Virtual startup accelerator Propel has a new Chair, CIBC executive Özge Yeloğlu, along with three new board members.

Yeloğlu, who is now CIBC’s Vice President of Advanced Analytics and AI, previously held senior roles at Microsoft and is a Founding Partner of Atlantic Canadian female-focused venture capital shop Sandpiper Ventures. She replaces outgoing Chair Jeff White, CEO of the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation. 

A native of Turkey, Yeloğlu was previously the co-founder and CEO of Halifax-based Toplog, which went through Propel's Launch 36 program more than 10 years ago.  

Joining Yeloğlu on Propel’s board will be Jennifer LaPlante, Chief Growth and Investment Officer for Canada’s Ocean Supercluster; Sreejata Chatterjee, who co-founded Halifax marketing startup Leadsift and is now Director of Product at its acquirer, Foundry; and Sean Power, CEO of music AI startup SOMMS.AI. Propel Director Jeff Thompson is bowing out of his role.

“We are thrilled to have Özge move into the role as Chair. Özge is a celebrated leader across the Canadian innovation landscape, particularly in the area of data analytics and AI and we will continue to benefit from her commitment to governance and charting strong pathways for founders,” said Propel CEO Kathryn Lockhart in a statement.

“We are grateful for the contributions of Jeff White and Jeff Thompson, who have played a key role in Propel’s growth and success to date.”

The announcement comes a handful of months after Propel received a $2.9 million grant from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, funding the organization through 2026 and building on $1.05 million Propel received from the Nova Scotia government in May.