform the Maritimes into a high-performing and creative region.
To do that we need to invest in our innovators and entrepreneurs.
Through Launch36, Propel ICT does that.
Launch36 is a five-month accelerator program for high-potential entrepreneurs. It is an engine of growth powered by a region-wide network of mentors who work one-on-one with entrepreneurs to help guide the development of their idea into a viable, export-ready product and/or service.
The program runs twice a year, in the spring and fall. It includes weekly cohort meetings featuring an informal chat with an industry expert; two, multi-day development workshops and weekly one-on-one interaction between mentor and entrepreneur. Together, it is an intensive and highly creative opportunity to brainstorm, polish pitches and develop new business models. It culminates with the Launch36 Demo Day where our start-ups present to investors.
If we’ve done our job, everyone gains.
Individual investors get to be part of developing a new idea.
Corporate and institutional investors get a creative partner to explore new markets and/or business models.
Entrepreneurs are empowered to go out and attract the financial fuel they need to kick their businesses into high gear.
At Propel ICT we get fired up when one our teams succeeds because we believe individual success can power community change.
That’s our Maritime roots showing.
Propel ICT’s mentors live and work here because we recognize there’s something special about our edge of the world. It’s found in the people and our deep social and business connections to each other.
We support each other because we know success comes in waves and we must work together to harness the collective power of our individual efforts.
It’s how we got started. Back in 2003, a group of Saint John, N.B.-based high tech leaders got together to figure out how to kick-start the city’s emerging ICT sector. Most of them had been a part of NBTel’s group of innovative companies and understood the power of a highly-engaged professional network. They set out to replicate that model and ignite a start-up culture in the city.
They named it PropelSJ and in 2004 created New Brunswick’s first incubator program, Catalict, which aimed to launch 32 ICT start-ups in three years.
That first cohort includedThe PropelSJ initiative resulted in companies like:
Mariner Partners, is one of the largest independently-owned ICT companies in Atlantic Canada with offices in Saint John, Fredericton, Moncton and Regina. It began in 2003 with five employees and now has over 1140 employees. It is a world leader in IPTV solutions and in 2010 was named a Canadian Innovation Leader by Industry Canada.
Brovado, the leading supplier of connectivity solutions in the P&C insurance sector in Canada, with three offices in three provincestwo offices in New Brunswick (Saint John & Moncton) and one in Toronto. Over 800 brokerages use Brovada’s signature product, NexCenter. That’s roughly 75 per cent of all the real-time submission transactions in Canada.
Radian6, which now boasts over 4800 employees in Fredericton; Saint John; Halifax; Sydney, Australia; and Elstree, U.K.; France, Germany, Japan, New York, Chicago and San Francisco.
Through that original cohort, our founders realized that to have an impact, we needed to get bigger.
In 2008 we relaunched as PropelICT with a New Brunswick-wide vision; demand grew and in 2011 we expanded our reach, welcoming entrepreneurs from Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
Now we need your help to continue to grow.
As of June 2012, PropelICT has accelerated 10 start-ups that have raised a total of over $3,000,000 of new private funding within 12 months of completing Launch36. They’ve also been hiring, creating 50 full-time jobs.
Our entrepreneur alumni include:
Launch 36 completely transformed our team and our business. With a fully engaged mentor and peer network, we went from concept to revenue before the program ended. If you’re launching a lean startup in Atlantic Canada, you would be crazy to do it any other way.
The best thing to happen to LeadSift at its early stages was being accepted into this accelerator. With an extremely talented and unbelievably helpful pool of mentors giving constant feedback on every minute detail – technology, business, marketing, finances, funding, team building – they kicked our butt till we got everything right! We made connections and contacts within 5 months, thatmonths that would take a lifetime to build. For any Atlantic Canadian startups Propel would be a must do – this alone will hyper propel and launch you to the path of success!