Wagepoint takes on North American payroll market

By hyperdrive.


Wagepoint is Canada’s only online payroll startup, recently surpassing 500 customers and launching in the U.S. this week. From left to right: Wagepoint CEO Shrad Rao, Zoup! Waterloo and Zoup! Kitchener owner/operator Daryl Hunter, Wagepoint CMO Leena Thampan and Wagepoint COO Ryan Dineen. (Communitech photo: Samantha Clark)


Money. It’s what makes the world go ‘round.

For Wagepoint, Canada’s only online payroll startup, it’s about more than that. They’re aiming to be the best payroll service provider in all of North America.

Today, the small company from Communitech HYPERDRIVE’s fourth cohort is well on its way.

They’re celebrating two major milestones since their debut in 2013, including surpassing 500 customers and officially launching in the U.S. this week.


PumpUp (Cohort 2) raises $2.4M seed round to scale fitness app


2014 07 22 Pump Up

PumpUp co-founders Garrett Gottlieb (left) and Phil Jacobson (Photo courtesy of Phil Jacobson)

PumpUp has landed $2.4 million in seed financing to help the popular fitness app scale to meet demand from its ever-growing online community.

The company, which is a Communitech HYPERDRIVE and University of Waterloo Velocity graduate, announced today that General Catalyst Partners in Silicon Valley is the lead investor of the round.

“The $2.4 million really gives us the resources we need to expand our team, so that we can advance our product and scale our user acquisition, and really bring our company to the next major stage,” Phil Jacobson, co-founder and President of PumpUp, told Communitech.

Aside from propelling the company forward, Jacobson looks at the round as a strategic move that...

Structur3D Printing shares secrets of Kickstarter success


Structur3 D Kickstarter

(From left to right) John Mardlin, Dr. Charles Mire and Andrew Finkle of Structur3D Printing.
(Communitech photo: Trish Crompton)

The secret to a successful Kickstarter campaign: Nutella.

Not exactly, but it sure did sweeten the deal for Communitech HYPERDRIVE company  Structur3D Printing, who celebrated last Wednesday as they closed a successful campaign.

The campaign was to fund the mass production of the Discov3ry paste extruder, which is an add-on for 3D printers, an inexpensive option to use household materials for printing.

Setting an initial goal of $30,000, they exceeded that within the first two days.

The results speak for themselves.

“We raised $126,000 from 511 backers, and that translates into 387 units of our extruder, sold worldwide,” says Charles Mire, co-founder...

Collaborative video app turns moments into memorable events

By hyperdrive.


Brett Madill and Chris Recalis, co-founders of video-stiching social app - Clipter. (Communitech photo: Trish Crompton)

It’s the middle of winter, and with the wind-chill factor approaching -35 C, you’ve decided to escape on a Caribbean cruise.

That’s 10 days away with three of your friends, seven days on a floating hotel, docking at five island ports of call, three inland excursions, eight on-ship photo ops and six separate cameras to capture it all.

Turning all those moments into an album that does justice to everyone’s experience is a huge task with photos, let alone video. But what if you could stitch everyone's clips together to make a seamless memento that all can enjoy?

Grade school friends Brett Madill and Chris Recalis decided to create an app to do just that - called ...

HYPERDRIVE Cohort 1 alum launches 'eject button for bad situations'

By tony.

Ivan Lukianchuk Vftl

Ivan Lukianchuk

By Anthony Reinhart

So you’re a startup founder at an event crawling with potential investors, when suddenly, an old acquaintance corners you to discuss his latest project.

As he drones on, you look past him and, to your horror, see one of your top prospects heading for the exit.

“I think I’ve actually missed someone who was walking out the door because I got caught talking to someone about something, and it was just really hard to get out of it,” says Ivan Lukianchuk, who thinks he’s hit upon an effective – not to mention hilarious – solution.

Billed as “an eject button for bad situations,” Lukianchuk has developed This Is Your Out – TIYO, for short – a Bluetooth-enabled key fob that you can press to make a call to your mobile phone.

Not only will your phone ring, but...

HYPERDRIVE companies win top honours in BMW Grand River pitch contest

By hyperdrive.

