The Student Startup Competition will be held on March 20, 2019. If you are a McMaster student and have an idea or already work in a startup, apply to compete for entry into the Forge Summer Startup Academy and up to $100K in grants and prizes! All finalists are guaranteed a summer grant (per team).  

Come out to our information session on Jan 17 and drop-in hours in the winter term (JHE A214 on Wednesdays from 2-4pm) on campus if you have any questions about the competition or would like to discuss your application.  Have other questions? Please e-mail Carmen or book an appointment.

Download the application form and submit it online here


Important Dates

  • Thursday, January 3: Applications Open

  • Thursday, January 17 5:30-6:30pm, JHE 326H: Competition Information Session

  • Wednesday, February 20 @ 11:59PM: Applications Close

  • Friday, February 22: Semi-Finalists Notified

  • Wednesday, February 27, Thursday, February 28: Interviews

  • Friday, March 1: Finalists Notified

  • Thursday, March 7: Pitch Workshop

  • Week of March 11: Pitch Practice sessions (2 sessions)

  • Wednesday, March 20th 5:30-7:30PM: Competition in CIBC Hall


What is the Forge Summer Student Academy?

The Forge Summer Student Academy is a summer program that provides resources, training and mentorship to McMaster students developing their business ideas. Participants in the Forge Summer Student Academy are expected to attend workshops and other requirements, under the guidance of the Forge staff and mentors.

What do I need to apply?

All you need to apply is a problem you’d like to solve, a target demographic that would benefit from your proposed problem being solved, and a potential solution. You will also need your McMaster student ID! 

Download the application form and submit it online here

We're here to help! A great start is looking at the Lean Business Model Canvas , dropping by office hours (Wednesdays, 2-4pm in JHE A214) or contacting Carmen if you would like to chat.

I’m a recent grad. Am I eligible to apply?

We accept alumni who graduated in the past school year (after Apr 2018).

Do I need a prototype to apply?

No, you do not need a prototype to apply to the competition, but it would be great if you did! Top companies will demonstrate that they have validated the problem with their target customers and an understanding of what the proposed solution should be.

If I applied last year, can I apply again?

Yes, as long as you didn’t win a prize at previous Startup Competitions!

What are my odds of winning?

Your odds of winning are infinitely higher by just submitting an online application! As a wise fictional character once said, “Do. Or do not. There is no try”.