The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency said Thursday it would contribute a grant of $2.3 million over three years to Propel, which provides accelerator programs for startups across Atlantic Canada.
ACOA also announced a grant of $1.7 million for Brilliant Labs, a not-for-profit that brings together various groups to educate elementary and secondary school students in technology. Three of the four Atlantic provinces will also provide Brilliant Labs with an additional $1.1 million in funding.
Both federal grants were made through the federal government’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program.
“Today’s investment will ensure that Atlantic Canadian startups in the technology sector have the tools, knowledge and partnerships they need to continue to innovate and grow, bolster the economy and create good-paying jobs,” said Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains in a statement outlining the Propel grant.
Propel last year launched its Incite accelerator – a two-phase virtual program for early-stage tech startups across the region. Propel in April accepted 30 companies into Phase 1, which is for companies trying to determine whether they have a product-market fit. The Phase 2 program, which will begin in September, helps companies identify markets and develop repeatable sales programs.
“Propel’s ultimate goal is to help build successful global technology companies right here in Atlantic Canada,” said Propel CEO Barry Bisson. “This funding enables us to continue working with the most promising startups in the region through our virtual accelerator Incite.”
Brilliant Labs is a not-for-profit community of entrepreneurs, non-profits, municipalities, and economic development agencies that aims to improve the digital competency of youth in Atlantic Canada.
The Nova Scotian government also contributed $400,000 to the project, while the Prince Edward Island government provided $160,000, and Newfoundland and Labrador provided $547,327.
Said Brilliant Labs Executive Director Jeff Willson: “We are incredibly excited and grateful to receive this funding in support of our work with educators, librarians, and community centre leaders as we empower young Atlantic Canadians to develop coding and digital skills.”