View from the 'Loo: A great pitch is only the beginning

By hyperdrive.

This post first appeared on

By Anthony Reinhart is Communitech’s Director of Editorial Strategy and senior staff writer. View from the ‘Loo is a weekly look at the issues, people and events that shape Waterloo Region’s technology sector.

If you’ve spent any length of time around the Communitech Hub over the past few years, you might recognize the guys in the two photos above. 

On the left is Ivan Lukianchuk, best known as founder of Will Pwn 4 Food, a gaming-for-money platform and Cohort 1 alum from our HYPERDRIVE accelerator program. A die-hard metal fan, he stands out for his exclusively black attire. 

On the right is Matt Gardner , who co-founded Groupnotes, a Cohort 2 HYPERDRIVE company that enabled friends to share digital sticky...

Communitech HYPERDRIVE – one cohort at a time

By hyperdrive.

By Doug Cooper
Managing Director, Communitech HYPERDRIVE

Every group or cohort of companies going through the HYPERDRIVE program has had a different experience. Not dramatically different, but different in the one way that is most important – because of program improvements based on feedback from the companies that went before.
The HYPERDRIVE team has made it a tradition to ensure that everyone going through the program gets an opportunity to shape it for the cohort to come.

Some of the things our companies have taught us:
1. Don’t over-program – we need time to focus on our companies.
2. We need to meet more investors.
3. Finding the right mentor is hard.

Don’t over-program – This comment came with a corollary: Hold us accountable. HYPERDRIVE entrepreneurs want as much time as possible to...

Meet Communitech HYPERDRIVE Cohort 4

By HyperDrive.


It’s not hard to write code. It’s hard to write great, high-quality, maintainable software. Right now, there’s no way to truly tell the difference between bad code and great code. bitHound provides static, real-time and predictive analysis on any codebase to help developers, managers and executives alike build the best software possible, every day.


Clipter is a mobile app that enables friends to use collaborative video to broadcast an experience as it evolves. As an app that is sure to please, stay tuned for more fun from Clipter.

Structur3D Printing

Structrur3D Printing are materials scientists who have developed a universal paste extruder that can retrofit many existing 3D printers. They plan to sell their...

BDC Venture Capital: A booster rocket for HYPERDRIVE companies

By HyperDrive.

When a startup launches, it’s easy to fixate on the stratosphere and lose sight of the ground, where the spadework happens.

Companies accelerating through Communitech HYPERDRIVE can take comfort in knowing our toolshed is always full, and help with the heavy lifting is never far away.

Michael Mahon, Director of Strategic Investments and Initiatives with BDC Venture Capital, has been among the familiar faces on hand and ready to help out since HYPERDRIVE’s first cohort took flight nearly two years ago.

Michael Mahon

Michael Mahon, Director, Strategic Investments @ BDC Venture Capital (Photo: BDC Venture Capital)

That makes HYPERDRIVE one of the newer accelerators among the six across Canada that have partnered with BDC VC – but it’s already one of the most successful when it comes to the number of...

HYPERDRIVE grad makes Dandy debut at CES

By hyperdrive.

2014 1 2 Little Poole


You have an app idea, but now what?The hard part is turning the idea from a few sentences on a piece of paper, or a sketch that looks like it was done by a five-year-old, into reality.

Dandy, an alumni company from the Communitech HYPERDRIVE program, proves it can take an app idea and crowdsource it to completion with today’s launch of PictureThis.

“You may have an idea, but you don’t have the 100 different things that you need to really build what you are talking about,” said Niger Little-Poole, winner of the Dandy 60 Challenge and Picture This founder.

Little-Poole, a second-year engineering student at Columbia University in New York City, turned a gift idea for a friend into a trip to Las Vegas for this week’s Consumer Electronics Show during a break between...

Signs of the times: Communitech HYPERDRIVE and Christie Digital build skills in growing communications field

By hyperdrive.

