Academy launched to help 20 NoVa tech firms pivot for COVID-19
Tandem Product Academy program to start Oct. 21
McLean-based Amplifier Advisors and a group of university, government, corporate and community partners on Tuesday announced the launch of the Tandem Product Academy, which will assist a cohort of 20 Northern Virginia tech companies to pivot their business models to respond to the COVID-19 economy.
The four-month program, set to start on Oct. 21, is intended to help business leadership find a business model that is sustainable during and after the pandemic. The program will be led by Jonathan Aberman of Amplifier Advisors, George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis and Marymount University’s Marymount Intrapreneurship Initiative.
“The post COVID-19 economy is punishing for technology businesses that do not have the right product market fit, but as we can see from regional and national successes, when a technology business has the right fit, this is a great time to be in the technology industry,” Aberman said in a statement. “We want to help a group of promising technology businesses find their best opportunities to pivot what they have built into a market that will be rewarding for the current economy and what’s next.”
The program is funded by GO Virginia, Modus Create, Seyfarth Shaw and REQ. Community partners include Fairfax County Economic Development Corp., Arlington County Economic Development Corp., Manassas County, the Greater Washington Board of Trade, Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Northern Virginia Technology Council and the Center for Innovative Technology.
Selected companies do not pay to be a part of the program. Participants must be senior leaders of a business that has a technology product with commercial adaptation and within the past 12 months has either had gross revenue in excess of $500,000, obtained $500,000 in funding (outside of friends and family) or received at least $500,000 in federal research and development funding.
Marymount University faculty, as well as tech entrepreneurs and investors including Gene Riechers, Ben Foster, Erich Baumgartner, Tien Wong, Pat Sheridan, Elizabeth Shea and Aberman, will teach online courses for the academy. The program also includes individual company mentoring sessions.
“The region needs more than innovation — it needs inclusive, diversified innovation. It also needs to address the dislocations and opportunities that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced upon us,” Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, said in a statement. “By helping Northern Virginia technology companies adapt and pivot their businesses to new opportunities the Tandem Product Academy will grow our economy in new ways and position all of us for a better future.”
Entrepreneurs can visit the Tandem Innovation Alliance for more information and to apply.