Government of Canada investing to strengthen Atlantic Canada’s startup ecosystem

News release

ACOA investment aims to further enhance innovation across Atlantic Canada

December 8, 2023 · Saint John, NB · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Atlantic Canada has a growing and dynamic network of business accelerators and incubators that play an important role in providing startups with the support they need to grow, create good jobs and accelerate innovation.

Today, the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), announced a $2.9 million investment to Atlantic Canada’s virtual accelerator, Propel, which helps entrepreneurs in the region build capacity to take their businesses to the next level.

The non-repayable contribution will allow Propel to continue delivering its virtual accelerator program until 2026, providing entrepreneurs and startups located throughout Atlantic Canada with access to networking support, expertise, coaching, skills development and other resources they need to chart a path to success.

Today’s announcement demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to support the acceleration and growth of technology companies in Atlantic Canada, increasing productivity and bolstering innovation across the region.


“Propel is the wind in our sails here in Atlantic Canada. If you’re an entrepreneur or startup with an idea, you can count on Propel to help access the tools, knowledge, and mentorship you need to bring your vision to life. That’s good news for our region, because it means more jobs for people here at home.”

-The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“The Atlantic momentum is real, and we see tremendous opportunity in a tech sector that is gaining traction by the day. In order to accelerate investments, immigration, and R&D, we need to build capacity in our founders and inspire new ones. With a record year of 113 companies in our cohorts, we are exceptionally proud of our role in coaching founders to develop the skills and access the resources they need to build, grow and scale innovative companies.”   

-Kathryn Lockhart, Propel CEO 

Quick facts

  • Propel is celebrating its 20th year of supporting the startup ecosystem in Atlantic Canada.

  • Propel is part of a robust startup ecosystem in Atlantic Canada, which includes a network of incubators, accelerators and early-stage investors that provide mentorship, advice, connections and capital to help entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground, grow and scale up.

  • Business accelerators and incubators support the development of high-growth firms that foster innovation, growth and job creation. They are critical to ensuring the success of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan.

  • The funding is provided through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program, which creates the right conditions to start and grow businesses in Atlantic Canada. Through REGI, ACOA is helping businesses and non-profit organizations develop a strong, dynamic and inclusive economy.

Associated links


Kevin Lemkay
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Rural Economic Development and of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Media Relations
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Tara Wickwire
Marketing Lead
(902) 403-6391

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