McGill X-1 Accelerator

X1 Accelerator

McGill X-1 Accelerator

Hosted by the McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship, the McGill X-1 Accelerator is an intensive 10-week summer program designed to accelerate early traction McGill startups towards investment readiness and launch.

Key Dates for 2017 McGill X-1 Accelerator Program

March 30 – April 30, 2017: Applications Open
May 4, 2017: McGill X-1 Accelerator team interviews in Montreal
May 8, 2017: McGill X-1 Accelerator 2017 summer cohort announced
June 5 – August 11, 2017: McGill X-1 Accelerator program

September 12, 2017 Montreal Demo day

2016 McGill X-1 Weekly Recap Series

Week 10 | McGill X-1 Weekly Recap Series 

McGill Principal and Vice Chancellor Suzanne Fortier meeting with members of Team Venndor

While Week 10 officially marks the end of the formal program, the X-1 teams and our community of guest speakers, mentors, coaches, advisory board members, and supporters are all excited for the upcoming McGill Demo Days hosted by the McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship, taking place in Montreal on September 7, San Francisco on September 22, and Boston on September 28.

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Week 9 | McGill X-1 Weekly Recap Series

Thomas Birch (Left) and Mike McGraw (right) of La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec

Week 9 was an absolute whirlwind, with a great lineup of speakers and the final McGill X-1 Advisory Board meeting taking place. This board meeting is one of the most crucial points of the McGill X-1 Accelerator program as this determines which startups will go on to present in our rapidly approaching McGill Demo Daysin Montreal on September 7th, San Francisco on September 22nd, and Boston on September 28th.

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Week 8 | McGill X-1 Weekly Recap Series

Alex Nemeroff, Founder & CEO of Dynamo

This week, the CEO in charge of grilling the teams on their pitches was Daniel MacDonald, founder and CEO ofFilter Butler (formerly known as Green Life Water). Daniel’s experience with business development having founded two companies while finishing his BCom Degree in Finance from McGill, was the basis for his advice to the X-1 startups.

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Week 7 | McGill X-1 Weekly Recap Series

Sam Vermette, CEO of Transit App engaging with teams in the McGill X-1 2016 cohort

Can you believe Week 7 has already passed? Its incredible how quickly our startups are nearing their McGill X-1 Accelerator graduation and we can’t wait to celebrate!

With only two weeks left for the program, it’s time to switch into high gear and get ready for McGill Montreal Demo Day on September 7th. 

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Week 6 | McGill X-1 Weekly Recap Series 

Francis Davidson, CEO of Flatbook

As we move on from the halfway point of the McGill X-1 Accelerator, its now time for our startups to focus on smoothing out creases in their business models and dedicate their focus to preparing their companies for ourMontreal Demo Day on September 7th – the most anticipated event of the summer.

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Week 5 | McGill X-1 Weekly Recap Series

Hicham Ratnani sharing his story about building Frank Oak
We can’t believe how quickly the first half of the X-1 summer accelerator has flown by. The teams are already en route to their second board meeting, even though the first feels as though it was just yesterday. It is incredible to see all of the progress being made, and how ideas are now becoming a reality. To find out who joined our teams to help them realize their visions this week, keep reading!

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Week 4 | McGill X-1 Weekly Recap Series

Margaret Magdesian, founder and CEO of ANANDA

With another short week ahead of them, our 6 startups came in on Monday, refreshed and ready to amp up their progress as the halfway point of the accelerator quickly approaches. With the foundations of the program laid down in the past 3 weeks, week 4 was the point at which the teams would start personalizing the program to to their own needs.

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Week 3 | McGill X-1 Weekly Recap Series

Dax Dasilva, CEO of Lightspeed, speaking to the McGill X-1 2016 cohort

Although Week 3 was a shorter week than usual —Friday was a special day off as it was Quebec’s Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day — it was no less exciting than what our six McGill X-1 teams have been experiencing thus far.

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Week 2 | McGill X-1 Weekly Recap Series

Ron Duerksen, Chief of Strategy and Marketing Officer for the Desautels Faculty of Management running a marketing workshop for the McGill X-1 2016 cohort

As week 2 of the McGill X-1 Accelerator comes to an end, we’re happy to see our 6 teams — Appetite, Fractal, FRSH, NXTSENS Microsystems, UGo Smoothies, and Venndor — swiftly settling into their space.

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McGill X-1 Kick-off!

McGill X-1 2016 cohort with the Hon. Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, Government of Canada

The first week of the McGill X-1 Accelerator program has come to a close with our six startups more excited than ever to be on the journey of a lifetime.

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What are the benefits of joining the McGill X-1 Accelerator?

  • Funding will be available for each eligible co-founder based on milestones achieved.
  • Dedicated startup space all summer at McGill.
  • World-class mentorship and resources to develop your skills and accelerate your startup towards investment readiness and launch.
  • Pitch to investors at Demo Days in Montreal, Boston and San Francisco.

What are you looking for?

  • We’re looking for exceptional McGill founders with startups that demonstrate early traction with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and early customers and/or revenue.
  • We’re in search of startups that can build their business upon a technology, science, or idea that will give them a significant or radically disruptive advantage compared to their peers. Your startup should have the potential for exponential growth to eventually serve global markets.
  • You have a great team with at least one technical co-founder and a full-time commitment towards working on your startup for the summer between June 5 and August 11, 2017.
  • You have not raised a significant amount of funding yet (under $100K) but will be using the summer months to accelerate the growth of your company towards a round of significant funding in the Fall.

Do you take any equity?

No. The McGill X-1 resources and milestone funding money is granted with no equity attached.

How many people can be on my team?

Teams are made of two to five members and are all founder-level participants, with at least one technical co-founder

On my application, what if I don't know what to put for my team's milestones?

  • We're looking for you to take a first stab at defining milestones so we get a better sense of where your team is, and where you think your team can be by the end of the McGill X-1 Accelerator program.
  • If you are selected, it’s likely that your initial milestones will change as you iterate through the program and its advisory board meetings.

Do all of my team members have to be current McGill students?

  • We are primarily focused on accelerating McGill students’ abilities and practical skills for entrepreneurship. At least one participant should have a McGill affiliation (student, alumni, faculty, or staff).
  • If the only affiliation is a McGill alumnus, they should have graduated from McGill no more than 5 years ago.

How many teams will you accept for the McGill X-1?

We expect to select 6-10 teams for the 2017 cohort. The McGill X-1 organizing team has full discretion over the number of teams selected. All decisions are final.

What is required of my team once I am in the accelerator?

  • We are looking for McGill startup teams that are able to work on their startup full-time in Montreal from June 5 to August 11, 2017.
  • Selected teams will be expected to collaborate with the other teams in the McGill X-1 Accelerator program by working primarily out of the McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship summer space. Team members are expected to engage in the McGill X-1 Accelerator’s extracurricular activities and actively share learnings with other founders in the program.
  • Teams are also required to attend and pitch at the Montreal Demo Day and the San Francisco Demo Day in Fall 2017. Very modest funding will be provided per team to travel to Boston and San Francisco. 

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