In the past couple of years I’ve been trying to do my part to give back to the startup communities I’m part of. This blog has been part of that, I’m an active mentor for a couple of startup accelerators including the excellent FounderFuel in Montreal and InCubes here in Toronto, I give talks and probably do about a dozen calls or meetings a week with startups looking for an hour of advice and/or therapy from a senior marketer.
As of this week I will also take on a part-time role as an Entrepreneur In Residence at Communitech. Communitech has so much going on right now it is almost difficult to describe it. It began in 1997 as a non-profit regional hub for the commercialization of innovative technologies and an a support organization for the other 1000 technology companies in that region. In 2010 the Communitech Hub opened its doors and today is 44,000 square feet housing over 120 companies mixing startups with innovative larger companies like Google and expansion-stage companies like Desire to Learn. Last year Communitech launched HYPERDRIVE, a 30M+, 24 month Accelerator program designed to take startups from seed to Series A. In addition, Communitech runs over 50 programs and events per year, has established North America’s largest peer network, and has coached over 1000 companies through its Venture Services Group.
Communitech also has a group of EIR’s that work with Startups offering advice and mentoring and as of this week I will be one of them. My role and my goal is to spread around my marketing knowledge as broadly in the Communitech community as possible. This is a part-time role but I plan to be hanging out at the Hub 1-2 days a week. You can drop me a note at april.dunford at communitech.ca and we can schedule a time to meet. Also, head over the the Communitech blog where there’s a post with some video of me chatting about startup marketing.
It’s a honor to be chosen for this role. I did my engineering degree at the University of Waterloo and spent a few years working at a startup in Waterloo early in my career. Back then we had nothing like the Hub or the resources that Communitech provides. It makes me happy to be able to provide something that I wished I had access to when I was at my first startup trying to figure out what the heck I was supposed to be doing.