New Soft Landing Zone Partnership with Chinese Accelerator

October 26, 2016

Media Release



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For Immediate Release: October 26, 2016

FREDERICTON, N.B. - Ignite Fredericton and Planet Hatch, in conjunction with Knowledge Park, have formed a soft landing zone partnership with Walnut Accelerator, the first agreement of its kind between an organization in Atlantic Canada and Western China.

Planet Hatch (in conjunction with Ignite Fredericton and Knowledge Park) has signed a mutual soft landing zone partnership agreement with Walnut Accelerator, a Chengdu-based incubation/ acceleration organization focused on supporting the growth of high-tech companies and spurring innovation. The agreement will enable start-ups and growth stage companies to locate within each other's respective acceleration spaces, creating a more supportive environment for trade and investment activity. The partnership commits both organizations to make programs, services, and preferential rates available to each other’s companies.

“The agreement will allow New Brunswick-based companies to more easily access export, capital investment and joint venture opportunities in Western China,” says Adam Peabody, Investment Attraction and Growth Specialist from Ignite Fredericton, “it will also position Fredericton as the investment location of choice for Chengdu-based firms looking to establish a North American beachhead operation.”

The partnership between Ignite Fredericton and Walnut Accelerator comes at an opportune time, as there has been a flurry of reciprocal trade visits between high level Canadian and Chinese private and public sector leaders this fall. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau initiated free trade agreement talks during his official state visit to China in September. Premier Brian Gallant just returned from a mission to China with a delegation of New Brunswick executives last week, during which several large trade deals were announced.
“As China’s economy continues to grow at world-record rates, there are exponential opportunities for our companies,” said Peabody. “This forward-looking agreement will allows entrepreneurs to increase their global  presence, creating new jobs in New Brunswick.”

Walnut Accelerator is located in Chengdu, the capital city of the western province of Sichuan. Due to Sichuan’s rapidly growing consumer market and recent double-digit GDP growth, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service has promoted the province as a relatively untapped economic opportunity for Canadian firms looking to enter the Chinese marketplace. Chengdu was recognized as having the best municipal economy in China by the Milken Institute, a U.S. Think Tank, in its annual “Best Performing Cities China” 2015 report; the report was based on job growth, foreign investment and high-value-added industries.

This agreement marks the first bilateral partnership between an Atlantic Canadian and Western Chinese accelerator.

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About Ignite Fredericton

Mission: Fuelling Entrepreneurs for Economic Growth!

Vision: Startup Capital of Canada

As the community economic development organization, Ignite Fredericton provides free and confidential business counselling and tools to help entrepreneurs start, grow or locate a business.  Core functions include:

  • Supporting Entrepreneurs
  • Attracting & Retaining Talent through Immigration, Student Retention & Repatriation.
  • Strengthening the Economic Development Ecosystem through Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships.

About Walnut Accelerator
Walnut Co-Working Community was established on January 2015 in Santai Cubic Zone. Walnut combines the coworking model and the current Chinese entrepreneur’s needs. They have an established community which incorporates communication, culture, innovation, and intelligence. Walnut is the perfect place to set up a desk, access conference rooms, and enjoy a multi-cultural environment.

Media Contact:  Adam Peabody, Investment Attraction and Growth Specialist