Startup School

Launch your idea at The Forge.

Startup School is for entrepreneurs at the very start of the journey. 

We are looking for high-energy individuals with a business idea or early prototype that you are passionate about. Each week, participants attend workshops lead by industry experts to gain the tools to bring their ideas to life. Additionally, startups will have the opportunity to work with our staff, entrepreneurs-in-residence, and mentors as they validate their business idea. The Forge co-working space and prototyping makerspace will be open to participants throughout the program. It’s important to note, The Forge does not take equity in your company.

Some topics we cover include: 

  • Customer validation
  • Value proposition
  • Intellectual property
  • Marketing and branding
  • Pitching and presenting
  • … and so much more!

Startup School is FREE for McMaster University students and recent alumni ($75 deposit refundable upon completion) and $399 + HST for all other applicants.

The Forge is NOT currently accepting applications for this program. The next cohort will take place Fall 2021, stay tuned for the next application deadline.
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“ImaginAble Solutions received outstanding knowledge and support from The Forge’s Startup School. The Forge introduced us to helpful, kind and compassionate business professionals that have personally helped me prepare and grow to become a successful entrepreneur. Regardless of the stage your company is in, The Forge invites you to become part of a strong and supportive network to help transform your passion into a profession!” – Lianna Genovese, Founder of Imaginable Solutions Inc.

“Before entering Startup School at The Forge, I started up Lytec with limited experience in entrepreneurship. This program allowed me to learn more about the technical aspects of starting up and running a business. Thank you to the excellent community of entrepreneurs, mentors, and staff that helped me apply what I have learned at Startup School to Lytec.” – Junior Thiensirisak, CEO and Founder of Lytec

“I want to thank The Forge Startup School for providing valuable opportunities for young entrepreneurs to receive mentorship and counseling, and for offering these services free of charge. It has been a great experience and an important resource for me in developing the LifeAR universal augmented reality marketing platform, and in growing my venture, DGApps.” – Daniel Genkin, Founder of GDApps Inc.

“Startup School was immensely helpful to me, as somebody who wants to start a business but has no idea how to navigate the startup world. And not just the technical stuff like patents and raising venture capital either—I’ve learned communication skills that I have carried with me to future conferences and interviews. The cohort is also a strong and supportive network, and I’ve made some good friends through Startup School!” – Sophia Tao, Founder & CEO of Sharekitchen