Tandem Product Academy Launches to Help the Greater Washington Region's 25 Most Promising Technology Product Companies
Free educational program will give leaders of technology companies the essential skills they need to grow their businesses
MCLEAN, Va., September 6, 2018 (Newswire.com) - Tandem Innovation Alliance, a community of more than 5,000 innovators, entrepreneurs and supporters, announces the launch of the Tandem Product Academy. This unique educational program will help technology product entrepreneurs in the Greater Washington region scale their businesses, targeting 25 companies for the initial program cohort commencing Oct. 13, 2018.
The Tandem Product Academy is a historic first in regional cooperation and was founded with strong community support in Virginia, Maryland and the District. Its partners at launch include Fairfax County, Greater Washington Partnership, Greater Washington Board of Trade, Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Northern Virginia Technology Council, Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce, Virginia CIT, Maryland TEDCO, Robert H. Smith School of Business and AARP. Fairfax County provided the seed capital to launch the program.
The teaching team includes award-winning faculty from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and successful technology entrepreneurs from around the region.
Our program will operate downstream from our region's more than 130 accelerators, incubators and co-working communities. It is equally suitable for companies that are looking to pivot from services to products, are creating new technology with federal funding or have received angel capital and would like to get experienced help. We want to be as open as possible and let the market determine where this program is most useful.
The Greater Washington region is one of the most entrepreneurial innovation communities in the world, but it relies too heavily on consulting business models and lags in technology products. For example, 90 percent of cybersecurity businesses in the region are consulting or solution-based businesses.
Founder of the Tandem Innovation Alliance Jonathan Aberman said, “My prior work as a venture investor and an economist has shown me clearly that technology product companies grow faster on average than consulting companies. By helping technology product companies scale, the Academy will help diversify the Greater Washington region’s economy and enhance its opportunities for growth and job creation.”
Jack McDougle, CEO of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, added, “The region needs more than innovation — it needs inclusive, diversified innovation. This will make our prosperity more resilient to economic twists and turns in the long-term. By helping the region’s companies that sell products catch up to the success of those that sell services, the Tandem Product Academy will grow our economy in new ways. Multi-dimensional growth will have systemic benefits and enable the region to better tackle challenges from housing and transportation to skills and investment.”
Participants must be senior leaders of a business that has a technology product ready for customer adoption and whose company, within the last 12 months, has done any of the following:
· Had gross revenue in excess of $500,000;
· Obtained at least $500,000 in capital from sources other than the founder’s immediate friends and family; or
· Received at least $500,000 in federal research and development funding.
The companies selected will not pay to participate in the program. Aberman noted, “Our program will operate downstream from our region’s more than 130 accelerators, incubators and co-working communities. It is equally suitable for companies that are looking to pivot from services to products, are creating new technology with federal funding or have received angel capital and would like to get experienced help. We want to be as open as possible and let the market determine where this program is most useful.”
Academy instructor and Ruxton Ventures Chairman Mark Walsh pointed out, “We created this program because starting a business is hard, but growing it is much harder. The other members of the teaching team and I worked hard to come up with a program that will provide participants with the business growth skills we all have needed and had to learn the hard way, through experience. Most entrepreneurs I know wish that a program like this had existed when they were growing their first companies – it would have made it much easier.”
Eta Nahapetian, economic success coordinator for Fairfax County, explained why Fairfax County provided seed capital for the launch: “We see tremendous potential to grow many more technology product companies in Fairfax and around the Greater Washington region. In support of the county’s efforts to grow and diversify the economy, we’re investing in the Tandem Product Academy to support the region’s innovation ecosystem and to galvanize growth in the many existing businesses in our region that would benefit from learning the complex skills required to grow a successful technology product business. We are excited about the program’s prospects and are pleased to see how quickly it is being supported by other jurisdictions, organizations and corporate sponsors now that the program is launched.”
Bobbie Kilberg, president and CEO of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, shared, “NVTC is pleased to support an educational program that brings university professors and experienced entrepreneurs together with technology company founders to help grow more technology product companies in our region. This is an exciting initiative that can provide tangible benefit to all those participating.”
Interested entrepreneurs should visit the Tandem Innovation Alliance website for more information and to apply. A committee of faculty members and partners will select up to 25 qualifying businesses prior to the first full day of classes on Oct. 13, 2018. For further information, visit http://www.tandeminnovate.com/academy.
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About Tandem Innovation Alliance
The Tandem Innovation Alliance’s mission is to help innovators looking to develop a technology product-based business to answer the question “What comes next?” It brings together the .com, .gov and .edu communities to pool resources and provide opportunities to help innovators grow their businesses through a curated community of events, content and opportunities. In addition to the Tandem Product Academy, Tandem Innovation Alliance operates the TandemNSI national security innovation community and partners with the Greater Washington Partnership in its Capital CoLab initiative. Visit http://www.tandeminnovate.com for more information.
Source: Tandem Innovation Alliance