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Axis Accelerator will boost entrepreneurship in the Saint John region

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Nov 17, 2023

Category: UNB Saint John

Trevor Holder, MLA for Portland-Simonds; Glen Savoie, Minister of Local Government; Wayne Long, MP for Saint John-Rothesay; Dr. Petra Hauf, UNB’s Provost and Vice-President Academic; Dr. Shelley Rinehart, Director of the MBA Program and Acting Associate Dean of Graduate Studies; and Matt George, Director of Axis Accelerator.

The University of New Brunswick's (UNB) Faculty of Business in Saint John is giving a boost to the entrepreneurial spirit in the region with a new pilot initiative called the Axis Accelerator.

The Axis Accelerator Pilot focuses on developing the programming to help entrepreneurs understand themselves as founders, identify lead customers, and build a scalable, repeatable sales strategy to help them take their business to the marketplace.

“This pilot project is very exciting for our BBA and MBA Programs and the campus in general,” said Dr. Shelley Rinehart, Director of the MBA Program and Acting Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. “Faculty, students and alumni interested in entrepreneurship and sales will have an opportunity to work on their entrepreneurial ideas, hone their sales skills or offer their thoughts and ideas to assist entrepreneurs in the space.”

Dr. Petra Hauf, UNB’s Provost and Vice-President Academic, said UNB has long supported the growth of entrepreneurship in the region.

“UNB has a strong history of entrepreneurial activity,” said Dr. Hauf. “We are proud to contribute to the ecosystem, supporting the continuation of a strong entrepreneurial effort in the region.”

This initiative is jointly funded by the Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), and the provincial government through Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour (PETL). Each level of government has invested $127,500 in support of this pilot project.

“We are so fortunate to have the expertise and knowledge at UNB’s Faculty of Business in Saint John to help foster business excellence in this region,” said Wayne Long, Member of Parliament for Saint John-Rothesay. “I am happy that our government, through ACOA, is investing in this new start-up incubator that will provide the tools entrepreneurs need to help their businesses succeed here at home and beyond.”

“We are proud to support this program that will strengthen entrepreneurship in New Brunswick,” said Glen Savoie, Minister of Local Government. “Entrepreneurship drives growth and diversification of our economy, and it contributes to our government’s key priorities of energizing the private sector and creating vibrant and sustainable communities.”

The accelerator pilot is comprised of the following four components:

  • An incubator space located at UNB’s Grand Hall, 40 Charlotte St.
  • A sales acceleration program.
  • Facilitation of investor networking and collaboration.
  • Supporting and building entrepreneurial interests in students

The Axis Accelerator Pilot will test the incubator space needs of high-potential founder teams and work to bolster entrepreneurship at UNB and the Saint John region.

“It’s an exciting time for founders at UNB Saint John and in the Saint John Region,” said Matt George, Director of Axis Accelerator. “When we conceptualized Axis, we knew our value prop was clear and simple - we develop entrepreneurs. That means helping them to understand themselves, find lead customers willing to bet big on their solution, and build scalable, repeatable sales strategies that work in the market.”