When starting a new business, it can be difficult for startups to make any proper headway in their respective industry sector. This is especially difficult for businesses that lack resources, staff, or ideas and are unsure about how to move forward with their company. Thankfully, resources like coworking spaces exist to help foster the discussion of new ideas and to assist in improving these young businesses. Beyond coworking spaces, there are two other important spaces your business can utilize; these are known as business incubators and business accelerators. If you’re confused, don’t worry; this article will cover the difference between incubators & accelerators, as well as various spaces located in the New Brunswick area.
So, what is the exact difference between these two spaces? An incubator space, or business incubator; is any program designed for early-stage businesses in order to give them access to mentors, possible financial investors, and support them in assisting these startups in establishing themselves. Business incubators typically work best when utilized during the founding of a business and within the first year. Afterward, many businesses will change their programs to a business accelerator for further support.
Accelerator programs work a bit differently. Accelerators are often on a set schedule and are designed to provide further mentorship and achieve results or business goals within a specific time period. They may also provide seed investments, work and office spaces, intensive mentorship & networking opportunities. Additionally, they’ll provide coaching on how to improve your business’s overall development.
Now that you’ve got a working definition of what an incubator and accelerator are, it’s time to discuss various spaces across New Brunswick which your business can use to improve itself.
First on our list is CyberHatch, a cybersecurity business based in the New Brunswick area which provides both incubator and accelerator programs. CyberHatch has helped a number of local cybersecurity businesses such as CyberNB, KnowledgePark, Mitacs, and NBIF-FINB. They also offer industry mentorship, coworking spaces, research funding, and visa sponsorship for global companies with abroad workers.
Based out of Saint John, NB; Propel ICT is an accelerator program targeting Atlantic Canadian startups. Their priority is providing mentorship networks to businesses in the area, with a goal to help launch over 420 companies within the next four years. Their accelerator program lasts a total of 12 months, and participating businesses can apply for their Pelorus Venture Fund for a chance to receive anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000. Additionally, businesses that complete the accelerator program can apply for further funding from Propel for up to $200,000.
With over ten incubation & accelerator programs for your startup or new business, PlanetHatch is the best choice in Fredericton. They support businesses regardless of their growth stage, with mentorship & coaching, special tutorial and speaking events, a variety of facilities you can utilize, as well as funding. For one, you can apply for their Impact Loan which provides upwards of $25,000 for startups looking to expand. They also offer Seed Grant funding for those utilizing their programs. For their incubators, their business basics, GoForth Institute, and Business Model Canvas programs; you can learn about everything from business value, infrastructure, finance management, and strategic staffing processes. Meanwhile, their accelerators offer Business Immigrant Essentials Programs, Start-up Visa’s, and Sales Accelerator programs which improve staffing and revenue for your company.
The business immigrant mentorship programs offered by the Government of New Brunswick are highly useful for any new immigrants to Canada looking to start up their own businesses. For this article, we’ll be focusing specifically on The Hive Business Incubator offered through BIMP. The Hive incubator helps with developing business plans for new startups and was first launched in 2013 in Moncton. It has since expanded to Fredericton, Bathurst, Edmunston, and Saint John. They offer business training, coworking facilities, peer-to-peer support and mentorship, and onsite admin support.
Another Fredericton-based company, Energia Ventures is an intensive three-month incubator and accelerator program designed for both entrepreneurs and new, innovative startups. Energia Ventures seeks to build new energy businesses, smart grids, artificial intelligence, green energy & cleantech, and cybersecurity. Additionally, they provide educational programs, mentorships with industry professionals, resources available for those in the program, as well as accessible workspaces, peer support from both staff & mentors, and fundraising opportunities to better your companies’ capital positioning.
Focusing on growing businesses through low costs, mentorship events & programs, and networking opportunities; Ignite Fredericton is one of the more popular coworking locations in the area, and for good reason. Aside from business advice and mentorships, they also offer funding & tax credits, licensing and permit assistance, incubator & accelerator programs, and many other courses and programs designed to bring your business to its next level.
Venn Innovation is focused on business growth and connecting businesses with the top mentors in their business sector in Canada. They also have expert workshops and coaching sessions on a bi-weekly basis and have various incubation & acceleration programs in place to help scale up your business. They also have private offices, meeting rooms for up to 60 people, and dedicated & hot desks available for whatever your business needs are.