by Peter Moreira
Doubling its previous capacity, PropelICT has named 20 companies from around the region to its next cohort, which will take place in Moncton, Fredericton and Halifax over the next three month.
The regional accelerator program refers its new system of mentoring young startups as Propel 2.0, signaling how it is increasing its ambitions and its ability to mentor young companies. Since it began its Launch36 accelerator three years ago, it has never had more than 10 companies in a cohort, and the classroom sessions have usually been held in Moncton. Most of the Launch36 cohorts were capped at six teams.
In Propel 2.0, there are six companies in the “Build Phase”, which is designed for growing companies with some clients: Salubrian Health, Swapskis, Bungalo, and Fundmetric , all of Halifax, and Smartpods, of Moncton. Most of their meetings will be in Moncton.
There are 14 companies in the “Start Phase”, which is designed to help seed-stage companies. About half will be taught at Planet Hatch in Fredericton and the other half at Volta Labs in Halifax. The companies are: Maradev, LearnTracker, Simptek, MindFarm , Findatradesperson , Nihi Notions, all of New Brunswick; Androit Vista, Vantij Software, PACTA, PlayPeanut, Bitness , Mambo, Yomes , all of Nova Scotia; Sentinel Alert, of Newfoundland and Labrador; and SkiptheWaitingRoom, of P.E.I.
Organizers say they were impressed not just with the number but also the quality of the applications, and that they believe some of the teams that weren’t accepted this time will be eligible for the winter cohort.
The inclusion of Sentinel Alert, which will take the course in Fredericton, marks the first time the accelerator has had a team from Newfoundland.
There are a few interesting notes about this cohort:
It will be the most international representation of any Propel initiative with entrepreneurs from Iceland and Israel participating.
Three teams from the Summ’r Up program at Dalhousie University – Salubrian Health, PlayPeanut and Vantij Software -- applied and all three were accepted.
And Propel has accepted its youngest participant so far. Alex Gillis of Bitness is 15, younger than the previous record-holder, Raphael Paulin-Daigle, who went through the program at 16.