The idea behind TandemLaunch was to create a solution to a problem that CEO & founder of TandemLaunch, Helge Seetzen, had encountered in his early career. Even though his first university startups were successful, his path to building companies to commercial success was not easy, he found that there was a lack of support for university entrepreneurs.
“We believe that to make great deep tech start-ups the best of two worlds are needed: Great researchers to make impactful inventions and great entrepreneurs to transform those inventions into products. Data confirms that we aren’t fools: University spinouts perform better and are vastly better funded when their inventors stay involved but hand the execution to entrepreneurs with a strong understanding of their technology.”- Helge Seetzen
The problems that he faced went beyond the traditional challenges of start-ups, such as product-market-fit, and product development. As a university entrepreneur, Helge had to cross the so-called technology transfer gap – the gap that separated university inventions from industry and capital markets. Universities often lack the business development, product engineering and financial resources for inventors to commercialize their inventions directly on the campus.
On the other hand, traditional venture investors had been distancing themselves further and further from early-stage opportunities and university concepts due to the high technical risk associated with most university projects. Venture capitalists were deploying ever-increasing funds into later-stage companies and even today’s Angel investors are looking for upstream opportunities. Similarly, hiring staff and building industry connections is harder for on-campus inventors due to the cultural mismatch between academia and industry. Collectively, this results in a technology transfer gap in the innovation chain and this is where TandemLaunch is designed to help.
Therefore, TandemLaunch’s goal is to make it easier to bring innovations to market by efficiently integrating and managing a business and technical effort. TandemLaunch create, incubate and accelerate early-stage technology start-ups based on inventions from the world’s top researchers in close partnership with major consumer technology companies. They also recruit entrepreneurs with a deep technical background to champion the commercialization of those inventions: and then build a team around them to validate market opportunity, develop a minimum viable product, and get early revenues.
TandemLaunch specializes in audio, video, display, human-computer interactions, artificial intelligence, IoT, cybersecurity and robotics inventions appropriate to the broad consumer electronics market.
TandemLaunch interacts with universities from around the world to source commercially attractive research. Then they recruit talented and visionary business and technical entrepreneurs to work closely with academic inventors to create compelling prototypes with their EiR (Entrepreneur in Residence) program. The teams prove the validity of the concept, develop fundamental intellectual property, define the business deliverables and execute. TandemLaunch then provides each team with $600,000 in seed funding to create a new business, including a senior management team.
The TandemLaunch family is growing at a steady pace and today more than 200 aspiring founders have joined the EiR program. Diversity is an important attribute at TandemLaunch and our portfolio consists of executives from 39 different countries of origin, 28% female founders, 35% female CTO’s, and the numbers are continuously increasing. We are always looking for aspiring leaders and we welcome anyone who is interested to learn more on our website.