Buckle Up: Communitech Puts Canadian Innovation into Hyperdrive with $30 Million Fund for Tech Startups

Waterloo-based Communitech, a regional hub for the commercialization of technologies, has launched a new program called Hyperdrive. This initiative is a $30-million wallet for high-potential technology startups in Canada.

Backed by investment firms, superangels, service providers, strategic partners, and mentors, Hyperdrive will provide startups with up to $700,000 in capital each—that's a bare minimum of 43 companies that will go through the program. Likely though, many, many more will actually go through, considering most tech startups need only a few thousand to put the key in the ignition.

If you’re a startup, it’s time to buckle up: On April 17, Canada’s top technology hub will launch Communitech HYPERDRIVE, a $30-million-plus program to build early-stage tech startups into “Series A” VC funded companies. HYPERDRIVE has been created to kick Canadian tech up a notch.

"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, which represents 800 tech companies in the Waterloo region. "Hyperdrive will speed time to market and help surface the next big tech stars in Canada and beyond."

Hyperdrive aims to bring the tremendous success of YCombinator, TechStars, and 500 Startups in the US to Canada. Hyperdrive will do it all: seed funding as well as Series A funding, plus expert mentoring and service providers such as legal and accounting—and a slew of other benefits, including demo days, soft landings in foreign markets, and more.

"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," adds Iain. "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 in Communitech's 44,000-square foot Hub facility. The program will accept 10 companies up to three times per year.

Applications begin on April 17, a week from today. The program starts in June.

Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

Founded by a group of entrepreneurs in 1997, Communitech is an industry-led innovation centre in Waterloo Region, supporting a tech cluster of nearly 1,000 companies. Communitech supports tech companies at all stages of their growth and development – from startups to rapidly growing mid-sized companies and large global players. A member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs, Communitech... more

Communitech HYPERDRIVE
Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Communitech HYPERDRIVE is a startup incubator that provides 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 them for investment opportunities. The program also enables 'soft landings' for experience in foreign markets, and higher visibility for... more

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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