On today’s recap, you can look forward to some good news and some insights from pros like Isaac Souweine, Sam Haffar, and Eduardo Mandri.
Welcome to Week 7 of the the McGill X-1 Accelerator, where we’ll be getting 8 McGill startups venture-ready for Demo Days in Montreal, Boston, San Francisco, Toronto, and New York City in Fall of 2017.
I’ll share the highlights of the week in a second, but first: We’d like to share that on Tuesday July 18th, we announced a generous $2 million gift from the John Dobson Foundation to the McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship to support the McGill X-1 Accelerator program and we had an announcement ceremony to celebrate.
— McGill Dobson Centre (@DobsonCentre) July 18, 2017
— McGill Dobson Centre (@DobsonCentre) July 19, 2017
Here’s the basic process he shared:
First of all, choose a problem that’s worth solving IN A VENTURE-BACKED CONTEXT. A Chinese Restaurant may have a great PMF, but no VC is going to invest in them. Pick a problem that’s VC-backable, and scalable.
Step 2 is to assemble a team that’s capable of executing the solution for the problem. This involves having people with the skills necessary, and also the schedule – Isaac is a big proponent of recruiting people who are ready to commit full-time.
Next, solve the problem in a very focused way for a very focused user base. Here’s what that involves: find and deliver the solution to the early adopters – people who really feel the pain. Service them with a very focused feature set. The more narrow you can be at the beginning, the better.
Here’s a question you can ask to gauge how good your product-market fit is: How sad would your early adopters be if your product didn’t exist?
This week, it was Eduardo Mandri (Co-Founder & Co-CEO at Tuango.ca), grilled our startups on their pitches, but he also gave some general advice.
— McGill Dobson Centre (@DobsonCentre) July 21, 2017
Sam Haffar – Principal at Real Ventures, did an extended Q&A session where we crowdsourced questions from the class and then selected the most popular questions using a real-life upvote system. One of these questions was: When will my company be ready to raise capital?
— McGill Dobson Centre (@DobsonCentre) July 22, 2017
That’s all for now, I’ll see you back here next week.