Propel – Increasing the number of baby unicorns

Founded in the early 2000s by a group of Atlantic Canadian tech entrepreneurs, Propel is a virtual startup accelerator created to help start companies and guide entrepreneurs towards success. By partnering with the best resources available in North America, Propel continuously supports ​​technology founders in all four Atlantic Provinces, and is an important resource for many entrepreneurs. 

Atlantic Canada’s startup ecosystem continues to grow and thrive, and Propel is proud to be a part of it. The business startup culture in Atlantic Canada has proven to be a great place to build successful ICT companies. The collaborative nature amongst stakeholders, access to educational institutions, and economic legacy in various key sectors are just scratching the surface of Atlantic Canada’s economic potential. This potential is a key element to Propel’s mission, which is to help turn founders into leaders who are driven to build baby unicorns in Atlantic Canada. 

It is safe to say that Propel has had a substantial impact on their founders engaged in their program. As an accelerator for startups, Propel supports founders in their journey by assigning each founder a dedicated startup coach who holds them accountable to make meaningful progress in their business. This involves validating or invalidating business models, helping founders assess risk and deal with uncertainty, and overall helping them execute their goals. Each founder has a curated experience based on their needs, where they are in their journey, and the coach selects the appropriate tools to support them.

“Over the course of working with Propel, our alumni have doubled their contract values, cut their sales cycle in half, raised VC funding in Canada, the US and Europe, and have converted major customers regionally, nationally and internationally.”

Angela Hodgson, Director of Operations & Programming, Propel.

The choice to develop an entirely new virtual format for their services has helped founders living anywhere in Atlantic Canada access their program. The 100% online accelerator allows entrepreneurs to use Propel’s services without relocating or flipping their lives upside down. Part of what has allowed the Propel team to operate completely virtually was investing in the right tech stack to present their programming in an engaging way. This included the creation and deployment of their learning management system. Without geographical location as a factor (and a big thanks to the power of Zoom), Propel is able to connect founders to globally recognized talent. Events like lunch’n’learns, fireside chats, and workshops now teach Propel’s founders valuable skills without the complication or cost of travel. Becoming a 100% online accelerator has helped founders build the skills they need to scale their technology companies with the support of their startup coach and the entire Propel team. 

Moving forward, the Propel team plans to continuously strengthen their programming and partnerships by making their services more relevant to the challenges founders are facing in the current economic climate. Though the evidence is already speaks for itself. Propel graduates are all earning a minimum of r$10K MRR when they complete the program from their ideal customer profile. This means they are ready to truly scale. They have validated there is a problem in the market people are willing to pay to solve, they have identified their perfect starting customer segment, and are building a repeatable, scalable sales process as they establish a presence in that market. 

With a goal to help increase the number of baby unicorns in the Atlantic Provinces, learn more about their Baby Unicorn Movement in this great podcast with Propel CEO, Kathryn Lockhart. 

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