TechAccelR Grants are intended to help professors in the Faculty of Engineering accelerate their research-based ideas that are reported as inventions but need further validation prior to commercialization. These grants come out of the Faculty of Engineering Innovation Fund*, which is funded by charitable gifts from alumni and other community donors. They are available throughout the year and can go up to $7,500 per project. Applications are reviewed every two to four weeks by members of the Innovation Committee, comprised of alumni of McGill’s Faculty of Engineering who are entrepreneurs, investors, business, financial, scientific, and technology professionals and are selected based on their expertise in assessing early-stage technologies and building early-stage ventures.
* The Innovation Fund is not an investment fund. Donors are not investing in companies. Donations made by donors are charitable contributions, which may be tax deductible.
Eligibility & Application Process
- Only current full-time professors holding an appointment in a department or school formally affiliated with the Faculty of Engineering are eligible to apply
- An initial invention assessment/due diligence report on the reported invention from McGill’s Office of Innovation must be in place which will include recommendations and suggested steps and milestones for further validation prior to commercialization
- Applicants must use the funds to advance the invention in accordance with the recommendations from the Office of Innovation and the Innovation Judging Committee.
- Eligible expenses to validate an invention include product and process development costs (e.g., materials, equipment, personnel) and market research (e.g., primary and secondary).
TechAccelR grants are available throughout the calendar year. Eligible applicants may submit their application at any time by email to the Engine associate director (katya.marc [at] mcgill.ca). Application documents to submit:
All eligible project applications will be assessed on their merit and undergo a review process by the Innovation Judging Committee where the proposals will be assessed based on the criteria listed below.
Project Evaluation Criteria
- Description of invention/solution and the problem are clear?
- The invention/solution is appropriate for the problem identified?
- Appropriate milestones have been identified in order to advance the invention towards a potentially viable business/solution?
- Is the amount of funding appropriate for the team to complete the milestone(s)?
- Has the team identified customers/stakeholders for their invention?
- Has the team performed a certain level of validation with the customers/stakeholders to ensure that there is interest in the invention?
- Has the team clearly identified the competitive landscape?
The Innovation Judging Committee can make recommendations for changes to the budget and uses of funds that are required for the acceptance and funding of the request.
Request for funding can go up to$7,500. A mid-term progress report and final report will be due to the Engine associate director showing progress, outcomes/impacts/learnings, use of funds, and next steps. A mentor will be assigned to the TechAccelR grantees in order to help progress the project and accelerate the learnings for the team, under the following guidelines and commitment.
The reports and mentor meetings are critical measures of project progress, and ensure accountability for the funds expended as well as accelerated learning and getting to product-market fit faster. In addition, teams must be willing to assist the Faculty of Engineering in outreach activities pertaining to technological innovation and entrepreneurship.