Ignite delivers Vision 2020 Report Card with 55 new startups and 410 jobs

June 8, 2016

Media Release



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For Immediate Release: June 8, 2016

FREDERICTON, N.B. - Ignite Fredericton, the community’s economic development catalyst agency, reported the creation of 410 direct jobs (156 indirect) and 55 new startups since January 2015 at the Vision 2020 Progress Summit today. Ignite also reported on key strategy deliverables including: the integration of Ignite Fredericton, Planet Hatch and Knowledge Park into one operational organization, driving the creation of an entrepreneurial hub, an investment attraction strategy and toolkit, new export acceleration program, and partnership with the University of New Brunswick’s Faculty of Business Administration program.

As the steward of the Vision 2020 Economic Development Strategy, Ignite Fredericton reported results  and economic impact of 57 new startup companies over a two-year period using a 21-month return on investment for the annual combined municipal contribution (Fredericton, Oromocto, New Maryland) of $549,000. These SEED Capital and Planet Hatch-accelerated companies created 245 jobs—319 indirect jobs—having an 86% success rate, generating the following economic impact to New Brunswick:

$26.9 million a year GDP
$2.3 million a year in tax to New Brunswick
$290,000 a year in property tax to stakeholders
$13.2 million a year in consumption
$3.2 million a year in housing - 18 New Homes
$1.1 million a year utilities and home services
$720,000 a year recreation - 50,000 movies
$1.2 million a year in food - 35,000 restaurant meals
$3.6 million a year transportation - 123 new vehicles

Ignite Fredericton also announced a major collaborative partnership with the University of New Brunswick’s Faculty of Business Administration program, which will bring Activator programming  into Planet Hatch to enable an experiential learning experience for the students.

Ignite Fredericton also launched its export acceleration program called Export Igniter today. The Igniter will start January 2017, and run as a 12-week program enabling export-ready companies to develop their export strategy to expand to new markets.  This initiative is being executed in collaboration with UNB, Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters and OpportunitiesNB.

The Vision 2020 Summit reported progress on numerous strategic initiatives to drive sector growth including reports from the Natural Resource Task Force and Startup Task Force.  One key initiative being led by Planet Hatch is the alignment of entrepreneurial services delivery (Subway model).

The investment attraction toolkit was also publicly debuted, which was based on a detailed research analysis and strategy undertaken during the summer of 2015. The strategy focuses on four sectors, which are poised for exponential growth including: ICT, biotechnology, natural resources and engineering.  The toolkit consists of the investment attraction website, community profile, growth sector profiles, blog, slide deck and Siemens case study describing the ‘digital product development living lab’. (Invest Canada Community Initiatives project)

Larry Shaw, CEO of Ignite Fredericton, Knowledge Park & Planet Hatch, remarked “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 - in fact we have several exciting opportunities in the queue.”

Ignite also plans to re-invigorate the Fredericton Business Ambassador Program with a core focus on lead generation to attract business.  The program was put on hold in 2013 due to the secondment of the coordinator to manage the Vision 2020 process.  As a first of its kind in Canada, founded in 2002, there are currently 720 people on the team.

Efforts to attract and retain talent centered around population growth, and Ignite’s major deliverables are: the creation of a Local Immigration Partnership (LIPF) and newcomer services map; the commencement of Canada’s new Startup Visa program through Planet Hatch to attract international, entrepreneurial talent; and the ongoing Choose Fredericton campaign targeting students.  Reported immigration numbers were significantly down due to the Provincial Nominee Program (business stream) being on hold since September 2013 while it is being revamped.

The summit wrapped up with a list of critical priorities - most importantly the expansion of the Fredericton International Airport.  The airport has exceeded capacity, thus limiting economic growth, and the community’s ability to attract new businesses, and reach export markets.

For the full Vision 2020 Report Card including key performance indicators of Ignite Fredericton, Knowledge Park and Planet Hatch, please CLICK HERE for a PDF version.

About Ignite Fredericton

Mission: Fuelling Entrepreneurs for Economic Growth!

Vision: Startup (entrepreneur) 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.

Media Contact:  Laurie Guthrie
Economic Development Specialist