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Innovation Matchmaking Program

The Innovation Matchmaking program connects research teams from across campus and/or affiliated hospitals and provides them with an equivalent of $75,000 in prep-funding that can be used to build investable ventures.

The program is designed to advance multi-disciplinary innovation, help McMaster researchers generate valuable intellectual property, and support the creation of investable startup companies.

The program will launch calls in several Strategic Focus Areas. The first round of the program will focus on matching health challenges with tech solutions, including, but not limited to, health and AI, digital health, health and materials, and medical devices.

Call for Applications

The call for applications is now closed for projects focused on health challenges and tech solutions. Those interested in applying for the program may participate in matchmaking activities to find a suitable project partner. Existing multi-disciplinary research teams may also apply for the program. Teams must include researchers from at least two faculties.

Application Process

Launch: The program will periodically launch calls in various Strategic Focus Areas.

Registration & Matchmaking (optional): Interested researchers will register to participate in virtual or in-person matchmaking events and business development meetings where they can build a team and propose projects with commercialization potential.

Team Building: New multi-disciplinary teams will be formed and existing teams will be strengthened. The team must have at least one member with a clear understanding of an unmet market need and ideas for possible solution(s), and at least one member with strong technical or problem-solving skills and expertise or innovations that can be applied to the challenge.

Submit Application: One team member will submit an application for the program on behalf of their team.

Pitch: The teams will compete in a pitch-style competition before a panel of external judges. One team member will deliver the pitch on behalf of their team.

Selection: Teams will be evaluated based on the following selection criteria:

  • Strength of the idea or innovation
  • Capability and preparedness to execute the project
  • Potential of project to generate significant social or economic impact

External Funding Application: Successful applicants must submit a formal grant application to an external funding agency that supports commercialization.

Terms & Funding

In order to receive the full amount of the prep-funding, successful applicants must submit a proposal to a formal commercialization grant program (e.g.,NSERC I2I, CIHR CMZ, etc.) within six months of the project start date.

The first tranche of prep-funding ($25,000) will be provided at the start of the project to enable teams to develop a proof-of-concept or validation data that will be needed to strengthen their commercialization grant applications.

The second tranche ($50,000) will be provided upon the submission of the external grant application.

Deliverables for Successful Applicants

Successful applicants are expected to participate in entrepreneurship programming, including virtual and/or in-person matchmaking events, and actively engage in quarterly business development meetings with MILO/entrepreneur-in-residence/mentors.


Application Deadline (Updated): May 19, 2024
Pitch Day for selected applicants: June 10, 2024

Upcoming Matchmaking Sessions

Robotics, IoT and Software Solutions for Health | June 4, 2024 | 8-9 a.m.
Register here.

Information Box Group

Register Now (Optional) Learn More

Register to receive information about upcoming matchmaking sessions.

Apply Online

Applications are now closed.

Application Guide Doc

View the application questions (DOCX).

Have questions? Email Us

Contact Sagar Prabhudev, Program Manager, Entrepreneurship