Meet our lead mentors, the Executives in Residence.


Here at Communitech’s HYPERDRIVE, we know that starting a business is tough, and we know that being an entrepreneur is equal parts exciting and terrifying. How do we know? Because we’ve been there.

Communitech’s Executives-In-Residence are fully committed to helping HYPERDRIVE companies reach their full potential, both during the three-month sprint and in the 21 months afterwards.

With backgrounds in investing, marketing, team-building, software development and more, this diverse team is poised to deliver the insight, expertise and understanding that will help HYPERDRIVE companies reach their full potential.

• Andrew Abouchar is a founder and partner of Tech Capital Partners, where he focuses on investment opportunities in the enterprise software and systems, semiconductor and cleantech sectors. Andrew has over 15 years of experience as an investor in emerging technologies, and helped found Waterloo Ventures and Tech Capital Partners Inc.

• Marc Castel has 27 years’ experience in private and public sectors, including senior executive, ownership and science positions. He has several successful start-ups to his name, founded the Resource Alliance to help grow early stage companies, and is a funder.

• April Dunford is a software marketer who has held executive positions at both startups and large global companies. Her specialty is launching new products into market. Currently head of market strategy at Huawei, a $29-billion communications provider, April has previously helped launch and build companies from inception to acquisition. She blogs about startup marketing at

• Cameron Hay is a technology CEO with substantial success in achieving high growth in revenue and profitability, significant global expansion in sales and operations, cost efficiencies and technology leadership. Cam has extensive experience in the Health devices market segment.

• Dave Litwiller’s background is in wireless devices, precision electro-mechanics, semiconductors, electro-optics, MEMS, biotech instrumentation, and enterprise software. His work spans functional and general management, as well as governance of growth stage technology businesses.

• Shyam Sheth is currently a co-founder at Fixmo. He spent three years as a product manager at Google, two years setting up an R&D centre in India, and three years at Redknee. His specialities are product development, strategy, technology and operations.

• Dan Silivestru started his tech career young, taking apart his toys and his grandfather’s pocket watch so he could see how they worked. As a software developer and entrepreneur, Dan was one of the co-founders and CTO of tinyHippos Inc. (acquired by BlackBerry in 2011), and is the host of Startup Drinks Waterloo Region as well as the highly successful MoBeers event for mobileapplication developers.

• Derek Smith is a business leader with intimate knowledge of the retail consumer electronics and personal computing sectors. In more than 10 years in management at Apple and Hewlett Packard, he built a track record of delivering revenue growth and bottom-line results, and has experience managing channel partners as well as building high performance teams.