WATERLOO REGION, ON, April 7 /CNW/ - Communitech's Venture Services
program is expanding to support the burgeoning number of startup
companies relying on Communitech for commercialization expertise, with
more new companies "walking through the doors" every week, Communitech
CEO Iain Klugman said today. The program provides expertise and
resources to startup companies, engaging executive-level talent from
"Part of the tech ecosystem is ensuring that the wealth of executive
knowledge in all aspects of entrepreneurship is shared with others who
are the future leaders of successful ventures," said Klugman. "It's one
of the reasons that hundreds of entrepreneurs have chosen Waterloo
Region for their startups."
More than 250 early-stage companies are actively engaged with the
Venture Services Program, up from 50 since the inception of the EIR
program five years ago, Klugman said. In 2010, more than 7000 hours
were spent by EIRs coaching startups.
Communitech continually seeds its Executives-in-Residence team with
high-level executives who have experience in "C-level" jobs and can
coach startup tech firms, and the program has expanded from one to a
complement of six EIRs. Each EIR has experience and expertise in a
particular sector and a capability essential to business success.
Klugman says most EIRs continue to be active in their field, either as
senior executives or entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs work with the team of advisors best suited to their
business, and have access not only to the expertise needed, but also
resources and connections across a range of disciplines and sectors.
The Venture Services team at Communitech currently includes the
Lillian Bass, a Chartered Accountant who provides leadership and helps get things
done for fast-growing small and medium-sized businesses. Lillian was VP
Finance and Operations at IGLOO Inc., an early stage business social
software company, CFO for engineering company Brock Solutions, and
Corporate Financial Manager for ATS Automation Tooling Systems and was
involved with the inception of Angstrom Engineering.
Marc Castel, CEO at Maintenance Assistant Inc. and formerly CEO at ROBOsky, who
brings extensive experience in the private and public sectors. Castel
serves as Director of Commercialization for the Ontario Centres of
Excellence, and works in collaboration with Angel Investment Groups in
Ontario. Castel is also the founder of the Resource Alliance, Ontario's
largest network of commercialization professionals.
Cameron Hay, a professional from the global high-tech world, who was for six years
president and CEO of Unitron and previously COO and VP Operations at
Unitron; Hay also had experience at IBM and Celestica as a process
engineer, and subsequently focused on both entrepreneurial businesses
and global high-tech.
Chris Howlett has been involved with Communitech since its own startup days and
applies his PhD in Mathematics to helping companies solve business
problems with software systems. He has held executive positions as a VP
at Geosign, as CTO at Maplesoft and as CEO at Freedom
Intelligence/Aruna. In his current EIR role, Howlett is
CTO-in-Residence at Communitech.
Dave Litwiller brings senior executive experience from Prinova Technologies where he
was COO, as well as DALSA Corporation where he was Corporate VP
Marketing and Business Development. At Prinova, Litwiller led R&D,
Quality Assurance and Product Management for the company's enterprise
software development and delivery. Prior to joining DALSA, Litwiller
was a design engineer at several high-tech startups in the wireless,
fibre optic telecom and broadcast industries.
Brett Shellhammer, an expert on aligning marketing, sales and services activities around
product lines to build successful organizations. Shellhammer was
previously SVP of Marketing at Coreworx Inc. in Kitchener, and was
previously SVP of Product Management at Eloqua in Toronto and VP and
General Manager of the Global 2000 and Government business unit at
OpenText. Shellhammer's experience also includes having worked with
five San Francisco Bay area startups.
Communitech and the Waterloo Accelerator Centre announced in late 2010
that they would team up to ensure one-stop shopping for early-stage
companies looking for help taking their business to the next level. Now
startups located at both the AC and The Communitech Hub have access to
the same 'Accelerator Program', operated by the Accelerator Centre,
which includes amenities for tenants, educational programming, in-house
mentors and access to the Entrepreneurship Council and the Venture
For more information about the Venture Services program at Communitech,
go to http://www.communitech.ca/venture-services/ or contact Steve Currie, VP Business Services firstname.lastname@example.org or Maggi Jones, Coordinator Venture Services Group email@example.com.
Communitech www.communitech.ca is the hub for the commercialization of innovation in Waterloo Region,
creating economic prosperity by helping tech companies start, grow and
SOURCE Communitech Ltd.
For further information:
Shelley Grandy, Sr. PR Advisor, Communitech, firstname.lastname@example.org