X-1 Accelerator

An accelerator for early-traction startups working towards investment readiness

The McGill X-1 Accelerator is designed for startups demonstrating early traction that want to refine their market offering and work towards investment readiness. This 10-week hybrid program offers a wealth of learning opportunities as you engage with top-caliber experts and experienced industry mentors. By the end of the program, you will have greater clarity of your target market and customers, as well as the business acumen to effectively sell your vision to investors.

Teams benefit from up to $15,000 in funding and participate in weekly workshops on key entrepreneurial themes, while working through the crucial steps of building their business. In addition, they are supported through weekly one-on-one mentorship meetings.

View the Program brochure | Meet the 2022 cohort

Program Overview

Next program dates: June 1st to August 4, 2022

Duration: Weekdays for 10 weeks

 

Key Learning Themes

  • Refining your value proposition
  • Developing an effective go-to-market strategy
  • Shaping your marketing and branding practices
  • Perfecting your pitch presentation
  • Developing awareness of  financial and accounting best-practices
  • Preparing for investment

Format

WEEKLY WORKSHOPS: The central platform for introducing new tools and methods to advance your business. Workshops also provide the opportunity to bridge theory with real-world application through stories, examples and insights from guest speakers. Sessions will generally last one hour, but we reserve an extra hour for group discussions and learning activities.

PITCH PRACTICES: Throughout the program, participants work on perfecting their pitch while obtaining valuable feedback from experienced industry leaders. This is a crucial component of the program and will ultimately lead to the development of a strong investment pitch and help your business model take shape.

WEEKLY MENTORSHIP MEETINGS: Following the workshops, participants will receive personalizedone-on-one mentorhip to help them integrate new concepts as they relate to their startups.

 

Upon completion of the program, the most successful startups will be eligible to participate in the Dobson International Funding Program and the Dobson Mentorship Circle.

Outline

1


Program launch and team introductions

  • Keynote and participants introductions and program overview
2

Communicating your brand

One-on-one mentoring session: articulating your story and defining brand values

3

Articulating your value proposition & building your go-to-market strategy

One-on-one mentoring session: deep dive into your go-to-market strategy

4

Marketing for startups

One-on-one mentoring session: strategies for connecting with customers

5

Building your pitch deck

One-on-one mentoring session: conveying your business and getting buy-in from investors

6

Finance for startups

One-on-one mentoring session: organizing your financial projections and KPIs

7

Accounting for startups

One-on-one mentoring session: processes for tracking your business and ensuring statutory compliance from the start

8

Preparing for investment and identifying funding opportunities

One-on-one mentoring session: developing your funding roadmap

9


Perfecting your pitch

Pitching to investors and business expert

10

Bringing it all together

One-on-one mentoring session: bringing it all together and identifying your next milestones

Awards

Chad Williams Entrepreneurial Grit Award

Established in 2021 by Chad Williams, BEng 1989, MBA 1993, to encourage students enrolled in the Desautels Faculty of Management and at the Dobson Center to be creative and entrepreneurial. The Award will be for an undergraduate or graduate student who has demonstrated entrepreneurial talent and initiative, and is involved in an entrepreneurial venture. Students apply through the Dobson Centre.

Value: $10,000


Mancini Entrepreneurial Excellence Award

Established in 2021 by Domenico Mancini, BCom 1982 to encourage students enrolled in the Desautels Faculty of Management and at the Dobson Center to be creative and entrepreneurial. The Award will be for an undergraduate or graduate student who has demonstrated entrepreneurial talent and initiative, and is involved in an entrepreneurial venture. Students may apply through the Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship.

Value: $5,000

Program Application

Ideal Participant Profile

This program is for McGill founders with startups that demonstrate early traction with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and early customers and/or revenue.

 

  • At least one of your founders is a McGill University student, faculty member, staff member, or alumni.
  • You have a great team, with at least one technical co-founder, and can build your business upon a
  • technology, science, or idea that is significantly or radically disruptive.
  • Your startup should have the potential for exponential growth to eventually serve global markets.
  • You do not need to have raised a significant amount of funding yet but will be using the summer months to accelerate the growth of your company towards a round of funding in the fall.

Next cohort: June 1st to August 5, 2022

 

Applications are now closed.

Be notified when the program applications open.

 

 

Have questions about the program? Contact Kika Armata at dobson.mgmt [at] mcgill.ca.

 

Thank you to our program sponsor!

 

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