Canadian tech startup companies now have a new avenue to commercialize innovations, scale their businesses faster and achieve market success with the introduction of Communitech’s HYPERDRIVE program that will provide capital of up to $700,000 for high-potential companies – with a $30 million program to draw on. Backed by key investment firms and angel funders, service providers, strategic partners and mentors, Communitech plans to put innovation into HYPERDRIVE.
“We’re revving up the opportunity for tech startups to get traction in the industry sooner, with more support from investors,” said Iain Klugman, CEO of Communitech, the organization representing 800 tech companies in Waterloo Region. “HYPERDRIVE will speed time to market and help surface the next big tech stars in Canada and beyond.”
Building on the success of funding incubators YCombinator in Silicon Valley, TechStars in Boulder, Boston, New York City and Seattle, and 500 Startups in Silicon Valley, Communitech’s HYPERDRIVE is the next-generation of this type of program. HYPERDRIVE will provide expert mentoring, support from service providers such as legal and accounting firms, and seed funding — advancing to angel investment and ultimately to “Series A” VC funders. Unlike other existing programs, HYPERDRIVE will take promising startups through their full early-stage development, with ongoing mentoring for two years per startup. Communitech has a 15-year history of fueling innovation through strategic programs, providing support to tech companies at all stages of their development, from startup through small-medium business, to multi-national enterprises.
“Attention has been paid recently to an innovation gap in Canada which is essentially ‘failure to launch’ from the inception of a great tech idea to commercialization,” said Klugman. “This is a program designed to close that gap and see an increase in investment in Canada’s tech sector that will result in more jobs and increased growth.”
HYPERDRIVE will operate from The Communitech Hub in Waterloo Region which is a 44,000 square foot facility dedicated to digital media innovation, leveraging locations in New York and Silicon Valley. Based on an application process, cohorts of 10 companies will be accepted up to three times annually.
The program will enable ‘soft landings’ for Canadian companies to experience operating in foreign markets. Other program features will include one-to-one coaching; workshops; events; ‘capital collision days’ enabling fortuitous pairings of investors and startups; and demo days. Executives-in-Residence and a deep bench of global mentors, strategic partners and service providers supportive of the program will execute on the HYPERDRIVE program.
A detailed overview of the program, funding partners and strategic partners, and in-kind services and products plus application for start-ups will be available Tuesday, April 17th 2012.