Young entrepreneurs highlight their start-ups during Propel Demo Day at Western

Western University

Johnson Nguyen, founder of Mood & Co prepares his pitch to investors, mentors and community members through the 2017 Propel Summer Accelerator program at Western University.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Debora Van Brenk, Media Relations Officer, Western University, 519-661-2111 x85165, or on mobile at 519-318-0657 and

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

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The Propel Accelerator class of 2017 is set to make pitches to local investors, mentors and community groups on Aug. 17.
Johnson Nguyen, founder of Mood & Co prepares his pitch to investors, mentors and community members through the 2017 Propel Summer Accelerator program at Western University.