McMaster’s tech start-up incubator to expand with $1.2M from feds

McMaster University’s start-up incubator The Forge is set to expand into the empty parking garage at McMaster Innovation Park.

The federal government’s grant, by way of FedDev Ontario, will aid in converting the garage into a 10,000 square-foot makerspace expansion.

The Forge gives makers access to a free office space complete with a 3D printer, laser cutter, and other advanced fabricating equipment to help with their innovative designs. A portion of the new funding will be put toward adding equipment and further developing the mentorship program.

Together, the funding will allow the incubator to help even more start-ups and entrepreneurs access the resources needed to “get off the ground”, increasing the number of annual companies served from 25 to 40. The funding will also create up to 75 new jobs.

The announcement was made by Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas MP Filomena Tassi on behalf of Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

It’s not surprising that The Forge has outgrown their space, especially after winding down their James Street North satellite location to consolidate the business incubator at Innovation Park.

Ty Shattuck, McMaster Innovation Park CEO, quips that it’s fitting for The Forge to incubate companies in a garage since many famous successful start-ups (Disney, Apple, Google, etc) began in garage spaces.

Since 2014, The Forge has helped support 105 tech companies, employing over 300 people, and generating $20M in private & public investment.

Are you excited about this announcement? Do you see Hamilton becoming a tech hub and join the ranks of Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo? Let us know in the comments!

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