Hyperdrive: Taking Waterloo Startups to the Next Level
Friday, April 13, 2012
Posted by: Huffington Post
The temperature of Canada's red-hot startup community has risen yet a
few more degrees with news of a $30-million program to build
early-stage companies into billion-dollar businesses.
The program, called Hyperdrive, is the latest offering from Communitech,
the industry-led enabling organization in Waterloo Region, which
Ontario's premier has called "Canada's most important tech cluster."
Full details will follow Hyperdrive's launch on April 17, but for now,
we can report that the program will offer serious money -- up to
$700,000 per company -- and world-class mentorship to entrepreneurs
seeking a rich tech ecosystem in which to plant and grow their
businesses. The program will include an initial three-month sprint
leading to a demo day, similar to those at well-known American
accelerators TechStars and Y Combinator, but will extend far beyond
that. Companies will get up to 24 months of direct mentorship,
plus legal and accounting advice, as they develop, and will have
opportunities to pitch for progressively larger investments from an
array of investment firms and superangels.
The program will also offer
soft landings in markets outside Canada to expose entrepreneurs to
opportunities and challenges in other markets.
Hyperdrive's lifecycle approach to building companies speaks to Waterloo
Region's longstanding culture of collaborative entrepreneurship, rooted
in 200 years of industrial reinvention and renewal.
Communitech, which will mark its 15th anniversary this year, grew
directly out of this culture, and today supports a tech cluster that
counts more than 800 companies and generates $25 billion in annual
Read the full story at Huffington Post.