McGill X-1 Weekly Recap Series | Week 7 (2017)



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. 

The next day, Isaac Souweine who’s an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Real Ventures, and GM of FounderFuel talked about Product-Market Fit.

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,  grilled our startups on their pitches, but he also gave some general advice.

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?

That’s all for now, I’ll see you back here next week.

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.