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This group shot shows various female members of startup incubator TandemLaunch headed by Helge Seetzen, far left. Front row: Afsoon Soudi, Emilie Boutros, Gina Zhou. Back row: Mavi Ruiz-Blondet, Negar Ghourchian, Meryeme Lahmani, Bahar Partov. (SARAH MONGEAU-BIRKETT FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL)
This group shot shows various female members of startup incubator TandemLaunch headed by Helge Seetzen, far left. Front row: Afsoon Soudi, Emilie Boutros, Gina Zhou. Back row: Mavi Ruiz-Blondet, Negar Ghourchian, Meryeme Lahmani, Bahar Partov. (SARAH MONGEAU-BIRKETT FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL)

Montreal’s TandemLaunch puts a twist on startup strategy Add to ...

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Tech startups typically begin with a couple of guys who have an idea, little money and no customers. Few manage to raise money; fewer achieve commercial success.

Helge Seetzen has a different strategy for starting tech firms. So far, it’s working exceptionally well.

The Montreal-based venture capitalist starts by asking customers – typically consumer electronics giants – what trends they’re looking to incorporate into their products. Then his incubation and seed investment firm, TandemLaunch Inc., scours the world’s universities looking for inventions that fit the need. Once TandemLaunch has validated and secured rights to the patents, an in-house team builds a demo based on the research. TandemLaunch finally creates a company around its product, provides about $500,000 in seed financing and hires a management team.

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