The most important questions on the Intel Technology To Market Accelerator@UC Berkeley (T2MA) are answered in the Do You Qualify page. If you don’t qualify, there are many other resources that can help you – those sponsored by the Intel Foundation and others.
- What kinds of teams and technologies is the program for?
First, you must come to the program with an innovative, disruptive, scalable computing technology (software or hardware). See if you qualify. You can watch video of some teams that have been through a similar program, the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps, describe the impact and describe the experience.
- What is the best kind of business-savvy mentor for my team?
The core of the program is teaching the Customer Discovery process to early-stage entrepreneurs who are looking to commercialize a technology. You will go out and interview 100 customers to search for a scalable business model. You probably have an idea of what market your technology could work in, but an important part of the program is exploring the different markets. Ideally, the business mentor on your team has startup experience in multiple markets and distribution channels. It is likely that you are wrong about your initial market (Like almost every other entrepreneur.) Also, they must have the time to dedicate to you and have an open and trusting relationship with your team.
- If I already have a running startup and a product, can I apply for T2MA?
No. The core of the program is teaching the Customer Discovery process. If you are already running a startup and serving customers, you have (hopefully) done your Customer Discovery.
- If I have a running start up, successful first product. Can I apply taking the second product we are developing?
No. If you’re focused on your first product, you won’t have time for the T2MA program.
- If I am an Intel Global Challenge (IGC) applicant or past participant, can I apply?
If you are a current IGC applicant or participant, you cannot apply. If you are a past ICG participant, you may apply.
- We are engineers. We don’t have a business-savvy mentor. Can we apply? Can you help us find a business person if we are selected?
No. You have to apply as a team so you have to find your business mentor beforehand.
- If I am a working professional and have a product idea or product, should I apply?
No. Teams have to find and talk with 100 potential customers and partners over the course of the program. It’s too much work if you have a full-time job.
- Should I apply if I don’t want to build a startup, but just want to license my technology/ IP?
No. If you are not interested in being part of a startup, the T2MA program is not for you.
- How do I protect my intellectual property (IP)? Will the people who run the program sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA)?
None of the faculty, staff, mentors, judges, customers you interview, VC or angel investors will sign an NDA. It’s up to you to protect your IP. If you are faculty, staff or a student at a university, please consult with the intellectual property professionals there before applying for the program. Note that it is almost always possible to participate without revealing your IP. Imaging asking a customer the question, “Would you pay for software that could get the answer to that question ten times faster?” You are trying to figure out if getting the answer faster has any value for the customer without telling them how you computed the answer faster. Learning how to do this is a skill that will serve you well in your career as an entrepreneur and we will help you.