I’m very pleased to announce that BackTrack, the tool for back pain patients I outlined in a previous post, has taken some significant steps towards becoming a real product! I’ve partnered up with Alex Daskalov, product guy extraordinaire, as well as TandemLaunch of Montreal Quebec, to develop BackTrack as a product and as a company. Alex is a phenomenal programmer and designer (and well known at McGill to anyone who has used Docuum or Smart Minerva), and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather have as lead Tech guy on an emerging project like this. TandemLaunch, led by Helge Seetzen, is at the forefront of startup acceleration and incubation in the consumer electronics space- particularly for technology-intensive ventures that require more time and investment early to get off the ground. BackTrack + TandemLaunch is a great fit, and I’m excited to see where this partnership leads.
Here’s a quick recap of how this came to be:
-At the end of August, I attended the TandemLaunch Entrepreneurs-in-residence pitch day, which highlights emerging technologies that TL is looking to commercialize and develop companies around. The presentation covered a neat variety of ideas, including high dynamic range video, quantum dot printing and display, and improved speech recognition for digital translators. However, as is often the case, the most valuable part of the pitch day proved to be the cocktail hour, where I was introduced to Alex Daskalov. We were both interested in the wearables space, and looking for interesting problems to solve. Good start so far.
-A week or two later, I started at TandemLaunch as an Entrepreneur-in-residence, which coincided roughly with the publication of this blog post. I shared the idea with Alex over coffee one morning, and a partnership was born. At the end of September, we pitched the idea to the TL technology advisory board members, who gave it the green light to begin ‘Creation Phase’ under the TandemLaunch development model. Creation Phase involves a lot of running around, talking with customers, developing early prototypes, and validating key concepts that the product is viable.
-Fast forward two months, and we’re all set to begin Incubation Phase at TandemLaunch. We’re excited to start hiring additional people, make the product better and more user-friendly, and test it out with research institutions including Concordia University and the University of Vermont. More details to come in the next few months- for now we’ve got to keep our heads up and keep moving!