The Forge Business Incubator

No equity.  No fees.  Fast-track your startup to success.

The application period has closed.
Cohort begins: May 3, 2021

All programming is currently virtual due to restrictions from Public Health, MIP and McMaster University.

Tip: We recommend that you download the full list of questions here, before you fill out the Typeform application. You will not be able to save your application mid-way through. 

Apply Now

About The Forge Business Incubator Program

The Forge Business Incubator is a limited-enrollment program for early-stage startups. These entrepreneurs are past the business idea stage and have started gaining traction by launching their startup to the market or have developed a prototype. We create customized plans for a small cohort of startups to help them grow. Alumni of this program include software, hardware, IoT, medical devices, healthcare IT, life sciences, advanced manufacturing, and consumer products companies.  Full-time founders based in Hamilton are preferred but all applicants are welcome. The Forge and McMaster University do not take equity in the companies we support and are committed to growing the entrepreneurship and innovation community.

We accept three Business Incubator cohorts per year with application deadlines in March, August, and November. If you would like to be informed about upcoming application deadlines for our programs, we suggest signing up for our monthly newsletter


Business Incubator Client Perks

  • 8 Months of incubation with opportunity to extend
  • Financial reimbursement program
  • Dedicated workspace within The Forge at McMaster Innovation Park*
  • One-on-one mentorship from Entrepreneur-in-Residence and/or Incubator Manager**
  • Advisory from 50+ Volunteer Mentors**
  • Professional service providers for IP, legal, accounting, finance, tech advisory, marketing, and more.
  • Makerspace with advanced prototyping equipment and makerspace technical lead for advisory*
  • Conference and meeting rooms*
  • Connections to government funding programs including OCE, NRC-IRAP, NSERC, Mitacs, etc
  • One-on-one investor pitch practice**
  • Introductions to angel investors and venture capital firms*
  • Weekly startup peer2peers and monthly founder socials
  • Workshops, seminars, and networking events*
  • Access to talent and recruitment support
  • PR/media exposure via newsletter and social media
  • Business address and mailbox*

* At this time, access to space, makerspace, conference rooms and mailing address are subject to restrictions from Public Health, MIP and the University’s policies and are closed until further notice.
** All meetings and introductions are virtual until further notice.

Application Process

  1. Submit your application.
  2. The Forge will contact you to schedule a phone interview.
  3. If selected, you will be invited for a follow up interview to discuss your startup via Zoom. Applicants will have the opportunity to deliver a 5 minute pitch with 10 slides or less.

Based on the results of the interview process, The Forge will select 5 companies to join the new cohort.

QUESTIONS? Contact info(at)theforge.mcmaster.ca

Hear from some of our valued clients:

“The Forge provided us with a leadership team that was willing to listen, learn, and tirelessly help develop our business. We are grateful for having learned so much in such a short amount of time.” – Hanna Haponenko, Managing Partner and CTO of Axcessiom Technologies Inc.

“I’ve always aspired to turn one of my ideas into a successful business. The Forge provided me with not only a conducive environment to grow, but also extremely knowledgeable support staff to guide my product to new heights.” – Anthony Greco, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Ice Now Inc.

“The Forge helped me connect with other entrepreneurs and learn valuable techniques to grow my business. Staff, mentors, and other fellow incubators encouraged me to take advantage of every opportunity to grow as an individual and a business. I am truly thankful for The Forge in helping me become the entrepreneur I am today.” – Grace Huang, Founder & CEO of Zap Foods

“The Forge offers an amazing community of like-minded, visionary founders with a passion for solving complex problems. I’ll never forget the late nights I spent at the office, overworking the coffee machine and having a blast with other founders. Without a doubt, joining The Forge was a critical turning point for Reviewerly.” – Peter Yang, CEO and Founder of Reviewerly