McGill X-1 Weekly Recap Series | Week 2 (2017)


Welcome to Week 2 of the McGill X-1 Accelerator!

  • Hosted by the McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship, the McGill X-1 Accelerator is an intensive 10-week summer program between June 5th and August 11th designed to accelerate later stage McGill startups towards investment readiness and launch, until the Demo Days which will take place in Montreal, Boston, San Francisco, Toronto and New York City in Fall of 2017.

The focus this week was on Customer & Market segmentation, here are some of the highlights.

Luc Giguere who’s an entrepreneur-in-residence at Centech came in to give a general talk about entrepreneurship and marketing:

  • Marketing: Measure everything, all the time (then use the data to make decisions and take action – data without action is useless)
  • The “expressed need” (what the client says first) is not always what the client wants. Find the real need (what the client really wants to say). How? Ask questions and just listen.

We also continued working through the Disciplined Entrepreneurship workbook with the cohort, specifically on the sections that cover Market Segmentation.

Mike Ross from Juniper came in to lead a Design thinking workshop. Design thinking is a methodology for coming up with creative solutions, that can be broken down into 5 steps.

  • 5 steps: Learn, Frame, Create, Build, Iterate
      • Learn: empathize, observe, ask. Iceberg top is observable behaviors. Bottom is preferences, knowledge, beliefs, values.
      • We talked about using in-depth interviews with potential customers to see who they really are below the surface and what drives them. Getting to know them at a deep level will help you understand how best to design a product for them. 

In this week’s Grilled by a CEO, we had Randeep Singh come in – he’s a cofounder at AON3D, which makes industrial 3D printers. He grilled each team on their pitch, and he also did some Q&A at the end.

  • He mentioned “It’s okay to set a large, arbitrary goal not based off of anything. Angel investors will often throw a number at you to see you scramble to reach it and sometimes, even if you reach it halfway, that can be a substantial achievement.” He also mentioned you have to almost have an annoying level of confidence, to break investors out of autopilot and show them how large the potential of your startup is.

That’s it for now, we’ll see you back here for week 3!

Mo Akif

Mo Akif

The Editor-in-Chief of the McGill Dobson Chronicles. Never having started a lemonade stand as a child and tired of reading blog posts about entrepreneurship without actually doing anything, he was on the verge of giving up and joining a pyramid scheme. Luckily the McGill Dobson Centre decided to adopt him, allowing him to get a closer look at what it takes to build something valuable.