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Minor in Innovation

Develop skills to create your own start-up, or gain the entrepreneurial expertise to drive innovation within a company. 

Offered jointly by the Faculty of Engineering and the DeGroote School of Business, the Minor in Innovation is designed to give students the tools they need to succeed in today's fast-paced, innovation-driven marketplace. The minor is open to all McMaster University students.


Developed between the Faculty of Engineering, the DeGroote School of Business, and the Forge Startup Incubator, the Minor in Innovation encourages creative problem solving, leadership, and an entrepreneurial mindset.  

The Innovation Minor is available to all students at McMaster University; it is not limited to students in the Faculty of Engineering or the Degroote School of Business.

The Innovation Minor is a new program, launched in the fall of 2018, and rolled out over the course of 3 academic years. Courses will be available as students progress through the minor. Visit the Academic Calendar for a full list of available courses.

INNOVATE 4EX6 A/B - Founders Startup

Working with The Forge, McMasters startup accelerator, students will form teams to develop a new startup venture. Through the application of lean startup and design sprint methodologies, students will rapidly test and iterate product-market fit with customers and refine their business models. Admission to the course will be based on a written application (one application per team) and a successful panel interview. At the end of the course, students will pitch their validated business models and evidence for product-market fit to a panel of Forge entrepreneurs, advisers, and mentors for possible entry into The Forges Stage II program.

INNOVATE 3EX3 - Experiential Learning in Innovation

This course will provide students an opportunity to gain direct experience working at an existing start-up company. Course credit will be evaluated based on the maintenance of a comprehensive learning portfolio.

Benefits to the innovation minor

  • The only program to offer the minor as a collaborative venture between Business and Engineering.
  • Direct partnership with The Forge - McMaster and Hamilton's start-up incubator.
  • Ability to work directly with entrepreneurs and start-up companies, and develop your own start-up venture by working with The Forge.
  • Open to all students at McMaster University, regardless if you have any prior business or engineering course experience.
  • Course options are varied, and wide-ranging, to help students develop a broad range of marketable skills.
  • Students have the ability to customize the program to their interests.

Steps to a Minor in Innovation

24 units are required to earn the Minor in Innovation. Students must complete all 6 units (2 courses) from INNOVATE 1X03 and INNOVATE 2X03; in addition to choosing 6-9 units (2-3 courses) from INNOVATE 2Z03, INNOVATE 3X03, and INNOVATE 3Z03; finally, students must complete 12 units (4 courses) from the approved list of entrepreneurial electives available under the Innovation Minor in the Academic Calendar.

Information about prerequisites, antirequisites, or other requirements to register for the innovation courses can be found in the Academic Calendar. 


McMaster Innovators

Stephen Elop

Stephen Elop

Tech Giant and Former CEO of Telstra

Computer Engineering & Management '86

Stephen Elop has contributed to innovative companies in senior management positions for decades; notably contributing to the advances made by Microsoft, Telstra, and Nokia through upper management positions.

Matthew Sheridan

Matthew Sheridan

CEO & Founder of Nix

Mechatronics Engineering & Management '12

Matthew Sheridan founded Nix to allow anyone to become a colour expert.  The patent-pending device reads real world colours and connects them to the exact colour on a user's phone.

Melissa Houghton

Melissa Houghton

CEO & Founder of Lumago Inc.

Walter G. Booth School for Engineering Entrepreneurship & Innovation '17

Lumago provides a customizable, expandable, and fully automated system which bridges the gap between current agricultural practices and emerging aquaponics technologies.  Lumago helps to ensure that North American vegetable growers can remain competitive against international competition.

Chris Buttenham

Chris Buttenham

CEO & Founder of

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Sociology '13

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