PEI’s business incubator fosters entrepreneurship

News release

Startup Zone provides support, mentorship and guidance for fast growing businesses

November 4, 2020 · Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

For many successful start-up companies, being part of an incubator is key to taking their early-stage business from idea to execution. Since its inception in 2016, Ignition Startup Zone in Prince Edward Island has been a vital resource to many sectors including information technology, tourism, food and many others.

Federal and provincial support for PEI’s business incubator

Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, today announced three Government of Canada non-repayable contributions totalling $518,000 to support Startup Zone efforts to accelerate the creation of new startups and the growth of existing businesses in the province. The Province of Prince Edward Island is also contributing $328,750 through Innovation PEI.

Support for these projects will enable the incubator to provide services, training and mentorship to its resident companies. It will also give early-stage and high growth potential companies in the province every opportunity to succeed.

Today’s announcement is further proof of the Government of Canada’s commitment to Canadian businesses – helping them not just survive, but thrive. Projects like these will help ensure entrepreneurs have the tools and resources they need to continue contributing to Canada’s economic recovery.


“Our support to Startup Zone will give early-stage and high growth potential companies in PEI access to resources and services that will put them on a path to success. Investment in entrepreneurship is an investment leading to good job creation and a strong recovery of our Canadian economy. ”

-      The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“Entrepreneurs and businesses that use the services of Startup Zone are changing the landscape of the PEI economy. They are contributing to the growth and development of our province. With Startup Zone’s support, companies are able to adapt, problem solve and grow their ideas.”

-      Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown

“Our local businesses are a major driving force behind the economic, cultural and social identity of Prince Edward Island. Through this pandemic, Island entrepreneurs have shown resiliency and courage, as they work hard to adapt to our new normal way of living. Now more than ever, we must continue to support spaces like the Startup Zone that help entrepreneurs turn their innovative ideas into reality.”

-      Matthew MacKay, PEI Minister of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture 

Startup Zone is proud to work with our provincial and federal partners to provide our client services during this critical time of economic recovery for the private sector. We have built our accelerator and incubator programs to provide the skills, knowledge, mentorship and access to an experienced network of industry specialists. These ingredients provide early-stage companies with the necessary foundation to grow their business.” 

-      Patrick Farrar, CEO, Startup Zone

Quick facts

  • PEI’s business incubator, Startup Zone, encourages new startups, helps existing startups grow and mature and develops community-driven education programs.

  • The Government of Canada is contributing $281,750 to Startup Zone for programming and support services to clients, $131,250 for investment readiness and attraction mentoring, and $105,000 for an Executive in-residence initiative.

  •  Federal funding for these projects is provided through ACOA’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program.

  • The Province of PEI’s contribution is $250,000 for programming, $43,750 for mentoring, and $35,000 for the Executive in-residence initiative.

Associated links


Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic
Development and Official Languages

Derek Pierce
Communications Officer
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Hilary MacDonald
Senior Communications Officer
Province of Prince Edward Island

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