Updated: Mon, 07/22/2024 - 15:29

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for the TechAccel Program?

  • McGill student teams of 2-4 people.

  • Lead Applicant:

    • Must be a McGill student (undergraduate, graduate, or postdoc) enrolled full-time (all faculties are eligible)

    • The lead applicant must be returning as a full or part-time student for at least one more semester (for example, if you are applying for the Fall TechAccel Program the lead applicant must be returning in the Winter semester, and if you are applying for the Winter or Summer TechAccel Program they must be returning in the Fall)

  • To be eligible for the TechAccel project funding, at least one team member must be enrolled in a faculty* that is STEM-related at McGill University. (* Students of McGill School of Continuing Studies are eligible to receive mentorship through the TechAccel program but are not eligible for TechAccel project funding.)

  • A team that already has an established business model with recurring revenues is not eligible.

  • A team that has prior funding of over $25,000 is not eligible.

Free Resources Available Here!

How do I apply and when is the deadline?

  • TechAccel Program (Fall 2024 Cohort): Application deadline: September 9, 2024, 11:59PM (ET) 

  • You will need to attach the following completed template to your application. 

If you have any questions and/or wish to have your application reviewed before submission, please book a one-on-one Advising and Coaching session with us!

How are applications evaluated?

  • Evaluation Criteria:

    1. Level of technological and business innovation. Does the team have sufficient competitive advantage/differentiation from similar ideas?

    2. Educational potential/experiential learning opportunity for students. Will the grant contribute to the team acquiring new business and technical skills?

    3. Clearly defined and validated problem. Is the idea/solution appropriate for the problem identified?

    4. Plan to build and test an MVP to try and achieve product-market fit. Have appropriate milestones been identified in order to advance the idea toward a viable business/solution?

    5. Level of market and impact potential.

How to request the TechAccel Project Funding?

  • During the TechAccel Program, you can request the TechAccel Project Funding of up to $2,500 by submitting your most up-to-date Startup Venture Information and the Budget Milestones, Stakeholder Analysis, and Gantt Chart to their assigned TechAccel mentor, and the funding request will be assessed and evaluated based on their project progress in terms of the problem validation, market analysis, and stakeholder interview. 

How long is the program?

  • The Fall 2024 TechAccel program runs for 12 weeks (4 months) from October 1, 2024 to December 20, 2024

What are the terms of being accepted into the TechAccel program?

  • Reporting: A progress and final report are due to the Engine's associate director and the team's assigned mentor showing progress, outcomes/impacts/learnings, use of funds, and next steps.

  • Mentorship: A TechAccel mentor will be assigned to the TechAccel teams to help progress the project and accelerate the learnings for the team, under the following PDF icon Mentoring Guidelines and Commitment.

  • Empowered Startups: Each team is expected to complete the first 5 training modules and corresponding activities. Teams could be exempt from completing the Empowered Startups training modules depending on their previous experience with the Lean Startup Methodology.

  • Cohort Check-Ins: Every 2-3 weeks there will be group check-ins to see how progress is being made and to discuss the completed Empowered Startup modules. At least one member from each team is expected to participate in each check-in. 

  • Outreach Activities: Teams must be willing to assist the Faculty of Engineering and the McGill Engine in outreach activities pertaining to technological innovation and entrepreneurship.

  • Giving back: The McGill Engine does not take equity in student companies. There is an expectation, but no requirement, that participating students will make a non-binding charitable pledge to McGill Engine aimed at sustaining the activities of the McGill Engine Centre and helping the next generation of student innovators and entrepreneurs that the Centre supports. Funding is not conditional on a student signing a pledge.

 Are TechAccel Grants available to undergrads, grads and post-docs?

  • TechAccel Program: Yes, all levels of study are welcome to apply. Please note, that the lead applicant must be a Co-Founder of the startup and a student (undergraduate, graduate, or postdoc) registered full-time in a faculty* that is STEM-related at McGill University. 

  • TechAccel Summer Stipend: Only undergraduate students are eligible. Please note, that the lead applicant must be a Co-Founder of the startup and an undergraduate student registered full-time in a McGill undergraduate program in good academic standing. Applicant teams must have been working on their venture for 2-6 months prior to applying to this award.

What is the Empowered Startup Platform?

  • Empowered Startups Platform is an intuitive digital platform that delivers comprehensive training, seamlessly paired with optimized, easy-to-use tools and mentor touchpoints, to transform your TechAccel idea into a validated business model. This startup incubation platform is used by universities, startup organizations, and research and development facilities around the world.

  • The platform has 6 online training modules covering the following topics:

  1. Introduction to Lean Startup Methodology

  2. Building Your Lean Canvas

  3. Business Archetypes and Traction Models 

  4. Customer/Problem Interviews

  5. Validate Your Solution

  6. Venture Report, Pitch & Program Summary

When will I know if I have been accepted?

  • Acceptance emails are usually sent out within 1 week after the application deadline.

Can I meet with someone before submitting my application?

  • Yes, we recommend having your application reviewed by the Engine's Associate Director before submitting it. Book your appointment today.

Can I apply again if I have already participated in the TechAccel program?

  • Teams accepted into the TechAccel program will automatically remain in the TechAccel cohort(s) until the completion of their project/venture.

TechAccel Self Assessment Tool

Yes No
Have you searched your idea online? *
Search it online to see if it's already out there and come back for Q1!
Is it already commercialized by a company? *
Compared to the existing commercial solutions, is your idea/solution faster better cheaper? If not, you should come up with a new idea!
Have you spoken to stakeholders about the problem that your idea is trying to solve? *
Please identify the stakeholders and schedule interviews with them to further validate/invalidate your hypothesis!
How many interviews have you conducted? You can start your 1st iteration of the Lean Startup Canvas!
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