The Tech Advisors Network (TAN) is one of the cornerstones of the innovation ecosystem at WPI that was essentially a virtual incubator that launched in 2012. TAN has engaged with entrepreneurs on various new products, such as a smartphone application that prevents texting and driving, an online educational tool for middle school science, and a video monitoring system. The advisees are innovators and entrepreneurs who are members of the extended WPI community: alumni, faculty, staff, and students. The advisors are 80+ WPI alumni, faculty, staff, and friends who are experienced innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors
- Up to 10 monthly hours volunteered by each of the 80 TAN members
- 60+ WPI community members helped by TAN each year
- $7M funds raised for new ventures WPI TAN (2017)
- 35 companies formed/advised WPI TAN (2017)
"The TAN program has exceeded our expectations and played a major role in the early success and development of our new venture...they have become our mentors and friends, always ready to provide needed help as we move down our bumpy entrepreneurial road." - Mark Bugbee
Phase I – Prep & Presentation
Once we have your application, and you’re validated into TAN Prep, you’ll be assigned an advisor to help prepare you for your presentation. The presentation gives you 10 minutes to talk about your new venture and another 10 to answer questions.
Phase II – Advising
If an advisory team is formed, you will enter the TAN advising phase that includes:
- Staged investing of time and energy
- Expectations and milestones for entrepreneurs
- Exit strategy
- Advising phase typically runs three to six months
Phase III – Alumni Support
The Tech Advisors Network is designed to encourage continued engagement between you and your advisory team after the formal advising process. Ways to do this include working informally with one or several of your TAN Advisors, attending monthly networking dinners, and continuing to access resources.