What is The Forge?

The Forge is Hamilton’s startup incubator and McMaster University’s on-campus entrepreneurship initiative (The Forge@Mac).  The Forge supports new tech companies and students interested in entrepreneurship by providing co-working space across two locations (at McMaster Innovation Park and in downtown Hamilton), training, resources and a network of alumni and mentors.

The Forge@Mac inspires and trains students, helping them transform into the next generation of entrepreneurs. Our series of panels, workshops, and seminars educates students about how to build a sustainable business. Each year The Forge gives away over $105,000 in seed funding and in-kind services at the Student Startup Pitch Competition.

The Forge Incubator offers the most promising startups access to free office space in a co-working environment shared by youth entrepreneurs. The Forge also provides startups with access to business mentorship, a maker space and device library, training workshops, and a supportive network of current clients and alumni.

The Forge is funded by the Government of Ontario through the Campus-Linked Accelerator (CLA) program, managed by Ontario Centres of Excellence. It is a partnership between McMaster University, Innovation Factory and Mohawk College.  The Forge is a member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs.

Our mission is to: 

  • Nurture the development of a culture of entrepreneurship on the McMaster campus and the greater Hamilton community via extracurricular activities including competitions and events
  • Accelerate the success of early-stage startup companies based in Hamilton and the surrounding regions;
  • Provide early-stage startups with the resources they need for stand-alone success, on a timescale that should not significantly exceed 18-24 months;
  • Partner with local, regional and international organizations to provide our clients with valuable contacts and connections;
  • Support the integration of entrepreneurship activities into McMaster curriculum courses
  • Attract diverse and numerous clients from all over the technology, manufacturing, and social entrepreneurship sectors, from Hamilton and beyond;
  • Raise the profile of The Forge and its clients, particularly in investor circles;
  • Foster a startup culture of open discussion, supportiveness, and passion for work;
  • Provide our alumni with a close-knit, open, and supportive network of committed colleagues and friends.

Our locations:

McMaster Innovation Park (MIP) houses our companies at 175 Longwood Road South, Suite 301A.

The Forge MIP is located in West Hamilton. McMaster Innovation Park is an award-winning research and innovation centre only two kilometres away from the world-leading McMaster University. As the home of numerous research and tech laboratories, Innovation Factory, new entrepreneurs and long-established firms, MIP is a true innovation hub. McMaster Innovation Park also contains a unique and modern maker space with technical equipment, including 3D printers and a laser cutter, as well as an on-site fitness centre.

The Forge Downtown houses companies at 245 James Street North.

IMG_5386

The Forge Downtown is placed in the heart of Hamilton’s revitalizing core. Our space on James Street North joins a burgeoning culture of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. The neighborhood is home to sculptors and painters, lawyers, financiers and business owners. Close proximity to GO Transit, City Hall, and McMaster’s new downtown health campus add further virtue to a vibrant urban atmosphere.

Our Spaces:

McMaster Innovation Park, Suite 302A

Advanced assembly space: for companies who require locked key-card only access as they work on prototyping or assembly.