Marketswell Solutions has accepted twice as many companies as expected into its first CMO Accelerator Program due to strong demand.

The program launched by David Alston, one of the most experienced marketing execs in the region, had expected to accept about five people into its accelerator for chief marketing officers. However, the demand was strong enough that it has accepted 10 CMOs.

Marketswell Solutions aims to produce more than 25 grads in the next five years, all of whom will have the confidence and know-how to fill key leadership roles in high-growth companies. Alston said he is initiating the program because of a dearth of talent in digital marketing in the region and the difficulty in finding CMOs anywhere.

“The idea surfaced a few months ago for the CMO Accelerator after getting back-to-back calls from startups trying to figure out where they were going to find their CMO,” said Alston in a statement. “Atlantic Canada simply doesn’t have enough on the bench ready to go and we hope this program will help to tackle this issue.”

The CMO Accelerator hopes each cohort will include a non-profit that is connected to economic, community or startup ecosystem growth. This year, for example, the cohort includes Alex LeBlanc, CMO for the New Brunswick Multicultural Council, which works with a range of partners to promote diversity and inclusion in the province.

As well as LeBlanc, the members of the cohort are: