About Propel

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

Our Team

Our Board


Our History

Back in 2003, business leaders Gerry Pond, Curtis Howe and Jeff White knew they had to do something

to jump start the ICT sector in New Brunswick. 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 the critical success factor. Office space was ample and cheap, so it was unlikely startups would need help paying the rent. 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 centre of New Brunswick, and with investors outside the region with whom they had strong relationships.

In its first 36 months, PropelSJ 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 PropelICT 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. It also launched a Canadian first, a group of in-kind

angel investors. These were Saint John lawyers, accountants and other business service providers

who accepted a small stipend from Propel in exchange for advice and services to guide

entrepreneurs through business development, growth strategy and the regulatory and licensing

process for their intellectual property.

In 2008, due to market demand, Propel went province-wide, renaming itself PropelICT. In 2011,

it shifted once more, created its flagship program, Launch36, 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 their 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 150 companies, who have collectively raised $1.2 Billion Dollars and created 1400 high paying jobs.

 

 

  • 2003

    Propel ICT is founded in Saint John, New Brunswick.

  • 2011

    Propel ICT expands to work with companies across Atlantic Canada.

  • 2011

    The Launch36 program is born.

  • 2014

    Launch36 graduates 40 companies.

  • 2017

    Barry Bisson joins the organization as CEO. 

  • 2018

    Propel ICT announces a name change to simply Propel and launches their new virtual accelerator Incite.

+350
Alumni Companies
$1.2B
Investment Raised

Propel Team

Profile Photo:
Angela Hodgson
Propel Team

Angela has spent over 20 years managing projects and events for various organizations including Delta Hotels, Greater Char

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Barry Bisson
Propel Team

Barry has a BSc and MSc in Civil Engineering from the University of New Brunswick (UNB) and an MBA from Harvard University

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Charlotte Murray
Propel Team

Charlotte is an entrepreneur-in-residence with Propel.  She works directly with the companies in our accelerator Incite.

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Derek Latham
Propel Team

Derek is an Entrepreneur in Residence with Propel ICT.

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Elaine McKinnon
Propel Team

Elaine has 32 years of experience in both financial and operational roles for a wide range of companies including global I

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Gaylene Gillis McCarron
Propel Team

Gaylene is part of the Propel team.

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Gordon McArthur
Propel Team

Gordon is an entrepreneur-in-residence with Propel.  He works directly with the companies in our accelerator Incite.

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Richard Jones
Propel Team

As an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) at Propel, Richard is responsible for coaching start-up founders to build their idea

Board of Directors

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April Dunford
Mentor

April Dunford is an executive consultant, speaker, and author who helps technology companies make complicated products eas

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Barry Bisson
Propel Team

Barry has a BSc and MSc in Civil Engineering from the University of New Brunswick (UNB) and an MBA from Harvard University

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Craig Haney
Propel Council Member

Craig has been leading the charge for corporate innovation in Canada for almost 10 years.  His work with Canadian Tire Inn

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Dave Grebenc
Entrepreneur

Part of the Innovatia team since 2005, Dave is a true leader with a passion for Sales, Marketing, and Product Development.

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Gerry Lawless
Person

Gerry joined iWave in 2011, after almost 15 years in various management, sales, and technical roles.

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Gerry Pond
Entrepreneur

Gerry Pond is one of the founders of Propel ICT.

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Jeff Thompson
Propel Council Member

Jeff Thompson is an experienced software executive and entrepreneur with a twenty-year history of creating, launching and

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Jeff White
Propel Council Member

Jeff is the Chair of Propel's Board of Directors.

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Joe Teo
Person

Joe Teo is the CEO of HeyOrca - a social media approval and publishing platform purpose built for marketing agencies.

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Mark Dobbin
Propel Council Member

Mark Dobbin is the Founder and President of Killick Capital Inc. From 1998 to 2003, Mr.

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Nicole LeBlanc
Propel Council Member

Nicole LeBlanc is Director of Investments and Partnerships for Sidewalk Labs.

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Ozge Yeloglu
Mentor

Ozge is the Data&AI Lead at Microsoft Canada.

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Robert Cowan
Person

Robert practices corporate and business law with a particular specialization in technology and intellectual prope

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Tara Wickwire
Mentor

With more than 20 years of global branding experience, Tara has led PR strategy for some of the world’s most recognized br

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Ted Graham
Mentor

Ted Graham is the head of Open Innovation at General Motors where he helps identify partnerships that wil

Funding Partners
FUNDING PARTNERS