Innovation Factory and the Forge accelerator at McMaster Innovation Park

3 Start-Ups Ignited by The Forge in Hamilton

Looking for Office Space, Funding, Prototyping and Networking?

Look to The Forge. The Forge is the startup incubator for McMaster University and the Hamilton Region

Since The Forge business incubator launched in 2015, it has built a roster of 106 alumni companies that have raised $21 million in investment and sell in more than 30 countries.

The Forge was created and is funded by McMaster University, but it is open to anyone in the community. “We exist to help early-stage businesses launch, grow and scale and fast-track to market,” said director Monika Yazdanian.

“They typically come to us with nothing except a fresh idea and it’s really gratifying and rewarding when one or two years later they are a growing business.”

The Forge offers eight to 18 months of incubation, and includes two entrepreneurs-in-residence and more than 25 mentor volunteers who provide expertise, advice, and support. Clients get office space and access to seed funding, and a maker’s space.

Budding entrepreneurs are taught to pitch to investors and are introduced to venture capitalists. Often, technology and business expertise at McMaster helps along the way.

“We take no equity and we don’t charge for what we do. We just want our clients to pay it forward to the next company,” said Yazdanian.

Here are just a few of The Forge success stories coming out of Hamilton:

Nix Sensor

Nix Sensor’s patented technology allows users to instantly determine the exact colour of any physical object and bring it into the digital world. Its products, all manufactured in Hamilton, are sold in 50 countries.

“As we grew from a small startup based in a downtown Hamilton apartment, to two office facilities within McMaster Innovation Park, The Forge has helped to mentor us every step of the way,” said Matthew Sheridan, CEO and founder.

“Not only does the Forge provide entrepreneurs access to the resources and knowledge needed to succeed in a globally competitive landscape, but they also provide the moral support needed to think big, take risks, and tackle some of the world’s most important and interesting problems.”

Reliq Health

Reliq’s powerful software platform connects to medical monitoring devices in the home to collect critical health data, alerting the patient’s care team of an abnormal reading or if he or she fails to take medication. This allows complex patients to receive care at home, improving health outcomes, and reducing costs.

“The Forge was instrumental in supporting the company in its original incarnation as CareKit Health,” said CEO Lisa Crossley. CareKit came to The Forge in 2015, leveraging its mentoring, networking, fundraising and prototyping services.

“The Forge helped CareKit connect with potential customers and granting agencies, which ultimately helped attract the attention of Reliq Health, leading to its acquisition of CareKit for $2 million in 2016.”

Enhanced Medical Nutrition

EMN works with hospitals from Vancouver to Charlottetown, using preoperative carbohydrates in drinks and tube feeds to reduce the length of stay and improve a patient’s experience when undergoing surgery.

The company is commercializing products and has raised $1.2 million in seed funding.

“Prior to being accepted into The Forge family we didn’t have a clue of how to run a business, how to incorporate, deal with regulatory hurdles or investors,” said co- founder and CEO Eric Zimmerman. “Needless to say, EMN wouldn’t be around without the support of The Forge. This is a model that helps entrepreneurs learn quickly, build confidence, and network with other entrepreneurs who are also in the trenches.”

To learn more about The Forge or if you have a prototype please visit The Forge here

Original post was published on Think Hamilton.  Read the original blog post at

Share this article
View All Categories

Featured iF Clients

Celebrate BIG ideas that make a bigger impact at The Big DiF, Innovation Factory’s annual open house and client showcase. Join 250+ people from the Hamilton-Halton community to celebrate entrepreneurship and innovation.

Join Innovation Factory's Annual Open House - The Big DiF!

Network with 250+ industry professionals, discover emerging solutions from our innovators, and celebrate entrepreneurship within the Hamilton-Halton ecosystem.

May 9, 2024 | 4:00pm – 8:00pm | Hamilton, Ontario