A key component of what makes the Kitchener-Waterlook’s tech or ICT sector successful is Communitech, the organization has been able to get past a lot of the typical beauocracy and politics that are often plagued by an association. Recently they announced a new program called “HYPERDRIVE,” which will look to help commercialize and scale area startups and provide capital up to $700,000 for what they deem as “high-potential” companies through a $30 million program fund.
“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.”
The group is trying to model itself after US-based incubators such as 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 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.