Tandem Product Academy Selects 13 Initial Participants and Has Room for More

Free educational program will give leaders of technology companies the essential skills they need to grow their businesses

Tandem Innovation Alliance

Tandem Innovation Alliance, a community of more than 5,000 innovators, entrepreneurs and supporters, has selected the first 13 participating companies for the inaugural cohort of the Tandem Product Academy, filling half of the 25 slots available in this unique educational program that will teach technology product entrepreneurs in the Greater Washington region how to scale their businesses. The program starts on Nov. 10, 2018. Interested businesses have until Oct. 31 to apply for the remaining slots.

The Tandem Product Academy is a historic first in regional cooperation. It was founded with strong community support in Virginia, Maryland and the District. Its partners 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, AARP and Amplifier Ventures have provided the seed capital to launch the program.

The Greater Washington region is one of the most entrepreneurial innovation communities in the world but is widely seen as being too reliant on consulting models for its entrepreneurial business activities, particularly in comparison to competing regions better known for developing businesses based on technology products. The composition of the initial group of selected participants for the Tandem Product Academy reveals the many ways that technology innovation occurs in the Greater Washington region. Their leaders also share a common desire for greater access to product development expertise. The selected companies include successful government services businesses on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing businesses, venture-backed technology product startups and federally funded research and development businesses that want to commercialize products.

Founder of the Tandem Product Academy Jonathan Aberman said, “The diversity of this initial group, both from the standpoint of the types of companies, but also their geography, reveals the region’s great potential as to be a leader in technology product innovation. What I have heard in speaking with the applicants is a hunger for knowledge and a shared desire to build something together: a region that is seen by all as a great place to be a technology product entrepreneur while pushing back on the notion that we are a community of consultants.”  

Zhensen Huang, CEO of Precise Software Solutions, whose company has been accepted into the Academy, says, “The DMV region has unmatched information technology brain power in the country, but it lacks a robust, supportive community to nurture product-oriented entrepreneurship. We are excited about working with the other participants to learn from each other, advance our vision of being a connective force in the community and foster a culture of entrepreneurship in the region.”

Another participant, Justin Antonipillai, CEO of WireWheel, believes that the teaching team assembled for the Tandem Product Academy is in itself an important development for the region, seeing it as “a testament to the strength of our startup community.” Mike Borek, CEO of CoorWorks, says the program is an opportunity for the Greater Washington region to move past “buzz and hype” and to give entrepreneurs meaningful support through real and practical advice so that they can “scale, scale, scale.”

Geoff Barrows, CEO of Centeye, is excited to be part of a program that provides local product development assistance since he is “tired of getting on airplanes” to find the resources he needs to advance his company’s technology. He’s looking forward to working with other local entrepreneurs “about how to add a product aspect that can help grow our business and get our technology in more people’s hands.”

The Tandem Product Academy will accept applications until Oct. 31, 2018. The program is completely free for participants. Participants must be senior leaders of a business that has a technology product (including software) 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.

Interested entrepreneurs should visit the Tandem Innovation Alliance website for more information and to apply. For further information, visit http://www.tandeminnovate.com/academy.

The 13 initial accepted participants in the Tandem Product Academy are:

Breezio, Rockville, MD


Breezio helps associations, trade groups and event managers create ongoing communities around the content and attendees.

Centeye, Washington, D.C.


Centeye is a research and development business working with DARPA and the Air Force, primarily in vision sensors and sensing for robotics.  

ConnectDER, Arlington, VA


ConnectDER is developing and deploying technology to interconnect with utility grids solar power and electric vehicles installed in the home.  

CoorWorks, Herndon, VA


CoorWorks specializes in productizing complex logistics management solutions in niche sectors of the financial services, retail and telecommunications industries to help manage distributed workforces in physical security.

CrossLead, Washington, D.C.


CrossLead is a Software as a Services company providing a platform and tools to facilitate team management, organizational change and strategic alignment.

CU Rise Analytics, Tysons, VA


CU Rise Analytics provides technology serving the credit union industry through data analytics and knowledge management.

Fieldforce, Arlington, VA


Fieldforce is deploying a next-generation platform to manage 5G, Internet of things and telecom networks.

Hatch Apps, Washington, D.C.


Hatch Apps provides a platform that allows its customers to build mobile apps for a fraction of the time and cost of existing solutions.

Higher Digital, Tysons, VA


Higher Digital provides higher education institutions with analytical tools and insights to assist in the development and deployment of digital experiences and educational products.

Precise Software Solutions, Rockville, MD


Precise is a rapidly growing government technology services business with strong expertise in healthcare technology. 

REI Systems, Sterling, VA


REI has developed a Software as a Service grants management product – GovGrants – that helps federal, state and local governments evaluate and manage the grant-making process. 

RFID Global, Reston, VA


RFID Global is a leading provider of real-time asset management solutions for enterprise and supply chain applications.

WireWheel, Arlington, VA


WireWheel combines machine learning and data analytics to provide new approaches to data protection and data protection regulations.

For further information, contact:

Jonathan Aberman, Managing Director Tandem Innovation Alliance
703 260 1700

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 Product Academy


Categories: Emerging Businesses, Entrepreneurship

Tags: Amplifier Ventures, busienss growth, economic development, entrepreneuership, greater washington, innovation, Tandem Innovation Alliance