Partner Spotlight

Cantilever Business Partners: The Innovation Center’s 'Campy' Partner

Cantilever LogoSince September 2016, Cantilever Business Partners (Cantilever) has been providing expertise, operational support, and executive management to carefully selected early-stage startups transitioning to the marketplace. One really valuable service they provide to incubators/accelerators and universities is facilitation of NSF-style Introduction to Customer Discovery (ICD) Boot Camps. For the past four years, Cantilever has led multiple ICD programs located at the WMed Innovation Center. The Cantilever team have become experts at helping early stage tech entrepreneurs and academic inventors utilize the customer discovery process to zero in on their ideal customer segments and to pivot when necessary. 

“The people at Cantilever are very knowledgeable of the customer discovery process,” comments Sandra Cochrane, Assistant Dean of the WMed Innovation Center. “Through first-hand accounts that illustrate the points they are teaching, they really reach the participants and drive home their points with humor.” 

Cantilever believes wholeheartedly in the Business Model Canvas and Lean methodologies as the most assured way to success. In addition to facilitating ICD boot camps, they also work in the universities as EIR/MIR’s. They are tech-driven, but tech agnostic, as the creation of a business model stands on its own, independent on the technology being developed. Additionally, the Cantilever Investors invests in promising companies. 

Steve Tokarz says, "We are always impressed with the talent and passion of the entrepreneurs we meet, but they all face confirmation bias. Programs like the WMed market discovery and customer review process truly provide value to those entrepreneurs, helping them understand what they haven't yet understood. It's all about customers and what you can do for them, no one cares otherwise. Once an entrepreneur truly grasps that understanding, then the chances of success improve in leaps and bounds. WMed gets this - and we enjoy being a part of that effort." 

The WMed Innovation Center values the partnership it has with Cantilever Business Partners and is proud of the work they do together to support entrepreneurs. We look forward to many more beneficial years of partnership. 

To learn more about Cantilever Business Partners, visit