Connecting WPI Alumni to Aspiring Entrepreneurs

One of the cornerstones of the innovation ecosystem at WPI is the Tech Advisors Network (TAN), essentially a virtual incubator that launched in 2012. The Tech Advisors Network 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.

Our Value Proposition:  The Tech Advisors Network provides advising and networking services to support innovators and entrepreneurs.

Advisees:  Who are we incubating?  Innovators and entrepreneurs who are members of the extended WPI community: alumni, faculty, staff, and students.

Advisors:  80+ WPI alumni, faculty, staff, and friends who are experienced innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors.

TAN.StudentTeam.Advisors.jpg

TAN meeting
Students meet with Tech Advisors Network experts.
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
Founder and CEO, Vokadu Systems, LLC.
The Tech Advisors Network brings a dose of reality to projects. We give them an honest-to-goodness evaluation of what we think, and offer them our best advice.
Henry Fitzgerald ‘75
WPI Tech Advisor & Principal, First Stop Program Management

Facts & Figures

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 Tech Advisors Network (2017)
35

companies formed/advised 

WPI Tech Advisors Network (2017)

How the Tech Advisors Network Can Help

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.