Bmw Pitchoff

PumpUp co-founder Phil Jacobson won the $25,000 grand prize at the Ultimate Tech Prize Pitch Competition on June 19. (Photo: Matt Davidson)

By Samantha Clark

A crowd gathered at BMW Grand River in Kitchener on June 19 to cheer on their favourite companies as they competed in the first Ultimate Tech Prize Pitch Competition.

Chalk, Plum, PumpUp, Structur3d Printing and Videostream competed for a total of $28,000. Teams pitched for five minutes followed by a five-minute question-and-answer period with a panel of judges, including Aterica Health Inc. President and CEO Alex Leyn, and Deloitte’s Jamie Barron and Alexis Hui.

Three out of the five companies took home prizes, and all three are Communitech HYPERDRIVE startups,
PumpUp, an app that promotes “the world’s most inspiring community...

Structur3D Printing blows away crowd at flagship Maker Faire

By hyperdrive.
This three-minute time-lapse video by Darin White covers 1.75 hours of activity in Structur3D Printing’s booth at Maker Faire Bay Area. The maker movement’s flagship event attracted 130,000 people May 17-18.

By Darin White


2014 05 27 Maker Faire 2
Charles Mire at the Structur3D Printing booth at Maker Faire Bay Area
(Photo: Darin White)

“How is it going?” I asked Structur3D Printing’s co-founder Andrew Finkle, after pushing through a massive crowd in the Start Up Pavilion at Maker Faire Bay Area a week ago. “Intense” was his answer as he busily tended the Discov3ry extruder’s paste-printing designs, made from everything from...

bitHound co-founder shares marketing advice in lead-up to JSConf

By tony.

2014 05 16 Bit Hound Dan

Dan Silivestru, co-founder of bitHound, says the high from building a successful startup can be addicting. (HYPERDRIVE photo: Trish Crompton)

By Trish Crompton

Once you’ve climbed a mountain, it’s easy to get hooked on the rush of making it to the top – but it doesn’t make the next climb any easier.

For Dan Silivestru, co-founder and CEO of bitHound, this isn’t his first startup expedition. He co-founded tinyHippos in 2009, which BlackBerry acquired in March 2011, because of one of their products, Ripple, a mobile environment emulator.

 Never straying far from the entrepreneurial path, Silivestru served at Communitech as an executive-in-residence for the next two years, while he completed his two-year post-acquisition commitment to BlackBerry. But the itch to find...

Beanworks (Cohort 2) heads to San Francisco for Blumberg pitch

By tony.

Catherine Dahl

Catherine Dahl, CEO of Vancouver-based Beanworks (HYPERDRIVE photo: Anthony Reinhart)

By Anthony Reinhart

One of the best things about an accelerator is watching the steady stream of new companies coming in – but it’s just as gratifying when an alumni company reports back after moving on from the official program.

Catherine Dahl, CEO of Vancouver-based Beanworks (HYPERDRIVE Cohort 2), stopped by for a visit this week, so we jumped at the chance to catch up.

We were thrilled to hear that Beanworks’ cloud-based accounting automation technology continues to gain traction and investor attention.

On April 30, the company won an April 30 pitch contest in Vancouver, hosted by San Francisco-based Blumberg Capital, which led to an invitation to pitch to the entire Blumberg team in California...

Structur3D Printing lands coveted spot at Maker Faire Bay Area

By HyperDrive.

Structur3 D Printing Pre Maker Faire 030

Story and photo by Darin White

Andrew Finkle and Charles Mire of Structur3D Printing are packing for a field trip to the Mecca of making. 

These two 3D printing entrepreneurs, part of HYPERDRIVE’s Cohort 4, are heading out to San Mateo, Calif. next week for Maker Faire Bay Area. This annual event draws 120,000 visitors in the course of a weekend, and, Mire hopes, will also draw attention to his company’s 3D printer extruder that is set for an imminent crowdfunding pitch to launch production.

A typical 3D printer draws in and melts a rigid noodle of plastic to form the output. Mire and Finkle have designed and built a mechanism that allows printing of various pastes, including silicone, wood filler, and even cake icing. It is analogous to making shapes by squeezing toothpaste from...

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