Having just reported success in its recent sales training program, Planet Hatch is launching a new accelerator for early-stage companies that includes access to development capital.

The Fredericton-based entrepreneurship hub said last week it would  launch the Planet Hatch Startup Accelerator to help entrepreneurs gain the essential knowledge and skills to turn an idea into a growing business.

The announcement came days after Planet Hatch said another of its initiatives, its Sales Accelerator Program, had concluded with the five participants reporting a 190 percent increase in monthly recurring revenues.

Planet Hatch said the new Startup Accelerator program will soon select a cohort to receive comprehensive training and tailored business counselling over 12 weeks on such topics as:

  • Market research and competitive intelligence;
  • Positioning and branding;
  • Pricing and financial modelling;
  • Customer validation;
  • And go-to-market strategies.

In addition to training, Startup Accelerator participants are eligible to access up to $25,000 in low-interest loan funding through the Impact Atlantic Fund. Each team will also be paired with marketing and communications students from St. Thomas University to help them develop a brand and communications strategy.

 “We’re very excited about the launch of this new program”, said Planet Hatch Program Coordinator Ksenia Sehic in a statement.  “This program will address the many challenges early-stage entrepreneurs face and speed up their time-to-market.”

In designing the program, Planet Hatch collaborated with EDGSJ, the economic development agency for Greater Saint John, which runs a similar initiative called the Venture Validation Program.

Meanwhile, Planet Hatch said the following companies have completed its six-week Sales Accelerator:  HomeWurk, Educated Beards, ET Mechanical, Parrill & Co., and SimpTek Technologies. These participants were selected from a pool of more than 30 applicants.

A statement from Planet Hatch said that during the six-week program, the five participants reported on average:

  • A 32 percent increase in total customers;
  • A 190 percent increase in monthly recurring revenue;
  • And a 267 percent increase in projected revenue over the next year.

Atlantic Growth Solutions, or AGS, a business development and lead generation company located in Fredericton, led the sales training. Through AGS, the program addressed the critical areas of sales development and helped the participants build an end-to-end process for acquiring new opportunities, increasing the close-rate percentage faster.

Each company was also paired with a full-time student intern from either the University of New Brunswick or St. Thomas University, funded by FutureReadyNB, to help execute on their new sales strategy.

Planet Hatch plans to accept applications for the second cohort of the Sales Accelerator Program in the winter of 2020.

“Based on demand and results, there is a clear need for this [sort of program] and I think it could be a model for accelerators across New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada,” said Planet Hatch Director Adam Peabody. “We’re fortunate to have a great partner in AGS to deliver best-in-class training that is clearly making an impact with this first cohort.”