Entrepreneurship – Faculty of Engineering
Student working in the design lab at a station with equipment


Helping students realize their dreams of starting their own companies.

  • 40%

    of active businesses at The Forge are founded by McMaster Engineering students or alumni

  • 39

    invention disclosures by McMaster Engineering

  • 2

    groups of students received National James Dyson Award honours

Success stories

Matt Sheridan, grad

Matt Sheridan

Alumnus Matt Sheridan’s start-up, Nix Sensor, designs and manufactures high precision colour-sensing technology that can measure the colour of any surface and provides the information to a user’s smartphone.

The device won the top prize at the September 2016 Lion’s Lair start-up business competition in Hamilton. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce named Sheridan Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2015 Ontario Business Achievement Awards. Sheridan has also earned the Ernest C. Manning Foundation’s Award of Distinction.

Sheridan credits his entrepreneurial success to mentorship he received from both the Innovation Factory and his time at McMaster managing the solar car team.

The textbook skills aren’t going to help you in the real world, but managing people on a team, raising funds from donors, figuring out how to run marketing campaigns and working 24/7 in the basement of the engineering building are all good lessons on how entrepreneurship works.

Matt Sheridan

HiNT founders:

Ahmed Elmeligi and Jacob Jackson, Master’s of Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation graduates Nawal Behih, Master’s of Engineering Design graduate

Healthcare Innovation in Neurotechnology (HiNT), a start up that came out of the W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology, is developing a wearable point-of-care monitoring device for patients who are at high risk of having a stroke. If a patient has a stroke during sleep, the device wakes the patient up and alerts the healthcare provider so that treatment can be administered more effectively.

When a stroke occurs, a patient has a window of four and a half hours to receive treatment. But if a stroke happens in the middle of the night, there’s no way of knowing when it occurred. The result is doctors can’t properly treat their patients, and many patients are at an increased risk of experiencing a second, more debilitating stroke.

The Master’s of Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation program taught us the customer development model of entrepreneurship. Talk to your customers, validate your assumptions, pivot as necessary and let the market steer your course. This is the only effective way to approach entrepreneurship in the 21st century and without it you would waste a significant amount of time and money.

Jacob Jackson

Melissa Houghton, Founder
Master of Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation graduate

Persistence and hard work continue to pay off for Lumago Inc., a student led company that emerged from McMaster Engineering’s W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology in 2015.

Lumago specializes in smart technologies for the aquaponics industry and is among a short list of 10 start ups selected to participate in the 2017 Lion’s Lair competition.

Melissa Houghton, Lumago founder and CEO and graduate of the Master of Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation program, thinks initiatives like Lion’s Lair and the Forge Start Up competition play an important role in helping new businesses scale up and grow.

They promote collaboration and energize the innovation community.

Melissa Houghton