Mariya Leslie at The Forge interviews about new Startup School program

TL;DR: The Forge at McMaster has launched a brand new, evening program for Hamilton’s busy entrepreneurs. Participants learn how to convert innovative ideas into real businesses in 14 short weeks. It’s free for McMaster students. Only 15 spots open. Deadline is January 16th to register. Starts January 24th.

McMaster University’s Business Incubator, The Forge, has launched a new 14-week workshop series for students and community members who have technology-based ideas. The program targets entrepreneurial individuals with daytime commitments to train them during evenings on what it takes to build a successful startup. 

The program begins on January 24, 2019 and runs Thursdays at 6:30PM-8:30PM inside McMaster Innovation Park. Participants will meet weekly with expert advisers who teach business building concepts, receive mentorship from successful Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, and get real world feedback on their concepts. This program is free for McMaster University students and a discounted $299 for community members who register before the Early Bird Deadline of January 11, 2019. The full price is $499 for community members who register by January 16, 2019.

“The only way to truly learn entrepreneurship is by doing,” says Mariya Leslie, Incubator Manager of The Forge. “That’s why we’ve structured these workshops to be extremely hands-on. We encourage all participants to get out into the real world, test their ideas, get customer feedback, and improve their offering.”

Startup School is designed for anyone pursuing scalable, technology-based ideas. The program is divided into seven modules which cover essential tools for startup development. Each module takes two weeks to work through with the guidance and mentorship of our Entrepreneurs-in-Residence and special guest speakers. Half the workshops aim to teach validated methodology including Lean Startup, Customer Development Model, and Business Model Canvas. The rest cover fundamental business basics including corporate legal strategy, intellectual property strategy, finance and fundraising. The participants will be connected to professional service providers for crucial advisory that can make or break a business.

“We’ve hand-picked qualified experts from the fields of business, entrepreneurship, and technology,” says Leslie. “The audience will also hear real life stories of success and failure from serial entrepreneurs in order to showcase the importance of each of the concepts we aim to teach.” 

What can Startup School graduates expect by completing this program?

  • Product roadmap and design.
  • Completed Business Plan and Financial Plan which can be used to apply for funding.
  • Knowledge of how to structure their company for investment.
  • Understanding of how to protect their intellectual property.
  • Connections to mentors, advisors, and local resources to help them succeed.

For more information, please visit The Forge’s website at

Contact Information:
Mariya Leslie, B.Sc., M.Biotech.
Manager, The Forge Business Incubator
McMaster Innovation Park
T: 289-919-1177 ext 202