Big names put money into Waterloo’s new $30 million incubator

Some high-profile investors have already been lined up to put money into a new $30-million tech incubator in Waterloo, Ont.

Research in Motion Ltd., OMERSVentures (the venture capital arm of theOntario civil servants’ pension plan) iNovia Capital, Canrock Ventures, Rho Canada Ventures, BDC Capital (the VC wing of the federal government’s BusinessDevelopment Bank of Canada) and the Canadian Youth Business Foundationhave committed undisclosed amounts of funding to the Hyperdrive programjust one week after it was launched.

Hyperdrive, spearheaded by the local tech organization Communitech, ismodeled after American incubators such as YCombinator, TechStars and500 Startups. It will give promising tech entrepreneurs up to two yearsof support including mentorship and access to early stage financing.

“This is another proof point of Waterloo region emerging as a majortech hub in North America, second only to Silicon Valley as the bestplace to start a tech business,” Communitech CEO Iain Klugman said in anews release.

Cohorts of 10 startups will be accepted into Hyperdrive three times peryear. Startups accepted into the program receive an initial $50,000 infunding during a three-month sprint period. They get another $150,000after successfully completing the sprint portion. More funding can beawarded if other milestones are reached by participants during theremaining months of the program.

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