WATERLOO REGION, ON, Oct. 2, 2012 /CNW/ - Communitech's first HYPERDRIVE cohort is emerging from its initial three-month intensive mentoring program, having completed a trip to New York City Sept. 19-21 in the heart of the burgeoning NY tech scene in preparation for Demo Day on October 12. And while one cohort is well under way fueled with mentoring and inspiration from the Big Apple, another batch of ambitious startups will have the opportunity to be coached in the program that begins in early January. Applications for the second cohort are open now and continue to November 1.
"We're excited to see these young companies build on the learnings of the last three months as they expand their opportunities for a global presence," said Steve Currie, Communitech's VP of Venture Services. "This next phase of HYPERDRIVE will provide exposure and contacts in a critical venue for their successful growth."
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 businesses, to multi-national enterprises. HYPERDRIVE, targeted at startups, provides 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 similar programs in other regions, HYPERDRIVE will take promising startups through their full early-stage development, with ongoing mentoring for two years per startup. The first cohort startups will present to interested investors at The Communitech Hub during Demo Day on October 12, and then move into the next phase of HYPERDRIVE coaching.
The impact of the program on the initial group is already being felt; some companies have re-branded or changed their business plan as a result of the three-month effort, as well as re-focused on their objectives. Says Dan Heitbohmer of BuildCircle: "It's been fantastic. Coming out here and actually seeing all these people and interacting with them is a real eye-opener. They're really professional and really focused on getting results."
And Adeel Vanthaliwala of IncentiVibe says: "My expectations have been far exceeded…I was not expecting things to be this good."
HYPERDRIVE addresses the gap between startup and full operation by providing mentorship and funding for promising new companies. With $30 million in support available, assistance is provided to those that successfully meet application criteria. HYPERDRIVE operates 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 First Cohort
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A detailed overview of the program, funding partners and strategic partners, and in-kind services and products plus application for startups are available at: www.communitech.ca/hyperdrive.
Communitech is located in Waterloo Region, 110 kilometres (66 miles) west of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Founded by a group of dedicated entrepreneurs in 1997, Communitech is the regional hub for the commercialization of innovative technologies supporting and is 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 http://www.communitech.ca/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:
Shelley Grandy, Sr. PR Advisor, Communitech, 905-866-2656 or [email protected]