The application deadline for McGill University’s X-1 accelerator is tonight at 11:59 PM.
The X-1 accelerator, which first launched last year, is an intensive 10-week summer program designed to accelerate early traction McGill startups towards investment readiness and launch. The program runs from June 6 to August 12.
Teams that made the cut will be notified on April 13.
“We’re looking for startups that have traction and not just a working prototype, but an early working version of the product,” said Renjie Butalid, marketing and operations advisor at the Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship. “If they have customers that’s great and if they have revenue it’s better.”
Over the course of 10 weeks, Butalid said X-1 will look to bring startups to being investment-ready and prepared for a full on launch by the fall. X-1 will give each founder $2,000 and up to $10,000 per team (a maximum of five cofounders). The accelerator won’t take any equity. At least one founder must be affiliated with the university.
We are looking for nascent McGill startups that have not raised more than $100,000 for their company from sources other than friends and family, and are less than two years old as of May 2016.
We’re looking for startups that can build their business upon a technology, science, or idea that will give them a significant or radically disruptive advantage compared to their peers. Exponential growth is sought to eventually serve global markets.
– X-1 accelerator, McGill University
Moreover, two demo days will be offered to X-1 teams this year. Not only will they pitch to investors in Montreal, but in San Francisco as well. Butalid said X-1 will also kick in “modest” financial assistance for each team headed to the San Francisco demo day.
“If you look at the the broad network of McGill alumni, many are in San Francisco or spread out all over the world. Connecting with these alumni in the format of a demo day will be beneficial. A lot of these alumni are potential investors, they run VC firms and have a lot of knowledge in the industry,” Butalid told MTLinTech.
Butalid called last year’s X-1 program, it’s first, “a learning opportunity for us as much as it was to get our feet in the water.” But the Dobson Cup, McGill’s perennial competition for business ideas created by students, has been generating plenty of steam since it started in 2009. Then, the prize money was just $5,000. Now it’s at $117,000.
According to Butalid, 997 teams have gone through the Dobson Cup process, including this years applications. About 133 teams are still working with the Centre, and they’ve gone on to raise $15 million.
“There are startups coming out of McGill. There is a lot of research and development happening,” said Butalid. “We’re positioning the Dobson Centre as the entrepreneurial hub at the university, helping these people to bring their ideas to commercialization and into the market. We’re excited about the growth of interest.”
Think you’ve got what it takes to get into McGill’s X-1 accelerator? Get applying, as the deadline is just hours away. Per X-1, “in the application, please tell us about your team, your product, and how far along you are. We’re also looking for two videos, one video that is an online demo of your product, the second one with just the founders speaking.”