Our North Star
Launch Atlantic Canada’s first billion-dollar tech company.
Propel ICT discovers, educates and mentors entrepreneurs who create prosperity. We exist to establish Atlantic Canada as a lucrative startup destination.
Propel values Collective Ambition, Creativity, Growth, Intelligence, and Radical Curiosity.
In 2003, business leaders Gerry Pond, Curtis Howe, and Jeff White wanted to jump-start the Information, Communication, and Technology sector in New Brunswick and Propel was born.
However, they knew they needed a made-in-Atlantic Canada solution. The traditional accelerator model of an office space located in close proximity to a pool of investors and mentors wouldn’t work here; they needed the collective resources of Atlantic Canada.
Collaboration was a critical success factor. As for private investment, venture capital investments in Atlantic Canada were almost non-existent at the time; big venture capital firms rarely looked east of Montreal for ideas.
Gerry and his partners knew financing would come through the development of strong relationships with would-be angel investors primarily in Saint John, the financial center of New Brunswick, and with investors outside the region with whom they had strong relationships.
In its first 36 months, Propel nurtured 21 southern New Brunswick startups. Some of its early
successes were: Brovada, a market leader with its business software for the insurance industry; ShiftEnergy, which develops real-time energy use analysis; and Ambir Technologies, an ICT consulting firm.
In 2006, Propel hosted Atlantic Canada’s first Angel Investor Summit to promote a startup culture in the region, anchored in Saint John. Out of this was born a classic angel investor network to help finance startups. In 2008, due to market demand, Propel went province-wide. In 2011, it shifted once more, an intensive accelerator program serving New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and PEI. The goal of the program was to launch 36 Maritime start-ups in 36 months - they actually launched 40.
Propel launched its virtual accelerator Incite in 2018. The program eliminated geographic boundaries which means they can work with any company in any location.
Propel is grateful for the funding provided by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
To date, Propel has helped more than 350 companies, who have collectively raised $1.2 Billion Dollars and created 1400 high paying jobs.
Propel ICT is founded in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Propel ICT expands to work with companies across Atlantic Canada.
The Launch36 program is born.
Launch36 graduates 40 companies.
Barry Bisson joins the organization as CEO.
Propel ICT becomes simply Propel and launches its new virtual accelerator Incite.