Propel ICT and its New Brunswick-based startup accelerator Launch36 have grand visions for tech innovation in the Maritimes provinces.
Today it announced that it will expand to include Newfoundland & Labrador in its network. “Propel ICT will continue to be the signature Accelerator program in Atlantic Canada,” wrote Launch36’s Trevor McAusland.
Launched three years ago, Propel ICT said some doubted that they could accelerate 36 startup companies, but they’re on track to do it.
“They said that venture capital from outside the region would never be invested here. VCs are flocking to the East Coast. They said jobs would never be created. But they have been,” wrote Propel ICT. “So our next target will be even bigger: we want to see 86 companies graduate from our Accelerator program in the next five years. We also want to see a billion dollar tech company emerge on the East Coast.”
Propel ICT was created by a group of forward-thinking business leaders who shared a cup of coffee in Saint John, New Brunswick about a decade ago. Years earlier NBTel had carved out a niche as one of the most advanced telcos in North America, “and the Propel founders wanted to extend that NBTel DNA to others.”
Propel ICT was born, initially focused on helping companies in the Saint John region start and succeed. Some of the seeds of those initial investments became Mariner Partners, Brovada and Radian6.
“With this success, the Propel ICT mandate was broadened to cover all of New Brunswick. Six more companies launched between 2008 and 2011 and Propel’s extensive coaching and mentor network took root,” wrote Propel ICT.
In 2011 the Launch36 accelerator program was created, with an ambitious goal to help 36 companies form and launch in three years. In the first two years of the program 26 companies were launched and Propel ICT is on track to hit 36 this year. Moreover, in the past decade Propel ICT companies raised $1.2 billion in venture capital funding. In the last three years alone, said Propel ICT, its companies created more than 250 jobs.
“Every dollar invested in Propel ICT’s programs yields a $19 return to taxpayers. That’s the best Accelerator ROI in Canada,” they wrote.
Check out the infographic that Propel ICT sent us here: