Propel receives $2.9-million ACOA grant to continue virtual accelerator program until 2026

The Government of Nova Scotia committed $1.05 million to Propel in May.

Atlantic Canada accelerator Propel has received a $2.9-million grant from the federal government via the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

The new funding comes roughly six months after the Government of Nova Scotia committed $1.05 million to Propel. In total, the accelerator has raised $3.95 million in government funding this year.

This latest funding will allow Propel to continue delivering its accelerator program until 2026, according to a statement from ACOA.  Propel’s programs include access to networking support, expertise, coaching, and skills development to pre-revenue and revenue-generating startups in Atlantic Canada. 

“In order to accelerate investments, immigration, and R&D, we need to build capacity in our founders and inspire new ones,” Propel CEO Kathryn Lockhart said in a statement. “With a record year of 113 companies in our cohorts, we are exceptionally proud of our role in coaching founders to develop the skills and access the resources they need to build, grow, and scale innovative companies.”   

RELATED: Report: Atlantic Canada 10th strongest blue economy startup ecosystem globally 

Founded in Saint John, New Brunswick in 2003, Propel says it nurtured 21 New Brunswick startups within its first 36 months, including Brovada and ShiftEnergy. To eliminate geographical barriers, the accelerator went virtual in 2018 before abandoning the cohort system in favour of a continuous intake model in 2020. 

The continuous intake model allowed Propel applicants to join the accelerator 12 months of the year, rather than waiting six to 12 months for a new cohort to start, Propel’s board chair, Jeff White, said in a statement at the time. 

Propel serviced over 100 startups last year and intended to exceed that number in 2023, the organization said in May. 

“Propel is the wind in our sails here in Atlantic Canada. If you’re an entrepreneur or startup with an idea, you can count on Propel to help access the tools, knowledge, and mentorship you need to bring your vision to life,” Gudie Hutching, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA, said in a statement. 

Feature image courtesy ACOA on X.

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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