Accelerator advances its inaugural cohort

It is full-speed ahead for four companies, and their young entrepreneurial leaders, thanks to their time in the Western Accelerator.

Open to Western students, faculty and recent alumni, the Western Accelerator provides an intense, rapid and immersive education for prospective entrepreneurs. Its goal is to accelerate the lifecycle of high-potential ventures and compress a year’s worth of learning into a few months for their entrepreneurs.

The Western Accelerator launched in January with its first cohort.

During their time in the accelerator, the four teams received a $3,000 per month stipend; benefited from programming and educational sessions; joined bi-monthly networking events with successful entrepreneurs, industry experts, investors and service providers; and participated in a pitch day at the end of program.

Join the Western Accelerator’s inaugural cohort at its Demo Day 4-6 p.m. Thursday, April 20, at The Accelerator, Somerville House, Room 3366.

The first four companies to come out of Western’s Accelerator program include:


National Skills Development Association

Dwayne Blais and Colin McDougall

The National Skills Development Association is a turnkey, proprietary online education program that enables youth coaches to effectively teach the fundamental skills of their game (hockey initially) in a structured, cohesive manner.

The program comprises a comprehensive, easy-to-follow series of video tutorials and complementary practice plans designed to enhance the comfort level for coaches when it comes to teaching the necessary core skills of the game. Key customers will be local sports associations, due to their ability to exert substantial influence on their respective coaching rosters and effectively monitor their ongoing performance.


Aunt Mary’s

Ryan Bauer, Erik Lapointe and Michael Palumbo

Aunt Mary’s provides consumers with powdered beverage mixes capable of balancing and counteracting the foul taste of marijuana and other essential oils in an easy, enjoyable and convenient consumption method. To use, a patient combines the powdered mix with water and their own personal marijuana oil supply.


Pascal Press

Alan Kalbfleish

Pascal Press is an all-in-one pressure brewer and travel mug designed for on-the-go coffee lovers. Unlike other travel brewers, Pascal Press separates the used coffee grounds from the brewed coffee to prevent over-brewed and bitter coffee. Pascal Press was invented by Alan Kalbfleisch while he was completing a master’s degree in Thermofluids Engineering. With the help of his cofounders, Kai Chen and Andrey Khramtsov, both Ivey Business School students, Pascal Press successfully raised more than $60,000 in pre-sales through a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter in 2016.


Wrist & Rye

Travis McKenna

At Wrist & Rye, they do things unconventionally, and unapologetically, in the pursuit of a common goal: Living lives to the fullest – and “looking darn great while doing so.” Wrist & Rye is a ‘social lubricant’ company, whereby every piece it manufactures has its own story and, no matter your state of mind, it’s a story you’ll want to tell. The sole purpose is to deliver “intoxicatingly beautiful accessories” that incite social conversations and raise awareness about the dangers of impaired driving.

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Western Accelerator is taking applications for Fall 2017. Click here to begin your journey.