CVCA Member Profiles

CVCA New Member Profile: Communitech

Communitech image for CVCA feature

Welcome to CVCA Central’s Member Profiles series! Here we highlight the innovative and impactful organizations that are a part of Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) community. Each profile offers a glimpse into the characteristics driving these organizations, showcasing their contributions to the Canadian private capital ecosystem. 

Today, we are excited to introduce Communitech, a new member of the CVCA. Learn more about their journey, goals, and their unique contributions to the Canadian ecosystem.

Tell us about Communitech.

Born from the vision of experienced founders, Communitech is a public-private Regional Innovation Center located in the heart of Waterloo’s thriving tech ecosystem. We support a community of over 1,000 companies, from startups and scale-ups to global players, in collaboration with dedicated public and private sector partners.

Our passionate team of 100 individuals provides founders with the resources they need to grow: building strong teams, securing capital and successfully bringing their products to market.

Fostering a vibrant and inclusive community is core to our mission. We connect founders through Peer2Peer Groups, roundtables with key decision-makers, founder retreats and ongoing networking and learning opportunities in the Communitech Hub.

What is the focus of Communitech?

At Communitech, we’re all about the F” word. Founders, that is. We help Canada’s tech founders start, grow and succeed. Established in 1997, our mission is to support founders at every stage of their journey, providing accelerated opportunities to access talent, capital and sales. 

At our core, our priorities are about empowering founders, nurturing win-win partnerships, and building an ecosystem unlike anything in the world. 

The world moves fast. While founders’ heads are down, we’re committed to keeping our heads up to anticipate market changes, demands and opportunities. 

Our approach is deeply rooted in the tech community we serve. We constantly gather insights and identify needs to ensure our programs and services are directly informed by the challenges and aspirations of founders.

Tell us about the key people at Communitech.

Chris Albinson, CEO of Communitech, is a seasoned investor and entrepreneur with a knack for nurturing startups. With an HBA and MBA from the Ivey Business School at Western University, Albinson embarked on a global investment career that saw him at Newbridge Networks, JP Morgan Partners, BreakawayGrowth Fund and beyond. As a five-time founder, he has navigated companies through IPOs and achieved an impressive 3.6x return across five funds and over 70 companies. His passion for supporting Canadian founders led to co-founding the C100 network, which continues to be a cornerstone of support for startups both at home and abroad. Albinson’s passion for innovation brought him back to Canada in 2021 to lead Communitech in its mission.

Joel Semeniuk, CSO of Communitech, has been a champion of innovation for the past 30 years. A three-time founder himself, he is a seasoned mentor who has helped businesses of all sizes – from startups to mega-corporations – unlock their full potential. Joel has been responsible for launching some of the largest open innovation programs in Canada such as Future of Cities, Future of Retail, Future of Health and Future of National Security. Working globally, he has helped establish startup accelerators in different parts of the world, such as Hong Kong, Silicon Valley, London (UK) and the Vatican, and has co-authored four books on tech. His focus is on building and supporting a culture of innovation and rapid improvement and creating a tipping point for a sustainable future of work.

What is Communitech Excited About?

Communitech is brimming with excitement for what the future holds! 

Right now, we’re particularly focused on three key areas: intellectual property management, MedTech innovation and empowering women in tech.

In collaboration with Invest Ottawa and North Forge, Communitech is a proud partner in delivering the federally-funded ElevateIP program. This pivotal program equips Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan startups with the resources and expertise to understand, manage and leverage their intellectual property for strategic growth.

In the realm of MedTech, we understand the complexities faced by startups. From navigating regulatory hurdles to securing funding and navigating lengthy development cycles, the journey can be challenging. That’s where Communitech steps in. We offer a supportive network of healthcare professionals, industry partners and valuable resources to help MedTech innovators overcome these obstacles and bring their life-saving solutions to market faster.

We’re also deeply committed to fostering the rise of women in tech. Through our Fierce Founders programs, we provide a comprehensive support system specifically designed for women and non-binary founders. These programs offer hands-on guidance, customized content and access to a powerful network of like-minded individuals. Whether it’s validating ideas, securing funding or scaling their businesses, Fierce Founders empowers them with the tools and resources they need to thrive in the ever-evolving tech landscape.