Communitech's HYPERDRIVE $30+ million Startup Incubator Announces Second Cohort of 11 Companies

WATERLOO, ON, Jan. 31, 2013 /CNW/ - The second cohort of companies participating in Communitech's HYPERDRIVE program - a $30+ million startup incubator - was announced today, with 11 diverse up-and-coming startups ready for the spotlight. Still less than one year old, the HYPERDRIVE program has made its mark as a strong and unique incubator, seeing significant interest from funders and partners.

"Building on the success of the first cohort in which five of the seven participating companies obtained follow-on financing, our second cohort will see enhanced programming with much greater focus on generating revenue to help companies get from "Seed to Series A" as quickly as possible," said Doug Cooper, Managing Director HYPERDRIVE. "We received applications from 16 countries around the world for the second cohort, making the 11 companies selected truly the cream of the crop."

As part of HYPERDRIVE'S full lifecycle approach, the program enables up to 30 companies to participate annually, each with a three-month 'sprint' to take startups from concept to angel and VC investment-ready. The sprint culminates in a week-long immersion in the heart of New York City's burgeoning tech community. The program is differentiated from other startup incubators by virtue of a two-year mentoring program, ensuring the sprint period is followed with support designed to help founders scale their businesses, with the goal of being "Series A" fundable at the end.

The following 11 companies make up the HYPERDRIVE second cohort:

  • WellRead - a news gathering service that learns what is most important to the user and makes it simple to keep up with what matters to them, cutting out the need to search multiple sources.
  • The Dandy Co. - a community driven app developer which involves the community from initial pitch to completed product. Profits are divided amongst the community based on each user's level of contribution.
  • The Open Doors Network - a developer of web applications for homeowners so they can better maintain their investment. Emails are sent to users to remind them when different maintenance issues should be addressed and provides solutions.
  • CreamHR - an accurate top-of-the-filter employment assessment service. CreamHR provides businesses with a way to quickly and accurately hire the right person for the job, eliminating inaccurate recruiting.
  • PumpUp - a personalized fitness coach that gives individuals the guidance and motivation they need when it comes to working out. Answering a few simple questions provides the user with a personalized routine that shows them exactly what to do, how to do it, and adapts their routine to help them reach their goals.
  • GroupNotes - a collaborative tool that can be used to easily share, annotate, and comment on websites. It allows its users to form a digital group online, enabling its members to leave virtual sticky notes and annotations on webpages so that as other members browse those sites they see the notes others left behind.
  • BeanEvo - a web-based application offering an easy-to-use, cost-effective and customizable online accounts payable automation solution tailored to the size of any business.
  • ViewsIQ - a medical technology company that makes microscope imaging solutions. ViewsIQ has created a way to digitize lab samples so that anyone with a standard microscope can create and send an image of the sample to a pathologist anywhere in the world for diagnosis.
  • ESL Explorer - an online marketplace, catalogue of schools, niche social network and a ratings and review site for English language schools. The website makes it simple for students to pick the right courses in the right location for them.
  • Inception Mobile - a "friction free" multi-platform mobile application development tool. It allows developers to simultaneously target multiple mobile platforms without having to rewrite a single line of code.
  • Oikoi - a matchmaking platform for tenants, landlords and property managers. Rather than a general purpose marketplace approach employed by Kijiji and Craigslist, Oikoi specializes in quickly connecting tenants to highly relevant apartments, and providing pre-qualified leads to landlords.

Phase 1 of the program which begins now, introduces the startups to market validation, with a focus on customer development and helping them discover the overall strategic direction of their companies. Along with Cooper managing the program, HYPERDRIVE draws on the expertise of head coaches Ted Hastings and Steven Woods. The program can also enlist support from Communitech's team of Executives-in-Residence and more than 130 mentors who have volunteered their time to help coach these emerging businesses.

About Communitech
Communitech www.communitech.ca  is the regional hub for the commercialization of innovative technologies supporting and building a Southwestern Ontario tech cluster of close to 1,000 companies that now generates more than $30B in revenue. A member of the Ontario Network of Excellence (www.oneinnovation.ca), which is funded by the Ontario government, Communitech supports tech companies at all stages of their growth and development - from startup companies, to rapidly growing SMEs, to large global players - to create greater numbers of successful global businesses for Ontario and for Canada.

About Communitech HYPERDRIVE
Communitech HYPERDRIVE is a startup incubator that will provide enhanced mentorship and other life cycle services to early stage tech companies. The goal of the program is to maximize the ability of these companies to commercialize innovations and prepare the companies for investment opportunities. The program will also enable 'soft landings' for experience in foreign markets, and higher visibility for investment sources and business connections.

SOURCE: Communitech Ltd.

For further information:

Media Contact
Shelley Grandy, Sr. PR Advisor, Communitech, 905-866-2656 or shelley@communitech.ca