CUT OUT TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR?
TandemLaunch has a very open and dynamic culture. Entrepreneurial energy, an open minded attitude
and high risk tolerance are key characteristics for all TandemLaunch staff.

 

About the program

 


WHAT WE DO

We bring together brilliant technologists and exceptional entrepreneurs to accelerate early-stage technologies from the world’s top universities.


OUR PROGRAM

The Entrepreneur-in-Residence program empowers you to build a start-up team, develop a technology and validate the market with up to $500,000 in financing.


YOUR ROLE

You lead the technical and business development of your venture with the support of the TandemLaunch team, mentors, industry partners, and more.

WE BRING TOGETHER TEAMS

The Entrepreneurs-in-Residence program provides business and technology professionals with an opportunity to jump into the start-up process.

TECH LEADS

  • On track to become CTO, VP R&D
  • They transform university research into technology that can be commercialized.
  • They need a Ph.D. (or M.Sc. with exceptional work experience) in a domain that could be applicable to consumer electronics, e.g. Electrical and Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Physics or related fields.

PRODUCT LEADS

  • On track to become CMO, VP Product, VP Marketing
  • They translate customer needs into requirements for their team.
  • They need an ability to understand the technical aspects and experience with product development.
4+
Ventures created per year
600+
University Partners
40
Investment Partners
15+
Industry Partners

PROGRAM TIMELINE

CREATION

Entrepreneurs-in-Residence receive $50k and 6 months to assemble an investment project.

The goal of the Creation phase is to identify a pain point in the consumer technology industry, find a technology that could address, develop a working prototype and form a solid team of two people while at TandemLaunch.

INCUBATION

We provide up to $650k to incubate the project to the point of an independent company.

Ventures improve their products and services, close business deals with the support of additional team members, including interns (sometimes through Mitacs), engineers, product managers, and towards the end of the Incubation phase, a seasoned CEO.

GRADUATION

Companies graduate via sustainable growth revenues or Series A financing to become stand-alone ventures.

The graduating teams move to their own office space and pursue further growth. TandemLaunch sits in the company Board, along with other investors.

 

 

Meet some of our Entrepreneurs-in-Residence

 

 

Tara Akhavan

 

 

  • Co-founder and CTO at IRYStec
  • Previouly Project Manager in large telecommunication company in Iran
  • PhD student in HDR displays at Vienna University

Craig Buntin

  • Co-founder and CEO at SPORTLOGIQ
  • First McGill MBA without an undergraduate degree
  • Olympic ice-skating competitor ranked 5th in the world

Jonathan Saari

  • Co-founder and CTO at Airy:3D
  • Postdoc at ETH Zürich
  • PhD in Physical Chemistry from McGill University

Michel Allegue

  • Co-founder and Technology Lead at Aerial.ai
  • Previously senior researcher engineer at European space agency
  • PhD in Electronics, Signal Processing & Communications

Ashok Prabhu Masilamani

  • Co-founder and CTO at Stratuscent
  • Previously CTO at X-ray-focused optics startup
  • PhD in Nanophotonics from University of Alberta

Afsoon Soudi

  • Co-founder and VP R&D at IRYStec
  • Postdoc in Quantum dots at INRS
  • PhD in Physics from Washington State University

YOU

You’re ambitious, creative and motivated? You have an entrepreneurial energy, an open minded attitude and a high risk tolerance? You’re exactly what we’re looking for.

Introduce my technology

F.A.Q.

WHAT DOES TANDEMLAUNCH DO?

TandemLaunch scouts, accelerates, and commercializes early-stage technologies in close partnership with entrepreneurs, universities and consumer electronics companies. Our specialization is in commercially attractive innovation in the fields of human-computer interaction, video and image processing and audio consumer technology. We collaborate with innovative entrepreneurs and technologists to turn these initial ideas into high quality start-up ventures that our partners then lead to international impact.

Our projects follow the normal trajectory of technology start-ups but with significant acceleration provided by TandemLaunch at each stage of growth.

Our incubation program provides innovators with mentorship, turn-key engineering and business resources, and $500k in seed financing. Graduates from our program can draw on further venture investment from our TandemLaunch Ventures seed fund or its 25 Investment Partners.

WHAT IS THE CORPORATE CULTURE AND ENVIRONMENT LIKE?

Risk-taking is required in every investment we make. This puts pressure on every member of the team to perform at the highest standard.

Through our Entrepreneurs-in-Residence Program we are committed to supporting each venture with the resources it need. Our success as a team is based on both team play and a high level and individual contribution. TandemLaunch strongly encourages individual initiative and creativity. Success, advancement opportunities and career acceleration are solely based on your performance and value added. You are accountable for your achievements and deliverables.

