TechAccel Summer Undergraduate Stipend Award Details

  • Exclusively for undergraduate students who are currently registered in a faculty that is STEM-related at McGill University
  • The lead applicant must be a co-founder of the startup project
  • Team has been working on their venture for 2-6 months
  • Receive a stipend award of up to $7,500 to develop your start-up project full time 
  • Develop your start-up/project and entrepreneurial skills full-time for 14-16 weeks over the summer
  • A maximum of 4 projects/startups will be funded
  • See eligibility and application process below for more details

Key Dates

Date Description

March 1, 2024

Call for applications 

April 14, 2024, at 11:59 PM ET 

Deadline to submit an application 

April 26, 2024

Decisions made by Engine team and applicants advised 

May 8, 2024, 4:00 - 5:00 PM ET 

Attend a kick-off meeting to meet the other teams in your cohort and get in touch with your team's assigned mentor
May 6, 2024 - August 9, 2024 Program duration: develop your start-up/project and entrepreneurial skills full time

Eligibility and Application Process

  • Only teams of at least two people are eligible to apply;
  • The lead applicant must be a Co-Founder of the startup and undergraduate student registered full-time in a McGill STEM-related faculty and in good academic standing;
  • You must have been working on your venture for 2-6 months prior to applying to this award;
  • Applicant teams must be committed and passionate about advancing their entrepreneurial venture that is technologically-based/innovation-driven over the course of summer (see How to Start?);
  • A team can re-submit a previously unsuccessful proposal if progress has been made. A team’s additional funding sources will be taken into consideration when reviewing an award application;
  • A team that already has an established business model with a certain level of recurring revenues is not eligible;
  • A team that has prior funding of over $25,000 is not eligible;
  • If a team applies and gets accepted into the McGill X-1 Accelerator Program this summer, the maximum amount of the TechAccel Summer Undergraduate Stipend Award is $1,500.

There must be adequate customer/stakeholder validation in order to apply for the TechAccel Summer Undergraduate Stipend Award. If you are at the idea stage where customer problems and needs still need validation, apply to the TechAccel Program

The Lean Startup methodology and Customer Development Model (see Figure 1 below) are used in order to get an in-depth understanding of customers and their problems so that budding entrepreneurs can strengthen their focus on product development as well as their marketing and sales activities. The Phase 1 process of Customer Discovery is very important since an idea is only a hypothesis until it is tested and validated.

Customer Development Model

Phase 1 – Customer Discovery-focus is on testing hypotheses and understanding customer problems and needs, in front of customers (“Get out of the building.”)

Phase 2 – Customer Validation – development of a sales model that can be replicated and scaled

Phase 3 – Customer Creation – creating and driving end-user demand to scale sales

Phase 4 – Company Building/Scale Company – transitions the organization from one designed for learning and discovery to one of execution

TechAccel Summer Undergraduate Stipend Award is available once every year in the summer semester. Decisions will be made within 2-3 weeks after the deadlines. 

We strongly recommend booking an in-person or online appointment with the Associate Director of Engine Centre or with one of the Ronald Chwang Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EiR) before submitting your application.

The application will ask you to attach two documents, please reference the following templates that must be completed and attached to the TechAccel 2024 Application Form

File Startup Venture Information
File Budget Milestones, Stakeholder Analysis and Gantt Chart

You will be required to do a team presentation (10 minutes) to the McGill Engine team followed by a 10-minute Q&A.

Presentation format: similar to the Startup Venture Information, one slide per question, plus the key milestones and the project budget.

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-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.

The level of funding requests per project is expected to follow the level of maturity (e.g. early-stage projects receive smaller amounts in order to prove the concept, later-stage projects can receive greater amounts since there is less technological risk) and the nature of the technology (e.g. app development receives smaller amounts than medical device development since less funding is required).

The McGill Engine team can make recommendations for changes to the budget and uses of funds that are required for the acceptance and funding of the request.

Attend mandatory TechAccel kickoff and cohort check-in meetings as well as the workshops run by McGill Engine Centre. Schedule and attend re-occurring meetings with the assigned mentor.

A mid-term progress report and final report will be due to the Engine associate director and the team's assigned mentor showing progress, outcomes/impacts/learnings, use of funds, and next steps. 

The reports and mentor meetings are critical measures of project progress and enforce 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 and the McGill Engine in outreach activities pertaining to technological innovation and entrepreneurship.

Consent to the publication of your picture, name, as well as pictures and names of co-applicants, the title of the project, and the amount of the award.

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