"Our success has really been based on partnerships from the very beginning."
- Bill Gates


How do I know what programs the Pond-Deshpande Centre offers?

The PDC has programs and resources to assist emerging entrepreneurs and innovators in the region. General information may be found through the menu bar at the top of our Home Page; news about upcoming programs and events may be found on Twitter, Facebook,  and we invite you to also sign up for our Contact List.

How do I  contact the PDC about Sponsorship?

Please refer to our Sponsorship Policy.

I have an idea for a business, when should I contact the PDC for help? 

Please review these questions to determine how best to proceed.

How do I contact the PDC for an appointment?

Use the Meeting Request Form so that we may assess your needs and provide the right support at the right time.

I am thinking about opening a bakery or a pet store, will the PDC be able to assist me?

Generally a pet store,  bakery, or a similar business would only be applicable for PDC funding programs if its primary mission was focused on solving a community issue.  PDC programs are targeted to assist emerging entrepreneurs and innovators whose social and tech business ideas potentially have high impact on the community including the potential for scalability.  Programming is available to help support these new ventures through market validation, market research, business plan development and to help leverage additional funding.  For further information, go to ChangeMaker Funding Program.

All early-stage businesses may participate in the Innovator’s Jump Start Program which provides key information for entrepreneurs who are thinking about setting up a business. The Innovators’ Tool Kit also provides helpful resources for all entrepreneurs.  All early-stage entrepreneurs with a new idea may also benefit from New Brunswick StartUp Weekends which we will promote through Twitter (see above).

I have heard about a Fail Forward Fund? What is this?

The Fail Forward Fund is a unique PDC program to assist entrepreneurs who perhaps couldn’t land their second round of venture capital? OR didn’t bring the right team together? OR experienced bankruptcy or insolvency OR undervalued the importance of customer feedback AND their company FAILED? But in the process the entrepreneur learned from the experience and mistakes, and is ready to do an overhaul, pivot or consider an entirely new idea?

Pivot, overhaul, and fail are often viewed as dirty words, when in reality, they can pave the way for future opportunities.  Failure is normal and many entrepreneurs will experience this at some point in their journey.  Acknowledging that an idea or venture has failed and that there is a need to rethink and regroup is the first step toward learning from the experience. Trying again, reinventing oneself, passionately pursuing new ideas and opportunities shows that an entrepreneur is tenacious and that you are on the path to success. The Fail Forward Fund is part of our ChangeMaker Funding Program.

I am located in Saint John and have an innovative business idea. Is it true that there is a special program that might be available for me?

The True Growth Innovation Fund, supported by Saint John community donors, is a funding program for high impact innovators in priority growth sectors (Energy, Advanced Manufacturing, Finance/Insurance and Professional Services, Tourism, IT, and Health & Life Sciences), plus Arts & Culture, and Municipal Government.The goal is to accelerate the commercialization of high impact ideas by helping to remove common obstacles in the early stages of venture evaluation.  This fund is applicable only to businesses and individuals residing in Saint John.

I am located outside New Brunswick and have an innovative business idea. Am I eligible to apply for funding?

Funding programs are available for New Brunswick-based entrepreneurs and may be extended to PEI-based entrepreneurs at the discretion of the PDC Advisory Board. Please note that the PDC reserves the right to request and review incorporation and legal documents pertaining to the business structure of applicants at any time related to the purposes of PDC funding programs including the verification of applicants’ residency.

Is it true that the PDC only works with students?

This is NOT true. We are proud of our Student Ambassador and Student Catalyst Programs; however, these are the only programs available exclusively to students. The PDC has available programming for ALL high impact tech and social entrepreneurs whether they are a student, faculty member, organization, business or member of the public.

How do I contact the Pond-Deshpande Centre?

For information on our programs and resources, please contact Heather Boyd-Kinnie by email: innovate@unb.ca or by telephone: 506-451-6826.

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