Startup assistance helps 55 new companies get footing in Fredericton

Global’s Jeremy Keefe has the details on what Ignite Fredericton has done so far, and their plans for the future

Fifty-five new startups, creating 410 jobs, have been created since January 2015 according to the Fredericton area economic development catalyst agency Ignite Fredericton.

Ignite says the new companies are responsible for $26.9 million annually in Gross Domestic Product as well as $2.3 million a year in provincial taxes.

The companies vary in nature, from consulting, like Stiletto Consulting, to information technology, and even craft brewery Red Rover Craft Cider.

CEO Larry Shaw announced the numbers at the Vision 2020 Progress Summit at the Fredericton Convention Centre, along with plans on how they’ll continue the trend.

“By identifying our value propositions, and packaging our assets, including the availability of talent, high research capacity and digital infrastructure, we are well positioned to attract new businesses,” Shaw said. “In fact, we have several exciting opportunities in the queue.”

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A collaborative partnership with the University of New Brunswick’s Faculty of Business Administration program aimed at providing students with an experiential learning experience was announced as one of the agency’s newest ventures.

“We’ve seen how Ignite Fredericton and different partnerships with the university and inside the university can develop ambassador programs or acceleration programs to help students really get their startup ideas off the ground,” said Travis Daley, president of UNB’s Student Union. “That clear connection, that clear integration is key moving forward.”

Also announced was an export acceleration program dubbed Export Igniter, which is a 12-week program designed to help companies bring their services and products to new markets.

UNB, along with the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, are partnering with the agency as well as Opportunities New Brunswick and the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters to make the initiative a reality.

“The economic impact of business on this community and the new business growth and what has been happening in our community has been really great,” said Krista Ross, CEO of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce.

“And of course we are excited about that and hoping to see that create even more momentum.”

Fredericton was recently named Canada’s Most Cost Competitive City.

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