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Tandem Incubator: A Mobile Industry Accelerator With Results

Anyone who has tried to get a startup off the ground knows that the amount of money and networking needed to take that awesome idea to the next level can be daunting. Luckily, you don’t have to do it all on your own because there are people like Doug Renert who want to help you make it happen.


And make a profit, of course.

Doug Renert is a Princeton grad with years of experience in technology, ranging from running corporate development with Oracle in the late 90s, to heading his own startup called Tello, to his latest project:

The Startup Accelerator known as Tandem.

Tandem Incubator has been around for five years now and is part of the business landscape of Silicon Valley, where startup accelerators abound, but it’s quickly moving ahead of the pack in terms of results.

That’s because Renert and his team seem to have hit on a winning method for helping the little guy get off the ground. Their basic philosophy lies in keeping it small: every session includes only 3 or 4 teams, giving them the time, money, and energy to focus on each one. Tandem also invests $200,000 in each company as soon as they’re accepted, giving them 10% ownership and providing the startup with some much needed revenue.

With hundreds of applications every year and only about 3 or 4 spots per quarter, Tandem ends up accepting less than 1 percent of applicants, so if you’re going to catch their eye you need to have some pretty specific qualifications. They especially like companies that have taken their product past the initial “good idea” step and are ready to distribute quickly. Basically, these companies are right on the edge of taking off but need a little push to make it happen.

When asked about specific companies that have gone on to particularly notable succss after Tandem, Renert points to three products: PlayHaven, ZumoDrive, and Attassa.

PlayHaven is a platform for other mobile developers.






ZumoDrive came up with an iCloud-like idea before iCloud existed.






Attassa (recently aquired by YouSendIt ) is a platform for interacting with email in a more intuitive way, specifically on the iPhone.





All three companies started as small ideas and were quickly bought up by bigger companies; in fact, 8 out of the 9 companies to come through Tandem so far have been successful in the “real world” outside the incubator. Renert attributes part of that success to the fact that a lot of the entrepreneurs they work with are creating products for the mobile market, a niche market in which Tandem has become a “well-kept secret.”

Keep an eye on who’s coming out of future Tandem sessions because if their success so far is anything to go by (and it seems like it definitely is), we’re going to be seeing a lot of movers and shakers pass through their doors.

That’s the kind of news we like to hear:

Experienced entrepreneurs helping awesome startups get their feet off the ground.

Author : Emma McGowan

Emma is a proud native of Burlington, Vermont, who has lived in six different countries over the past two years. She's living and loving the global nomad life and writing about technology and startups everywhere she goes. Check out more of her writing about tech on (the more titillating stuff) KinkAndCode.. Follow her on Twitter @MissEmmaMcG.

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