What vaults an entrepreneurial idea from great concept to viable business? Often, it’s a potent mix of mentorship, marketing and money. For four months, 17 entrepreneurs with 11 nascent businesses have been honing their start-ups at the Propel Summer Accelerator at Western University.
On Aug. 17, this year’s Propel Summer Accelerator class will have 90 minutes to pitch their businesses to a select group of investors and other members of the community.
The program is wrapping up just its third cohort of participants and has quickly become a force for successful new ventures. It provides co-working space, seed funding and mentorship from world-class experts who have expertise in strategic decision-making, business planning, sales and marketing and forging connections to industry. Last year’s Propel class achieved more than $750,000 in sales and reached customers in 101 countries; the graduating group of 2017 is on target to exceed those numbers.
This year’s businesses include Hand to Hand Entertainment, a company that produces board games based on historic events; Dynamix, which brings cannabis oil to medical marijuana patients through tasty powdered beverage mixes; QEUE Games, a mobile game developer whose first app, Bottleflip 2K16, had 10 million downloads; Mood & Co, whose scented candles were part of celebrities’ swag bags at this year’s Grammy music awards; and Tidl, a platform that uses artificial intelligence to streamline a person’s job search.
“This is a driven and motivated group of young entrepreneurs,” said Ian Haase, director of Entrepreneurship at Western University. “The common denominator among the diverse start-ups is they are all operated by passionate, capable individuals who have a proven ability to execute. The Propel Summer Incubator program has allowed the start-ups to scale their ventures at an accelerated pace.”
WHAT: Propel Demo Day, a showcase and ‘pitch’ event for young entrepreneurs, investors and business mentors
WHEN: Thursday, August 17, 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: Western Student Services Building (attached to University Community Centre), Room 2130
FOR MORE: Check out Propel here for more information and a full description of the start-ups. One-minute video introductions of several of the start-ups can be found on Propel’s YouTube playlist here.
PROPEL CONTACT: Director Ian Haase, 519-661-2111 x87314 or firstname.lastname@example.org
MEDIA CONTACT: Debora Van Brenk, Media Relations Officer, Western University, 519-661-2111 x85165, or on mobile at 519-318-0657 and email@example.com
ABOUT PROPEL, WESTERN’S ENTREPRENEURSHIP CENTRE: Propel is one of Southwestern Ontario’s most active entrepreneurial start-up accelerators. The program is part of the Campus-Linked Accelerator program, an initiative of the Ontario Government and administered through the Ontario Centres of Excellence. Propel is partnered locally with LEAP Junction at Fanshawe College.
ABOUT WESTERN: Western University delivers an academic experience second to none. Since 1878, The Western Experience has combined academic excellence with life-long opportunities for intellectual, social and cultural growth in order to better serve our communities. Our research excellence expands knowledge and drives discovery with real-world application. Western attracts individuals who have a broad worldview and who seek