Connecting WPI Alumni to Aspiring Entrepreneurs

One of the cornerstones of the innovation and ecosystem at WPI is the Tech Advisors Network, essentially a virtual incubator.

Our Value Proposition:  The Tech Advisors Network provides advising and networking services in order 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:  WPI alumni, faculty, staff, and friends who are experienced innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors.

A group of over 80 volunteers, the advisors offer advice on business plans, marketing strategies, and leads on potential partners—and funding to students, faculty, and alumni aiming to turn ideas into commercial ventures.

The Tech Advisors Network has engaged with entrepreneurs on a wide range of 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.

Meet the Tech Advisors

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

How to Get Help from the Tech Advisors Network

If you are part of the WPI community working to commercialize a technology, service, or idea, please contact Sarah Mahan for an application to start the process.

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 ten minutes to talk about your new venture and another ten 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 3 to 6 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.

Facts & Figures

3,000+

Mentoring hours for new business ventures 

WPI Tech Advisors Network (2015)
65

new ventures supported 

WPI Tech Advisors Network (2015)
$4M

Funds raised for new ventures 

WPI Tech Advisors Network (2015)
21

companies formed/advised 

WPI Tech Advisors Network (2015)