Our corporate culture gives everyone space to be themselves. The TandemLaunch team is multicultural, diverse, smart, driven and competent. Our corporate values of fairness, integrity and respect are shared and embraced by all employees.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE Entrepreneur-in-Residence PROGRAM?

Unlike most incubators and accelerators, TandemLaunch builds companies. We do this by bringing together entrepreneurs, technologists, early-stage technologies, and industry input in an environment designed to encourage start-up formation.

The objective of the Entrepreneur-in-Residence program is to allow business and technical leaders to create high value projects and, ultimately, transition into the appropriate leadership roles of an emerging portfolio company.

WHY PARTICIPATE IN THE TANDEMLAUNCH PROGRAM RATHER THAN BUILDING A START-UP ON YOUR OWN?

TandemLaunch improves the quality and speed of the ideation or creation stage of a new venture through technical expertise, industry-based due diligence, and targeted sourcing of high caliber contributors. Once established, we further accelerate the incubation of the venture through turn-key staff resources, hands-on mentorship and efficient operational support. Finally, we can provide graduating new companies with further growth financing and access to a broad investor base. All companies graduated from our program have raised significant Series A rounds within 1-3 months of graduation.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN CANDIDATES FOR THE PROGRAM?

The baseline requirements for candidates are a desire to be fully committed to a start-up venture in the consumer electronics technology space, and an ability to relocate to Montreal during the incubation phase of the project. Candidates are evaluated in the following areas:

ï Entrepreneurship*: Demonstration of entrepreneurial experience and aptitude is a must for potential Entrepreneurs-in-Residence.
ï Technology*: Skill and experience in a technical field relevant to consumer electronics is an asset to all Entrepreneurs, and a requirement for technical candidates.
ï Attitude: The start-up process requires individuals who are highly self-motivated, are able to deal with ambiguity, are willing to champion their ideas, are persistent, and are flexible/creative problem solvers.
ï Leadership: We are looking for candidates who will be able to chart a path for new ventures and build high performing teams committed to each ventureís vision. Strong communication skills, a strong sense of ethics and integrity, and the ability to work effectively with others both inside and outside the organization are essential.

HOW LONG DOES IT TYPICALLY TAKE TO MAKE IT TO THE INCUBATION STAGE?

The length of the Creation Phase varies significantly from project to project. The project is structured to encourage advancement to the Incubation Phase within three months of joining the program. The maximum period of time that candidates may stay in the program without successfully advancing to the incubation stage is 6 months.

In order to advance to the Incubation Phase, a project needs:
ï Market Validation
ï Technology Validation
ï Team Assembly

DO I PHYSICALLY NEED TO BE IN MONTREAL DURING THE CREATION STAGE?

If you intend to take a leadership role in a new venture, you will be expected to be available in Montreal during the Creation and Incubation stages. Our Entrepreneurs-in-Residence come from all over the world, so we can provide assistance with immigration matters.

WHAT KINDS OF RESOURCES ARE AVAILABLE DURING THE CREATION STAGE?

During the first month of the program, candidates go through a qualification process where they have access to mentorship, office infrastructure, and expert network to develop initial business and validation plans.

Once successfully qualified, Entrepreneurs-in-Residence receive a $50k budget to facilitate the validation and planning activities needed to meet TandemLaunchís investment criteria. This budget allows for the use of appropriate staff resources (e.g. engineering staff to build an early demo of the technology, consulting services for technology review from a member of our Technology Advisory Board), any incidentals associated with the Creation Phase (e.g. a visit by the inventor to TandemLaunch, industry engagements, etc.), and a basic $2K/month stipend for the Entrepreneur-in-Residence.

DO START-UPS NEED TO BE BASED IN MONTREAL?

Yes. For the same reason that full time, fully focused Entrepreneurs-in-Residence are needed. Start-ups are hard enough with everything focused and together ñ they are hopeless if the team is fractured. It is critical that the team is initially together during the Incubation Stage both for this reason, and to fully leverage TandemLaunchís infrastructure. After companies graduate from the program there is no requirement for them to remain in Montreal.

WILL I BE PAID?

Once qualified, Entrepreneurs-in-Residence receive a $2k/month stipend during the Creation Stage. On advancement to the Incubation Stage, regular start-up salaries and equity considerations apply.

WILL I BE ABLE TO CONTINUE MY ACADEMIC OR PROFESSIONAL CAREER AS AN ENTREPRENEUR-IN RESIDENCE?

Building a start-up is really hard and being an entrepreneur is a full time role that requires fully focused attention. Faculty members and other time-constrained contributors can be valuable advisors and supporters of a project but, in general, cannot take a leadership role.

WHEN CAN I START?

Applications are open at any time. We try to achieve common start times for our new Entrepreneurs-in-Residence to optimize team building but can generally accommodate strong candidates at any time.