The Forge Business Incubator

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

2022 Fall Cohort:

  • Start date: Monday, September 12, 2022.
  • The application period has closed.

2023 Spring Cohort:

  • Start date: Monday, January 9, 2023.
  • Applications due: Sunday, November 27, 2022.

We accept three business incubator cohorts per year.

Tip: You will not be able to save your application mid-way through. We recommend that you write out your answers on a separate document before beginning the application form.


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. 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 the 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

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.


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.

Over three years of being supported by The Forge, ImaginAble Solutions sold Guided HandsTM across North America and Singapore, filed for patents, won the National Canadian James Dyson Award, and continues to improve the quality of life for people living with a disability.

– Lianna Genovese, CEO and Founder of ImaginAble Solutions.

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

AIMA Laboratories was discussed over a period of about ten years but was finally ‘born’ after finding The Forge.

Dr. Jocelyn Wessels, Co-Founder of AIMA Laboratories Inc.

The Forge’s focus on innovation and connections with industry leaders and resources has been instrumental in growing our business and presence globally.

Christopher Luxton, Founder and CEO of KitchenFuel.

The Forge is absolutely incredible, its value is unparalleled to any other accelerator that we’ve been at so far. I feel that without The Forge helping us along this journey, our company might
have shut down or definitely not been as far as we are today.

Yuri Kaplan, Founder of AdMass.