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Entrepreneurship

We understand the intricacies of bringing a great idea to market and we're creating a support infrastructure that's helping to launch Hamilton's next generation of star entrepreneurs.

At McMaster Engineering, we believe that our mission is to educate engaged citizen scholars who will transform our world.

Helping students realize their dreams of starting their own companies is one of our primary goals.

With the support of key partners, we are seeing the number of student-born start up companies continue to grow. In 2016, one third of the 27 companies housed in The Forge, McMaster Unversity's start-up incubator, were engineering students.

We have have fostered key relationships with our alumni in Silicon Valley and have hosted several events in support of bringing innovative ideas to light.

Certainly, McMaster Engineering has always been at the forefront of innovation. A decade ago, the Faculty established the Walter G. Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology to offer interdisciplinary graduate education through experiential learning, mentorship and real-world applications.

But to truly foster a culture of entrepreneurship that rivals Silicon Valley, the Faculty knows we need to offer resources to students from the very start of their post-secondary path: entrepreneurship courses, extracurricular activities, shared workspaces, funding and mentorship into the undergrad experience.

We talk to McMaster Engineering alumni in Silicon Valley about what Ontario needs to create a successful innovation ecosystem and how McMaster prepared them for life in the world's tech hotbed.
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Pitch your idea

Have a great idea to start your own company? Check out the Forge @ Mac. They offer workshops and an annual start-up competition, which is supported by McMaster Engineering.

Commercialize your research

Staff from the McMaster Industry Liaison Office can help you turn your research into a product, and bring it to a wider audience.

Study

Learn about entrepreneurship graduate programs offered through the Faculty of Engineering's W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology.

 

Ecosystem

The entrepreneurship ecosystem in Hamilton comprises several organizations, each serving the needs of a segment of the community.

Forge @ Mac: Primary focus is on community building, outreach and awareness for McMaster students. Runs workshops, information sessions and pitch competitions to serve the needs of students.

Innovation Factory: Regional innovation centre. Serves the greater community through “Lunch and Learn” seminars, weekly workshops and training and its partnership with MaRS and SBEC (Small Business Enterprise Centre).

The Forge: An accelerator program serving McMaster University, Mohawk College and the greater community of Hamilton, providing startups with access to the space, network, knowledge and mentorship they require for success. Sector foci: Digital health and medical services; Digital media and software; Engineering/manufacturing.

SURGE: Serving Mohawk students. Similar to Spectrum.

Key McMaster student clubs: McMaster Entrepreneurship Association (MEA), McMaster Engineering Outreach, Phase One (focused on technology) and Social Spark McMaster (focused on entrepreneurship and social change)

Academic: Education and training offered through W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology the Engineering and Management MBA at McMaster’s DeGroote School of Business, the Faculty of Health Sciences’ Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization program.

Success Stories

Meet the McMaster Engineering student and alumni entrepreneurs who are carving deep niches, and taking their great ideas straight to the bank.

Meet CINNOS

Data makes the world go ’round, and Hussam Haroun knows it. The CEO of Hamilton’s Cinnos Mission Critical Incorporated and McMaster grad (Master of Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation) has spent years developing a data centre solution for businesses to better manage information.  

Traditionally, data centres are built from scratch, which requires a lot of time, money and planning. But Cinnos is offering a different solution. Born from a student project with co-founder Samih Abdelgadir at the W Booth School in 2013, the Smart MC-X units are modular, customizable and pay-as-you-grow; Picture IKEA but for data centres. The first of its kind, the proprietary product is in stark contrast to the massive data centre’s most companies invest in, when they often don’t need a fraction of that space.  

Cinnos shares an office with McMaster’s Computing Infrastructure Research Centre (CIRC), a research group comprised of engineers, graduate and undergraduate students. While Cinnos staff brings the business acumen, CIRC supplies the big ideas and innovative products with global appeal. 

“Our lives are half digital now, so about three- to- five per cent of the total energy produced worldwide goes into data centre’s,” says Suvojit Ghosh, who heads up McMaster’s CIRC, which operates alongside Cinnos. “Most of that energy ends up being wasted,” he adds. “Our vision is to eliminate these wastages.”  

 

 

 

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Other success stories

Makerspace

The Makerspace at Thode Library is a joint effort between McMaster University Library and the Faculty of Engineering, providing a new interdisciplinary experiential learning space where the McMaster community can gather to create, invent and learn.

Location: Thode Libray Basement

By providing access to tools, technology, expertise and social connections not otherwise easily accessible, the makerspace will offer students from all disciplines a hands-on opportunity to explore new technologies, learn technical skills and work collaboratively to transform their innovative and creative ideas into tangible prototypes.

“Innovation happens when Engineers collide and collaborate with people from other disciplines,” says Ishwar K. Puri, Dean of McMaster’s Faculty of Engineering. “Over the past few years we’ve really invested in building collision spaces like the Makerspace. You need community spaces where people can come and create and work on problems in an interdisciplinary way. That’s the kind of vibrant atmosphere we want to provide for students.”

The Makerspace offers a range of equipment including 3D printers, a variety of hand tools, components for building electronic circuitry, a drill press, grinders, soldering stations, a laser cutter and even a chip setter that will enable students to make computer chips.

Going forward, equipment will added based on needs identified by the students using the space.The facility will be open to students on a drop-in basis and will be available to groups on campus who need a space to work on technology-based projects. Programming will include talks by Hamilton start-up entrepreneurs organized in partnership with The Forge, as well as other skills development activities and networking opportunities for students.

Learn more

News

7 Engineering Startups to Watch

November 17, 2017 /  Department News

7 Engineering Startups to Watch

In honour of Global Entrepreneurship Week, a celebration of innovators and job creators who are changing the world, we’re spotlighting 7 McMaster Engineering startups to watch.

Embedded thumbnail for Searching for a silent threat: McMaster Engineering grads receive James Dyson Award for cancer detection device

November 9, 2017 /  Department News

Searching for a silent threat: McMaster Engineering grads receive James Dyson Award for cancer detection device

What started as a final year engineering class project at McMaster University is now an internationally recognized improved solution for the early detection of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

Graduate of W Booth School Scores Win at 2017 Lion’s Lair Pitch Competition

September 28, 2017 /  Department News

Graduate of W Booth School Scores Win at 2017 Lion’s Lair Pitch Competition

Lion's Lair pitch competition celebrates the fruits of entrepreneurship in the Hamilton community.

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