Propel accelerator adds six members to board of directors

Moncton-based Propel ICT announced Wednesday, the addition of six new members to its board of directors.

The addition grows its board to a total of 14, as the Atlantic Canada accelerator looks to increase its leadership in the region and foster the growth of successful global tech companies born out of Atlantic Canada.

“This move is yet another step in our commitment to strengthening Propel’s contribution to the regional ecosystem.”

“Over the past year, Propel has been undergoing a transformation to be stronger and to add even more value to the startup world in Atlantic Canada. The addition of these accomplished individuals with global experience to our board is further demonstration of this positive momentum,” said Jeff White, chair of Propel’s board, and CEO of New Brunswick Innovation Fund (NBIF).

Propel’s board members include a number of industry leaders from across Canada, from Fredericton to Waterloo. And the new additions include executives from Microsoft and General Motors. The accelerator noted that it hopes to expand its scope beyond just Atlantic Canada.

RELATED: Futurpreneur Canada and Propel ICT team up to support entrepreneurs in Atlantic Canada

Propel’s new board members include:

  • April Dunford is the founder and CEO of Ambient Strategy. Dunford has spent her 25 year-long career working in marketing, having worked with companies including Huawei, Nortel, and Tulip Retail. She is also an angel investor and is currently the entrepreneur-in-residence at Ryerson University’s DMZ.
  • Ted Graham, head of open innovation at General Motors, where he helps identify partnerships to help build strategies around autonomous and connected vehicles. Graham also serves on the Canadian government’s AI advisory council.
  • Craig Haney, the VP of Ontario real estate developer Europro, who was also the former head of corporate innovation for Waterloo innovation hub, Communitech. He lists himself in his LinkedIn profile as a “champion of the Kitchener-Waterloo ecosystem.”
  • Joe Teo is the CEO of HeyOrca, social media calendar platform for marketing agencies. The St. John’s-based company is a 2015 graduate of Propel’s accelerator. HeyOrca has apparently raised a total of $2.65 million in funding from BDC Capital, Killick Capital, and Pelorus Venture.
  • Tara Wickwire is the senior director of marketing and brand strategy for public relations firm, National. According to Propel she leads strategy for profile and reputation building for people and organizations across the Atlantic region. She has previously worked in public relations for Gap Inc. and served on the board of Doors Open Halifax.
  • Özge Yeloğlu, the data & AI lead at Microsoft Canada, joins Propel’s board, bringing her own experience in the startup space. She’s the co-founder and CEO of topLog, a startup that she began while working towards her PhD in computer science at Dalhousie University. Yeloğlu is a graduate of the Propel cohort from 2013.

Other Propel board members include Dave Grebenc, CEO of technology services company, Innovatia, as well as Nicole LeBlanc the director of direct investments and partnerships at Sidewalk Labs.

[These board members] bring new leadership, perspective, extensive networks and a wealth of experience to Propel’s board and the startups Propel works with. They will be of great value as we continue to foster successful global tech companies right here in Atlantic Canada,” said Barry Bisson, CEO of Propel. “This move is yet another step in our commitment to strengthening Propel’s contribution to the regional ecosystem.”

Propel recently received a $1 million investment from Innovacorp and NBIF to be invested in select companies participating in Phase 2 of Propel’s Incite accelerator.

Image courtesy Propel

Meagan Simpson

Meagan Simpson

Meagan is the Associate Editor for BetaKit. A tech writer that is super proud to showcase the Canadian tech scene. Background in almost every type of journalism from sports to politics. Podcast and Harry Potter nerd, photographer and crazy cat lady.