Fairfax County provided the seed capital to launch a new regional program to help technology companies in the D.C. region grow.
Called the Tandem Product Academy, the program will assist tech entrepreneurs in the greater Washington region to scale their product-based businesses. The approximately four-month long academy is free for selected companies. Companies may apply now for the 25 spaces available for the first cohort that begins on Oct. 13, 2018.
The Tandem Innovation Alliance, a community of more than 5,000 innovators, entrepreneurs and supporters, announced the academy’s launch today.
“We see tremendous potential to grow many more technology product companies in Fairfax and around the region,” said Eta Nahapetian, Fairfax County’s Economic Success coordinator. “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."
Fairfax County seeks to spur more innovation and entrepreneurship, and its investment in the academy follows other efforts to bolster the region’s innovation economy. This includes the county’s sponsorship of the Fosterly Startup Census and the county’s partnership with other Northern Virginia governments to secure a regional, $737,500 state grant to train, attract and retain workers in cybersecurity, data analytics and computer programing jobs.
The Tandem Innovation Alliance, a community of more than 5,000 innovators, entrepreneurs and supporters, launched the academy. It was founded with regional cooperation from governments, business, technology and economic development organizations, universities and nonprofits in Virginia, Maryland and District of Columbia. Partners currently 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.
“Our program will operate downstream from our region's more than 130 accelerators, incubators and co-working communities,” said Jonathan Aberman, founder of the Tandem Innovation Alliance. “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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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