Check Out This Totally Unassuming House in Waterloo That's Secretly Incubating Significant Startups

Posted by Knowlton Thomas

There is nothing extraordinary about the Batavia House. On the outside, anyway.

But inside the six-bedroom bungalow on Batavia Place, it's all about the extraordinary. Financial Post Tech Desk editor Matt Hartley dove inside the home to uncover an amazing story: this university frat house is actually a top-secret incubator for major Canadian startups.

Located near RIM's global headquarters, Batavia House is filled with Canadian entrepreneurs founding successful companies whose reach extends to Silicon Valley. Owners Michael and Stephen Litt have housed such companies as Allerta, TwitSprout, and Vidyard—the latter of which is a finalist for New Canadian Startup of 2011 in the First Annual Canadian Startup Awards. Both Allerta and Vidyard have been through Silicon Valley's Y Combinator investment program, with Vidyard having already raised nearly $2 million.

Although the Litt brothers didn’t intend the house to become a refuge for recent Waterloo grads hoping to build technology companies, the home has evolved into an informal incubator, as the various occupants challenge one another to innovate and create. 

Having so many entrepreneurs living and working together under one roof not only enables the various founders to share tools, but also to discuss strategies for growing their businesses and where to look for outside help. The companies have helped one another find lawyers, accountants and other advisors.

Watch out, VeloCity and Communitech! Batavia House is on a roll.

Photo: Glenn Lowson, National Post

Company:
Communitech
Website:
http://www.communitech.ca
Location:
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Communitech is located in Waterloo Region, 110 kilometres (66 miles) west of Toronto, Ontario, Canada in an area that includes the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo. Communitech 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... more

Company:
Allerta
Website:
http://www.getinpulse.com
Location:
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Allerta is a brand new consumer electronics design firm, focused solely on creating cutting edge mobile accessories that mesh perfectly with smartphones and a mobile lifestyle. Allerta recognizes the emerging prominence of smartphones, specifically as an increasingly common, portable gateway to the internet and aims to design useful products that leverage this ‘always-on’ connection. Allerta’s first product is the... more

Company:
Velocity
Website:
http://velocity.uwaterloo.ca
Location:
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

At uWaterloo, we believe that there is more to higher learning than a conventional university education. The Velocity Program was created to supplement classes and books with a taste of – and gateway to – successful entrepreneurship, forming a collaborative community of student innovators, leaders and entrepreneurs. From ideation to prosperous startup, Velocity is where our most promising students and alumni... more


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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes. 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 playing tennis, hiking, and exploring weird side streets. more




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