Barry Bisson

Barry Bisson

Innovacorp and the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation are putting up a total of $1 million to help companies in Phase 2 of Propel’s Incite accelerator cover the cost of executing their sales strategy.

The Nova Scotia and New Brunswick early-stage venture capital groups will each put $500,000 into the program, which will allow companies from across Atlantic Canada to receive $50,000 each in investment.

Propel, the regional tech accelerator, recently announced the 15 companies that are going through Phase 2 of Incite, a virtual accelerator that mentors startups regardless of where they’re based in the region. The goal of Phase 2 is to help early-stage companies develop repeatable sales strategies and execute on those plans to bring in early clients and build up a sales pipeline. Phase 1 of the program wrapped up in December.

“We’re constantly striving to bring more value to the companies we work with through Incite,” said Propel CEO Barry Bisson in a statement. “We’re extremely thankful to Innovacorp and NBIF for this partnership and we’re excited about the opportunities these investments will create for the companies in our accelerator.” 

The first cohort of Phase 2 is now under way. The 15 companies going through the program will develop a sales strategy and submit this plan as part of their application for investment. Propel will evaluate the plans and make recommendations to an investment committee comprising Innovacorp and NBIF representatives, who will have the final decision on which companies receive investment.

Sales require a commitment of time and often money. Rather than award investment after pitches at the end of the program, this system will give companies a bit of financing so they have the resources to go after customers.

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The first round of companies to receive investments as a result of the partnership will be announced in the coming weeks, said Propel.

“This is a great investment opportunity for us,” said Andrew Ray, vice president of investment at Innovacorp. “Combining the expertise of Propel with the financial resources of NBIF and Innovacorp will provide these companies with increased potential to create great startups in Atlantic Canada.”

Added NBIF Director of Investments Ray Fitzpatrick: "Propel is a proven accelerator that helps startups grow and prosper. These startups are vital to New Brunswick's economic prosperity. By investing in the strongest of these companies, NBIF is supporting the talents and ambitions of New Brunswickers and helping to create new jobs and growth in the province."

Four years ago, NBIF and Innovacorp participated in a funding program for graduates of a Propel accelerator program, but each fund only backed companies based in their respective provinces. This time, the two funds will pool their contributions and jointly back approved companies regardless of where they are based in Atlantic Canada.

 

Disclosure: Propel, NBIF and Innovacorp are all clients of Entrevestor.