Expanded programs will help boost Atlantic exports

Expanded programs boost Atlantic exports

News Release

From Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

June 26, 2017 – Halifax, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Businesses need access to expertise and resources so they can grow their operations and expand. This is particularly important for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that do not have the specialized personnel in-house to get them where they need to be. Today, the Government of Canada is investing over $3 million, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Business Development Program, to assist SMEs in reaching their full potential. 

The funding was announced by Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA. The investments will help LearnSphere Canada Inc. and Propel ICT continue to offer their programs to Atlantic Canadian SMEs. 

LearnSphere Canada Inc. will receive up to $1.98 million over three years to deliver its Commercialization Consulting and Mentoring (CCM) Program. Under the CCM Program, early stage, innovative Atlantic companies can access funds to hire consultants and mentors to help develop their products and entrepreneurial skills, positioning them to sell new technologies, products and processes around the world. 

Propel ICT, an Atlantic Canadian business accelerator, will receive up to $1.1 million over two years to provide its “Launch”, “Build” and “Growth” accelerator programs. Through these programs, companies at different stages in the business cycle benefit from training delivered by some of the top minds in business and technology from across Atlantic Canada. 

These projects support the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan and the Atlantic Growth Strategy to help create more, well-paying jobs, and help strengthen and grow the middle class. 



“Through the Innovation and Skills Plan, the Government of Canada is focused on people and on making Canada a world-leading economy now and for the long-term. The investments announced today are turning the creativity and ingenuity of Atlantic Canadian people and companies into new solutions for everyday challenges – creating and maintaining jobs for the middle class in the process.”

  • The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

“LearnSphere is thrilled with ACOA’s renewed commitment to helping new technologies and products get to market. The modest investment each company receives through the CCM Program can be the breakthrough they need to convert sales in new markets. This program delivers Atlantic innovation and solutions into the hands of buyers across Canada and around the world, while creating jobs and growth here at home.”

  • Annette Comeau, Chief Executive Officer, LearnSphere Canada Inc.

“Propel ICT values the support and renewed funding commitment from ACOA. Propel ICT plays an important role in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Atlantic Canada and is committed to its goal to build and grow successful ICT companies in the region.”

  • Steve Burns, Chair, Board of Directors, Propel ICT

Quick Facts

  • LearnSphere’s Commercialization Consulting and Mentoring (CCM) Program targets companies in the later stages of the innovation process, including product/market testing and validation.

  • Since 2008, LearnSphere’s CCM Program has helped over 300 SMEs by providing mentorship and consulting services that were used to sell their products and services around the world.

  • Between 2011 and 2015, Propel ICT graduates created over 390 jobs, and had a 74 percent first-year survival rate.

  • Propel ICT’s programs harness the top minds in business and technology from across Atlantic Canada who volunteer as coaches and mentors to help startup enterprises validate, develop and launch their companies.

Associated Links


Ronald Levesque
Senior Communications Officer
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Christie Dennison
LearnSphere Canada Inc.

Trevor MacAusland, Interim CEO
Propel ICT

565 Priestman Street, Suite 201, Fredericton, NB, E3B 5X8 Canada


1883 Upper Water Street, Suite 202, Halifax, NS, B3J 1S9 Canada


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