I Think Security Ltd and Monstercat Inc. are the latest graduates of Waterloo’s Accelerator Program, and were recognized in a ceremony at the Accelerator Centre (AC) this morning.

The award-winning program has now graduated 33 companies in the last eight years, which have created more than 1,000 jobs and $90 million in revenue.

This was the first graduation that included a video acceptance by a departing company. Monstercat’s co-founder, Ari Paunonen, apologized for his absence and reflected on his company’s time in the program.

“It’s really the whole community of the AC that makes it such a great program for early-stage companies to launch from the bedroom to the real world,” Paunonen said.

Monstercat Inc. has a music and media focus, as both a distribution label and advertising service. It has been moved back to Vancouver, B.C. to be closer to the music scene.

However, in true Waterloo Region form, Monstercat hasn’t quite left, as its spin-off company, Concert Ninja, has moved into the Communitech Hub as part of the Accelerator Program.

Cedric Jeannot, I Think Security’s founder, voiced similar sentiments as he talked about the advantages of taking part in the program over the last couple of years.

Those advantages include “the combination of the mentorship, the connection, and meeting the different people,” said Jeannot, adding that the program provides “the time to think about your business as opposed to working on your business…and the cross-pollination of entrepreneurs and being right in the ecosystem.”

When Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board of Canada, visited the region last week, Jeannot sat on an expert panel discussing open data as it relates to security.

I Think Security, whose products form a secure encryption bubble around sensitive data, have moved into a new office at Westmount Road and Ottawa Street in Kitchener.

Jeannot and his team will be sharing space with former AC graduates Qwalify and Big Road Inc. 

"There's no way we are going to leave. We're going to open an office in New York for sales, but all our employees are here and we want to stay local," says Jeannot.