In fitness clubs, fast-food outlets and corporate hallways, Canadians find themselves pausing for thought in the glow of digital signs: Should they register for Zumba, stick with the veg pizza for lunch or attend the afternoon tech seminar?

Christie Digital, a Kitchener company highly regarded for cinematic projection, has staked its own claim in this lively, colourful technology. This winter, as a fourth cohort of companies settles into HYPERDRIVE’s seed-accelerator program, Christie Digital launches its affiliated Digital Signage Stream.

Applications for HYPERDRIVE close Jan. 7. A final online Q & A session about the program — and the partnership with Christie Digital — will be held Jan. 3 at 1 p.m.

Meanwhile, HYPERDRIVE talked to Clint Carter, Christie’s senior director of...

HYPERDRIVE and Startup Visa: Partners contributing to a prosperous Canada

By hyperdrive.

The airport need not be the only destination for foreign entrepreneurs as their time with HYPERDRIVE draws to a close.

Some may want to stay and see their skills as innovators create jobs in Canada.

Communitech HYPERDRIVE hopes so. In October, it became one of the select business accelerators that can vouch for entrepreneurs applying for permanent residency under Canada’s new Startup Visa Program.

“Talent comes from all corners of the world, and we want the best talent,” says Doug Cooper, HYPERDRIVE’s managing director. “People assume that some markets naturally generate great entrepreneurs. The reality is that entrepreneurs come from around the world.”

Based in Canada’s Communitech Hub in Waterloo Region, Ont., HYPERDRIVE provides startups with six months of close coaching and...

Applying for HYPERDRIVE: It takes thought and strategy. Kind of like running a company.

By hyperdrive.

Communitech HYPERDRIVE companies have some sound advice for entrepreneurs thinking about applying for the program.

Don’t skimp on the prep.

“I think the best thing anybody can do is just call and ask questions,” says Kaz Nejatian, co-founder AvidTap, a company in HYPERDRIVE’s third cohort. “(HYPERDRIVE is) very open to answering questions. There is no point in randomly putting together an application and having it flop."

“We took it very seriously and engaged with them over a period of months before we applied and got in.”

That early contact, Nejatian said, was “entirely fruitful.”

Based in Canada’s Communitech Hub in Waterloo Region, Ont., HYPERDRIVE is a seed accelerator that offers startup entrepreneurs six months of close-quarter mentoring in the HYPERDRIVE space, and 24 months of...

HYPERDRIVE companies shine brightly in New York City

By hyperdrive.

Nyc Christmas Ornament

This post first appeared on


New York City glittered last week. From the oversized Christmas ornaments outside of Simon and Schuster, to the Swarovski-laden 76-foot tree in Rockefeller Center, the city glowed brighter than normal as it prepared for the holiday season.

The Communitech HYPERDRIVE cohort, in town for meetings and events, also sparkled while in New York City, but this was no holiday. The five companies were here to hustle.

The HYPERDRIVE New York City trip is a bi-annual five days of meetings, panels and meet-and-greets. Generous spare time is allowed in the schedule, but not for quick shopping trips at Bloomingdales - participating companies are expected to fill their time meeting with industry experts, venture and angel firms and local...

Some straight talk about applying for Cohort 4: Are we good for each other?

By hyperdrive.

OK, so you’ve got this idea. Better yet, an even bigger idea to build a business around it.

But is the company a good fit for Communitech HYPERDRIVE, our seed accelerator based at the Communitech Hub in Waterloo Region, Ont.?

Consider what HYPERDRIVE looks for in the dozens of applications to fill 15 — or fewer — openings for each cohort. HYPERDRIVE wants to see:

  • a minimum viable product that select adopters can try now or within a month of joining the program
  • a company that knows the market for its product, and sees opportunity for growth
  • a team that really clicks. Let’s see how. Send a video
  • bench strength – sufficient tech expertise to innovate on the fly
  • a company with a product that can achieve a level of validation in 12 weeks.

Applications for HYPERDRIVE’s fourth cohort...

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