06 Jul 2015 BCTIA HyperGrowth Accelerator Launches To Develop Next Crop of BC Anchor Tech Companies
Content provided by Cantech Letter
The BC Technology Industry Association has launched a new accelerator called HyperGrowth, designed to provide in-residence growth stage start-ups with the mentorship needed to scale sales and marketing. Three companies were selected from a total of 27 eligible applicants.
HyperGrowth is BC’s only second-stage revenue accelerator, providing a six-month intensive residency program focused on sales and marketing for what BCTIA hopes will be the next generation of Vancouver’s tech anchor companies.
After a six-week application process, the final pitch session wrapped up on June 17, whittling the final seven finalists down to three: RentMoola, Thinkific and EDP Software.
The panel of judges included BuildDirect’s Jeff Booth, ACL’s Dan Zitting, Hootsuite’s Matt Switzer, Mobify’s Igor Faletski, Recon’s Dan Eisenhardt, and Telus’ Michael McCarthy.
BuildDirect’s Jeff Booth, one of the driving forces behind establishing the program, said, “The judges were amazed at the execution and polish of the HyperGrowth finalists, and we’re excited to engage deeply with these companies in the coming months to help them grow. If we truly want to reach our potential as a world class technology hub, we as a community need to rally around fast moving growth-stage companies like these and make sure they have access to every resource required to support them in becoming future anchors of our industry.”
Notable also has been the maturity of start-ups simply applying to the accelerator. Far from being simply a back-of-the-napkin idea searching for funding, these companies already have significant traction. RentMoola, for instance, has already been raising money on the exempt market through the FrontFundr platform, which interested members of the public can contribute to.
“The calibre of companies applying to HyperGrowth was incredible,” said BCTIA President and CEO, Bill Tam. “It was clear from the volume of applications received that we have found an important niche that is currently missing from the market. There are several high-potential tech companies in our midst who are looking to grow to the next level, and they need more than startup-focused resources to help them get there. They’re ready to experience second-stage programming, they’re ready for HyperGrowth.”
The HyperGrowth problem does solve a particular problem for early growth Canadian companies, which is that while a company may develop a great product and gain traction among important clients, scaling up to meet demand, particularly with regards to sales and marketing, remains a barrier.
“We have managed some really strong traction to date,” said Sachin Argrawal, CEO of EDP Software, “but our industrial customers are complex and have long sales cycles. We applied to HyperGrowth because we need to become even more sophisticated and focused in order to build a leading technology company here in BC.”
EDP Software, who already count Ford and Shell as customers, are providers of a web-based custom workforce management software, with offices in Vancouver’s Gastown, as well as Ontario and New Brunswick.
RentMoola is attempting to bring paying rent into the 21st century, probably the final significant transaction that many people have yet to migrate to an online payment system, with lots of otherwise tech savvy people still forking over paper cheques each month. RentMoola also has developed a perks system as part of its platform.
Thinkific allows users to offer online courses, currently powering thousands of courses offered by universities, corporations, professional associations, coaches, trainers and educational entrepreneurs in over 70 countries.
The three successful applicants and their advisers now have six months to help each company rise to the sales and marketing challenges that are essential to tapping in to world markets and developing the next crop of tech talent from BC.
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