Canadian Startup Lands in Y Combinator Winter 2013 Cohort

Last month startup accelerator Y Combinator announced that they would be cutting down the size of their winter 2013 cohort after their summer 2012 class crept up to a whopping 84 companies.

According to YC partner Paul Graham the accelerator simply grew too fast, “We had 66 companies in winter 2012, and that was fine, but for some reason more things than usual broke when we jumped from 66 to 84”.

Graham and his team have settled on a cohort size of “less than 50” for the winter 2013 intake, so competition for North America’s premier accelerator was gotten much stiffer. But Techvibes has learned that at least one Canadian company has made the grade.

Waterloo’s Thalmic Labs was founded 8 months ago by three uWaterloo mechatronics grads (Aaron Grant, Matthew Bailey, and Stephen Lake) and is now 9 employees strong. Including this new Y Combinator investment they have raised a seed round totaling $1.1 million which includes angel investments from ATI Technologies co-founder Lee Lau, Dayforce co-founder David Ossip, and Rypple co-founder Dan Debow.

Thalmic is being stealthy about what they’re working on but in short they have come up with a way to do gesture control without a camera. From their newly launched site, “Yes, it’s possible: Gesture control without the lens. Wave goodbye to camera-based gesture control”.

Interesting side note, Thalmic was one of nine companies from the University of Waterloo’s VeloCity Garage program that interviewed for a spot in the Y Combinator’s winter 2013 cohort. And word on the street a couple of these companies may end up in Communitech’s HYPERDRIVE accelerator soon.