Bolstering support for new entrepreneurs promotes a stronger, diversified economy that creates more opportunity for job growth and innovation by turning ideas into viable new businesses. That is why the Governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island are supporting organizations such as the Ignition Startup Zone Inc. (operating as the Startup Zone), that support and develop innovative entrepreneurs, creating jobs and providing relevant resources to build viable businesses.
Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), along with the Honourable Chris Palmer, Prince Edward Island Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, today announced support for the Startup Zone.
The Government of Canada is providing $276,750 in non-repayable assistance through ACOA’s Business Development Program. The Government of Prince Edward Island is providing $233,700. The Startup Zone will provide 12 months of programming and support services to startup, early-stage and high-growth potential companies on PEI. The project will provide funding for the delivery of collaborative learning and mentorship services, community networking opportunities and human resources to support entrepreneurs in building viable businesses.
This investment builds on commitments made by the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic Provinces to drive economic growth in the region through the Atlantic Growth Strategy. The strategy focuses on a strong culture of innovation by supporting creative and entrepreneurial people, and investing in state-of-the-art technology.
“The economic prosperity of Prince Edward Island is tied directly to the success of Island entrepreneurs and small businesses. The Startup Zone helps to create the right conditions for ideas to thrive, for creativity to flourish and for Canadian entrepreneurs to grow. This new programming will strengthen the entrepreneur community and promote new, innovative businesses.”
- Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown
“The hard work, dedication and innovation of local entrepreneurs has created incredible momentum in the provincial economy. It is vital that we contribute to the Island entrepreneurial ecosystem by supporting projects like the Startup Zone to maintain this momentum. The Startup Zone has done tremendous work in fostering early-stage entrepreneurs as they make ideas into reality.”
- The Honourable Chris Palmer, Prince Edward Island Minister of Economic Development and Tourism
“The Startup Zone provides a space for the entrepreneurial community to gather, share ideas, access expertise, establish valuable relationships and create global partnerships. These funds help continue the development of our diverse economy by supporting entrepreneurs from all sectors.”
- Alex MacBeath, Chair of the Board, the Startup Zone
- The Startup Zone is a non-profit entity created in 2016 to support entrepreneurship and the startup business community in Prince Edward Island. The 3,600 square feet of modern office in Charlottetown provides entrepreneurs from high-growth and high-potential firms with support and mentorship, helping them to become successful.
- To date, the Startup Zone has served 42 resident companies across multiple sectors including ICT, food and tourism. It has hosted 120 seminars and workshops, and more than 100 community events. The incubation of the companies has resulted in over 60 jobs and approximately $1.2 million in equity investments.
- The Startup Zone has collaborated with partners, such as the faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering at UPEI, to build the entrepreneurial community across the Island.