What’s in the Secret Sauce at Planet Hatch?
No doubt you are aware of names like TechStars, MaRS, DMZ and YCombinator who are leading in the space of business incubation and acceleration in major cities. What you may not be aware of is the high rate of innovation happening in our very own Planet Hatch, which was modelled after prominent accelerators across North America.
Since its birth in September 2013, New Brunswick’s flagship business accelerator has been fostering an environment to spur creativity and innovation, and it has supported over 156 companies. There’s a real entrepreneurial buzz at Knowledge Park, as Planet Hatch continues to output new startup companies like WEnTech, Chinova Bioworks, Kognitiv Spark, and there’s more to come.
Through the recent federal and provincial funding announcement, $374,000 has been allocated to support the alignment of entrepreneurial services within the ecosystem, and the next iteration of activities, which we like to call “Planet Hatch 2.0”.
Through the consolidation of operations and streamlining of services with Ignite Fredericton and Knowledge Park, Planet Hatch now offers a full suite of startup-related services like business counselling, coaching, mentoring, and funding. Within this one-stop-shop, there are also eight incubation and acceleration programs currently being run by partners - serving all sectors:
PropelICT offers an early stage acceleration program for ICT companies.
Pond-Deshpande offers their B4Change accelerator for social enterprise.
JEDI offers a program to support aboriginal economic development.
ArtsLinks offers its Catapult business incubator to aspiring artists.
UNB’s International Business & Entrepreneurship Centre (IBEC) offers the Activator, which is a student startup leadership program.
Fredericton Chamber of Commerce runs its Hive and Business Immigrant Mentorship Program - incubator for newcomer entrepreneurs.
Planet Hatch/Ignite offers Export Igniter, a new acceleration program designed to equip export ready companies with entering international markets.
CyberLaunch Academy runs programming to introduce children to coding and computer science.
Add to this over 20 entrepreneurial organizations through the Task Force Fredericton Startup Network, whose members are working towards strategically aligning their services based on the phases of business: ideation, validation, growth and maturity. This model has been coined the ‘Subway’, and essentially it does not matter where the entrepreneur stops along the Subway, as they can be easily transferred to other tracks/required service agencies based on their needs. This group has also established a common calendar platform where the community can access all entrepreneurial related programming and event information. Check it out here
Planet Hatch has also formed some strategic partnerships. Recently, thirteen entrepreneurial service providers in the Atlantic region came together to create the Atlantic Canada Entrepreneurial Services Passport (‘Passport’). Passport members are jointly cross-promoting events, sharing best practices, opening their doors to partners’ members, and assisting entrepreneurs throughout the Maritimes. This unique initiative resulted from a collaboration between Planet Hatch and ConnexionWorks to improve the entrepreneurial resources for startups across Atlantic Canada. Partnering locations include:
Business Portals, St. John’s, NL
CO3 Space, Bridgewater, NS
Common Ground, St. John’s, NL
ConnexionWorks, Saint John, NB
The HUB South Shore, Mahone Bay, NS
Impactory, Moncton, NB
LaunchPad, Charlottetown, PEI
New Dawn Centre for Social Innovation, Sydney, NS
North Queens, Caledonia, NS
Planet Hatch, Fredericton, NB
Sackville Commons Co-op, Sackville, NB
Social Enterprise Hub, Saint John, NB
Startup Zone, Charlottetown, PEI
The Ville Cooperative, Marysville, NB
Workspace Atlantic, Moncton, NB
Planet Hatch has also formed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the University of New Brunswick’s Faculty of Business to enable student experiential learning from the centre. As well, the Hatch has partnered with Ryerson’s DMZ business incubator in Toronto and the Walnut Accelerator in Chengdu, China to create a soft landing zone in each other’s provinces, while enabling their members to access expertise and resources during their travels.
One of Planet Hatch’s unique differentiators is that it is the only New Brunswick incubator/accelerator to offer Canada’s new Startup Visa program geared towards attracting and retaining international entrepreneurial talent.
So what’s in the secret sauce within Fredericton’s entrepreneurial hub - collaboration! It’s that simple with the multitude of organizations who are engaged with a common vision of driving entrepreneurial growth and development.
It’s why we were named the 2016 ‘Startup Capital of Canada’ by Startup Canada!
It’s why Planet Hatch and Ignite Fredericton churned out 48 new startup companies translating to 327 jobs and $26.4 million in GDP during 2016 with many of these companies making multiple stops along the Subway.
During 2016, Planet Hatch ran over 76 programs and events for startups, and over 44 community events. If you have not yet visited the center, check out our website; come up and take a tour; network over Startup Drinks; parktake in our open co-working hours on Wednesdays; and enjoy some food during our pancake breakfasts or ‘food truck thursdays’. Maybe you will even get inspired to start a business!
Laurie Guthrie, EcD, BIS
Economic Development & Marketing Specialist
Ignite Fredericton | Knowledge Park | Planet Hatch