Hamiltonʼs Innovators, Entrepreneurs, and Students “PLAN iT”
McMasterʼs XCEEi and Innovation Factory Team Up to Organize Business Plan Competition
Hamilton, ON (May 3, 2011) – McMaster Universityʼs Xerox Centre for Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation (XCEEi) and Hamiltonʼs Regional Innovation Centre, Innovation Factory (iF), have come together to organize a business plan competition that will engage McMasterʼs students with Hamiltonʼs entrepreneurial community in a process of learning, developing, and making connections.
The competition, energetically entitled “PLAN iT,” will include a web-based submission of an original business plan. Up to 50 competitors will be accepted to attend a half-day lecture series at McMaster, with professors from the Universityʼs Masters in Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MTEI) program educating participants on how to perfect their plan and move to the next step in creating a business. Competitors will also have the opportunity to network with investors and VIPs from McMaster and Hamilton while discussing their ideas at an exclusive dinner reception held on June 22, 2011 where the top 10 competitors will be awarded with technology prizes and the opportunity to receive a $5000 scholarship to the MTEI program. Additionally, a $5000 cash prize will be awarded to the top social innovator in the competition. The online submission deadline is June 1, 2011. Full contest rules, regulations, and criteria can be found at www.plan-it.ca.
In addition to encouraging young entrepreneurs, PLAN iT will promote XCEEiʼs newest program: the interdisciplinary Masters in Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MTEI)*. Modeled after the schoolʼs successful MEEI (Masters in Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation) program that was launched in 2005, the University has developed a parallel track that students from any academic background can explore.
“Weʼre responding to the growing number of inquiries from non-engineering and science students interested in starting businesses needing technology but lacking the technical background,” explains Rafik Loutfy, Director of XCEEi. “We also noticed that students in the engineering entrepreneurship program were informally teaming up with students in other disciplines to gain the marketing, finance or discipline-specific insight they lacked… It made sense to bring the two together.”
Since its official launch in November 2010, Innovation Factory has engaged over 90 companies to date across a wide array of industries. Teaming up with the MTEI program was a natural fit for the organization, whose mandate is to nurture the growth of an innovation ecosystem in Hamilton.
“We are delighted to partner with XCEEI on this competition,” says Innovation Factoryʼs Executive Director Ron Neumann. “PLAN iT provides a great incentive for students and young entrepreneurs alike to work on advancing their abilities within the setting of a world-class University.” *pending approval from OCGS
About McMaster Universityʼs Xerox Centre for Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation
A new Master's of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MTEI) degree program has been developed for university graduates in honours programs outside of engineering and science. It's a unique program involving entrepreneurship teams that draw expertise from all disciplines to develop start-up plans for technology-based businesses. www.businessinnovation.ca/MTEI
About Innovation Factory
Innovation Factory (innovationfactory.ca) is a not-for-profit Regional Innovation Centre, located in Hamilton, ON committed to connecting and enabling active collaboration between the cityʼs communities of science, business, government, academia and finance to accelerate the innovation process and amplify the economic and social impact of key new ideas and discoveries. Funded by the Ontario Network of Excellence (ONE), we are focused on strengthening the next generation of wealth and jobs generators. www.innovationfactory.ca
For more information, contact Stephanie Shuster, iF Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, 905.667.2611 x.224