TAN Demo Day Debuts

Event lets entrepreneurs highlight their innovations
May 14, 2019

This spring, 12 groups showcased their work to the Tech Advisors Network (TAN) on TAN Demo Day in the Foisie Innovation Studio.

Half of the presenters recently completed a three-month pilot program that helped nurture and refine innovative ideas and products with the active input of TAN advisors, says Sarah Mahan, associate director of TAN. The other six groups have been actively working with TAN advisors for a year or more, cultivating their product and bringing it closer to marketability. 

TAN, often referred to as a virtual incubator, is a group of more than 80 alumni and friends who are experienced entrepreneurs, innovators, and mentors and who want to offer their expertise and networks to support other innovators and entrepreneurs—WPI students, faculty, alumni, and community members. Its recent move from Gateway Park to the Foisie Innovation Studio has exposed the TAN program to a wider WPI population and opened up new resources and options as entrepreneurs work toward commercialization, says Mahan. With collaboration from Donna Levin, executive director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship (I&E), and Curtis Abel, director of the Foisie Innovation Studio and I&E Integration, the I&E team is able to support and connect directly with students and faculty, offering events, goal-setting meetings, and various workshops and lectures.


Winners from the three-month TAN Cohort:​

  • Most IMPACT on the world: wiseHer, Kathryn Rose and Lisa Raiche
  • Most REVENUE potential: Proximate, Ross Andrews
  • Most PROGRESS in the TAN Cohort: Copperforge, Ben Ward '22, Solomon Greenberg (Olin '22)

Winners from the ongoing TAN teams:​

  • Most IMPACT on the world: Paper Crane, Kyle Beatty, David Berthiaume '19
  • Most REVENUE potential: Paper Crane, Kyle Beatty, David Berthiaume '19
  • Most PROGRESS in the TAN Cohort: Ubiros, Cagdas Onal, Onder Ondemir

Executive director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship Donna Levin chats with her guest for the day, Bill Desmarais of Momenta Pharmaceuticals.

From left, Nisha Goel ’22, Luke Trujillo ’21, and Emmett McCann ’21 of the Diodeck team chat about their e-Learning platform project with Bill Desmarais.

Computer science postdoctoral fellow Pavel Terentiev, who co-founded In Virtu Data Solutions with computer science professor Dmitry Korkin, discusses the start-up’s use of machine learning and mixed reality technology.

Ashley Lutz '19 (MS bioinformatics) chats with Geoff Bush (brother of TAN advisor Joe Bush ’04) and David Pula, director of development in University Advancement.

TAN Demo Day was well attended by the WPI community. The university’s vibrant entrepreneurial culture was apparent as the questions and conversations gave attendees a chance to learn about everything from deep learning to the Internet of things to renting men’s clothing.

From left, TAN advisors Glenn Butler ’89, Jim O’Neill ’93, and Philip Faulkner are three of five advisors to the Paper Crane Project, a cloud-based enterprise software program.