The Tandem Product Academy Begins!


The Tandem Product Academy got off to a great start at AARP's Hatchery in downtown DC last Saturday. Our team of instructors worked with more than 50 attendees to begin the three-month program helping 20 promising tech businesses scale and grow.

Instructors for the day included:

  • Jonathan Aberman, Managing Director of Tandem Innovation Alliance

  • Oliver Schlake, Professor of the Robert H. Smith School of Business

  • Erich Baumgartner, Vice President Field Operations at Phantom Cyber Company

Experienced entrepreneurs Fran Craig, of Unanet, Ed Bersoff of PFF, James Quigley of GoCanvas and Pat Sheridan of Modus Create provided additional insights during a lunch and learn.

Among the big lessons of the day were the following take aways:

  • Growth comes from demand, but that without planning and strategy you'll never satisfy that growth.

  • Building a sales team is a tactical process, and that if you want to not live from sale to sale, you have to have the right sales team and processes.

  • The “Founders' Dilemma” of needing to chose between being rich or king is a false choice. You can take money and still be in charge if you build your company's culture the right way.

  • Culture doesn't happen by accident. It happens by engaging in the right activities at the right time.

The participants were enthusiastic and engaged. Here's what some of them had to say:

“Our first day was really great, with a variety of content and discussion of some of the topics that are the most critical when building a business: growth, sales and culture. Much of what we learned was immediately applicable to our current stage of business.”

—Amelia Friendman, CEO of HatchApps

“I came away from the first day of the Tandem Product Academy with pages and pages of notes and several ideas to implement—not only from the expert teachers but also form the entrepreneurs from the other Academy companies. The program has already proven to be incredibly useful—our whole team is already looking forward to the next couple of sessions.”

—Niamh Bennett, Direct of Marketing at Ostendio

“The only ‘Founders Dilemma’ here is to try to find reasons not to come back for more…loved it.

—Evandro Valente, Founder and CTO of Airgility

Jonathan Aberman