Startup Problem Pitch Competition (Fall)

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Problem, People, PITCH!

Every successful startup venture begins with a valuable problem and a strong team to develop and bring their solution to market.

The Forge@Mac Startup Problem Pitch Competition is composed of 4 key events:

1.   Choose a Problem, Build a Team: Forge@Mac Problem Summit – Wednesday, Oct 4th 6 – 8 pm – Thode Library Makerspace

Many aspiring entrepreneurs want to start their first business, but often have trouble choosing the “right” business idea. The Forge@Mac is here to help!

Successful startups solve problems that produce value to their customers. At the Forge@Mac Problem Summit, you will hear The Forge’s corporate partners (IBM, Meridian, & Telus) about current and future challenges facing billion dollar industries.

Once you have a deeper understanding of these real-world problems, you will get the chance to meet with these industry experts to gain further insight into these problems while you meet like-minded, aspiring entrepreneurs in a group breakout setting.

Key Outcomes: Choose a great problem and build a strong team

2.   Apply Online: Forge@Mac Problem Pitch Application – By Wednesday, Oct 25th, 11:59pm

The competition is open to all McMaster Students as individuals or teams up to four. The focus of this competition is entirely on the problem. Can you articulate:

  • What is the problem?
  • Who has this problem? (Who is your customer?)
  • Why do current solutions fail to address this problem?
  • What value is created by solving this problem?

Since this is the Forge@Mac Startup Problem Pitch competition, the focus is on the problem, not the solution. This problem-first methodology will help you and your fledgling startup survive and succeed!

Problem applications are open as of September 15th.

3.   Rapid-Fire Problem Pitching: Forge@Mac Startup Problem Pitch Competition – Wednesday, Nov 1st (6PM-8:30PM) – DSB AB102

Get ready for a fire-hose of entrepreneurial prowess! The top 35 applicants will be invited to deliver their 1-min pitch in rapid-succession. 10-finalists will be chosen to compete in the FINALS.

Contestants will be judged on how clear and compelling their 1-min pitches are in explaining the problem they propose to solve (see the bullets above!). Start crafting your “hook” intro to grab the crowd’s attention and then blow their minds with your customer insight and impressive value-proposition!

4.   $5,000 is Just the Start: Forge@Mac Startup Problem Pitch Competition FINALS – Wednesday, Nov 15th (6PM-8:30PM)

The top three teams will compete for $5,000 in R&D funding to help finance additional validation with their customers. 1st place will be awarded $2,500, 2nd place $1,500, and 3rd place $1,000.

Those that make it to the FINALS will be better prepared for the Forge@Mac Student Startup Competition, where teams will compete for their share of $100,000 in seed funding!