A strong culture of mentorship and angel investment in New Brunswick is energizing a new crop of tech start-ups throughout the region - by Quentin Casey
A light snow is falling as the various teams arrive at the Saint John office of T4G, a software and technology company. Inside, they gather in a quirky conference space that resembles a tent, complete with a brightly coloured canopy covering the seating area. It’s a Saturday morning in February, and 13 start-ups are assembled for the day’s pitching session. At stake are positions in Launch36, a business accelerator aimed at growing a new crop of tech darlings.
Organized by Propel ICT, a New Brunswick tech group, Launch36 aims to kick-start three dozen start-ups in three years. The approach is simple: take the most promising entrepreneurs and provide them with regular coaching sessions, access to angel investors, and, most importantly, individual mentors. Emerging from a back room, the Launch36 judges make their way under the canopy. The group is impressive, composed of some of the top names in New Brunswick’s growing tech scene, among them Brian Dunphy, the first employee hired by Radian6; T4G president Geoff Flood; and Gerry Pond, the archangel of the Atlantic Canadian tech investment landscape.
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