TechAccel Pre-Grant

The TechAccel Pre-Grant program provides students the foundation needed to jump start and accelerate their technologically-based ideas that have business or social impact potential. The program is one of the McGill Engine’s key co-curricular/experiential learning programs. It supports early-stage student ventures with Lean Startup Methodology training and 1:1 business mentorship. The program runs three times a year during the Fall, Winter and Summer Semesters. 

Over the course of 16-18 weeks teams are matched with a TechAccel Mentor and attend cohort check-in meetings to guide them and to help them apply the following trainings to their startup idea:

  1. Lean Startup Methodology Overview
  2. Build a Business Model (Lean Canvas)
  3. Business Archetypes and Traction Modeling 
  4. Validate the Problem - Customer Problem Interviews
  5. Validate your Solution - Customer Solution Interview
  6. Venture Report, Pitch & Summary  

Key Benefits

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McGill student participants
receive CCR recognition

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1:1 coaching and
mentorship from our TechAccel Mentors


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Increase your entrepreneurial and innovation skills via Empowered Startups


* TechAccel is an approved Enriched Educational Opportunities program.

TechAccel Pre-Grant Timeline (Fall 2023 Cohort)

Date Event
September 10, 2023 Application Deadline
September 22, 2023 Acceptance Emails Sent Out
October 2, 2023 Fall 2023 Cohort Begins
November 12, 2023 Progress Report Due
December 10, 2023 Final Report Due - TechAccel Fall 2023 Cohort Ends

For a detailed timeline, please refer here: PDF icon TechAccel Pre-Grant Fall 2023 Cohort Timeline

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for the TechAccel Pre-Grant?

  • McGill student teams of 2-4 people where at least one team member is a current Faculty of Engineering student (undergraduate, graduate, or postdoc)

  • Lead Applicant

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

    • 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)

  • Technologically-based startup idea where customer problems and needs still need validation via customer discovery

  • Teams should have a basic understanding of the competitive landscape

  • If you have already tested/validated your idea and are interested in receiving project funding to help you further develop your technologically-based ideas, we recommend applying for a TechAccel Grant instead 

Free Resources Available Here!

How do I apply and when is the deadline?

Free Resources Available Here!

How are applications evaluated?

  • All eligible project applications will be assessed on their merit and undergo a review process by the McGill Engine team. The proposals will be assessed based on the following criteria:

    1. Willingness to acquire new business and technical skills
    2. Level of innovation and impact of idea
    3. Knowledge of competition and market

Is there an Information Session?

Yes, an online information session was held on September 6, 2023 from 5:00-6:00 PM ET. If you missed the session, we're here to help, speak with our experts today! Book an one-on-one Advising and Coaching session with us. 

How long is the program?

  • The fall program runs for 18 weeks (4 months) from October 2, 2023 to February 4, 2024

What are the terms of the award?

  • 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 grantees in order 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.

What is the difference between a TechAccel Pre-Grant, TechAccel Project Grant and a TechAccel Summer Stipend Grant?

  • Program comparison available here.

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

  • Yes, all levels of study are welcome to apply. Please note, at least one team member must be a registered student in the Faculty of Engineering (undergraduate, graduate, or postdoc).

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 called.
  • 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 2-3 weeks 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.

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