Communitech ‘s HyperDrive  startup incubator has opened applications for its third cohort amid news that Incentivibe , a first-cohort HyperDrive company, has been acquired by Rebellion Media  of Waterloo. Since its creation a year ago, HyperDrive has admitted 18 companies to the first two cohorts of its $30-million-plus program based at the Communitech Hub in Kitchener. These companies have created more than 70 jobs, raised more than $2.5 million in investment and generated more than $500,000 in revenue.
“Our focus is to help early-stage companies grow into sustainable businesses,” said Doug Cooper, HyperDrive Managing Director. “Our mission is to take companies from seed stage to Series-A investment ready in 24 months.”
HyperDrive starts with a rigorous three-month sprint in which companies focus on validating their markets and acquiring customers. They then spend nine months refining their businesses and building sales channels, followed by 12 months of scaling up operations. Throughout the entire program, companies have access to HyperDrive’s network of more than 140 mentors, including on-site executives-in-residence.
Today also marks an important milestone as HyperDrive celebrates the first acquisition of one of its own, Incentivibe, by Rebellion Media, which runs a family of websites, mobile apps and digital tools. The acquisition comes just six months after Incentivibe’s pilot launch.
“HyperDrive is the best thing that happened to our company,” said Adeel Vanthaliwala, co-founder and CEO of Incentivibe. “We got investment, mentors, incredible traction and eventually an acquisition all because of HyperDrive.”
Incentivibe, a participant in HyperDrive’s first cohort of seven companies, pools small and medium-sized companies so they can hold shared contests with expensive giveaway prizes while paying just a fraction of the prize cost. It has already enlisted hundreds of online businesses to its platform and helped to incentivize more than two million customers.
“We had strong interest from several potential investors but Rebellion’s backing made perfect sense for our long-term success,” Vanthaliwala said.
Cooper added, “We are proud of Incentivibe co-founders Adeel Vanthaliwala and Abdul-Basit Munda. We wish them the best as they embark on a new journey under the Rebellion Media umbrella.”
Early-stage companies interested in applying for HyperDrive Cohort 3 should visit the HyperDrive  website.