While students in the Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation program are not expected to have any engineering or scientific background, they are expected to embrace creativity and innovation. Some basic familiarity with technology is expected, but the required technological depth will depend on the project itself and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Considerable emphasis will be placed on team-based experiential learning in which all members of the team will learn from each other as they complete the project.
Applications for admission will be made directly through the W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology. In addition to the general requirements for entry into a graduate program in Engineering, candidates applying to the Master of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation program must hold an Honours Bachelor’s degree from any discipline, with at least a B- average (equivalent to a McMaster 7.0 GPA out of 12) students in the final year in all courses in the discipline, or relating to the discipline, in which the applicant proposes to do graduate work.
Strong letters of recommendation are also required. The delivery of the program relies heavily on the synergy created between members of student teams, and successful operation of the program requires that each cohort have an appropriate blend of skills and experience. Applicants will be required to complete an online interview.
The program will accept full-time students. The full program is expected to take 20 months full-time study. Candidates are admitted for September only. No part-time option is available
Prospective applicants who did not attain the required standing in their undergraduate degree, but who have at least four (4) years of relevant work experience, should discuss their situation with the Program Lead. If the experience is deemed sufficient, the Program Lead may then recommend a live interview. Evidence of ability to do graduate work will still be required (see sections 2.1.1 Admission Requirements for Master’s Degree and 2.1.5 Admission of Students with Related Work Experience or Course Work Beyond the Bachelor’s Degree in the Graduate Calendar.)
A candidate is required to complete successfully two one-term advanced graduate courses and the six compulsory Entrepreneurship and Innovation module courses. Additionally, full-time students must successfully complete SEP 771 part I and II and SEP 772. A faculty advisor will assist the student in selecting relevant graduate courses. Students will normally be required to complete two graduate level courses.The objective is to acquire leading-edge skills and apply them to the enterprise project.
McMaster students may receive advanced standing for only one additional course (note that a maximum of two 600-level courses can count towards a SEPT graduate program including mandatory 600-level courses) with approval of the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.
Innovation and Entrepreneurial Skills Development
Six compulsory enterprise modules will focus on providing the Master’s degree candidate with basic skills to select an idea with good potential, manage the innovation process, then create and manage the business outcome. The skills will broadly cover all the business cycle from start, growth and sustainability. The modules will develop an understanding of both the innovation and the entrepreneurial processes through lectures, workshops and hands-on work, as well as embed sustainability into their enterprise project as a source of competitive advantage.
Each module is considered the equivalent of a half-course as defined by the School of Graduate Studies, but will contain elements of lecture, group work, presentation and other activities as defined in the course outline. The module courses will be delivered in an intensive format. The module courses are:
The Enterprise Project will run throughout the entire study period and will result in both a business and a viable Proof-of-Concept defined as the combination of (i) a technical plan for an engineering prototype product (ideally with an actual prototype device or software produced) plus (ii) an identified customer base and a plan outlining the way to commercialization. The project will bring together complementary streams of activities, one technical and the other commerical to bring an idea to the proof of concept phase. The Entrepreneurial course stream, which will run conincidentally with the advanced engineering studies will guide the technological work performed in the research laboratory so that the concept becomes, by the end of the degree, the nucleus of a business proposition.
The Enterprise Project will have three phases, which will end with project gate assessments to determine the project’s readiness to proceed to the next phase:
Phase 1 - Project Preparation
Market research to arrive at a proposed product or service with clear value proposition; define the market for the intended product or service revealing competitive threat, opportunities, and margins and volumes projections; draw up development plans for the product or service indicating the required resources and estimated investment cost; seek the resources within the university and without; build a team of support that might include a partner.
Phase 2 - Technical Research and the Development of the Prototype
Develop a research plan, identifying key issues and opportunities (with the assistance of academic technical and business supervisors); conduct technical research and development; implement the engineering research plan within the research group in the host-engineering department; build a development network within the engineering research community; ready the technology for transfer to market; conduct initial market engagement to get customer feedback and reactions.
Phase 3 - Technology Transfer to Market
Apply for IP protection if applicable; develop a path-to-market strategy; develop a business case; seek out financing and explore business arrangements; plan for business start-up. Each phase has two equally important components, one technical and the other business:
Concept initiation proposal; Technology development plan presentation and documentation
Technical Proof-of-concept; Draft financial plan presentation and documentation
Business Strategy and Go-to-market plan or a Venture feasibility presentation and documentation
The Phase III evaluation will be a defence of your project in an oral examination to your board (technical mentor, enterprise advisor, business advisor and your business mentor). Candidates are required to complete and pass through each phase in order to graduate.
Leadership Skill Development and the Enterprise Project
The ability to effectively work in a team environment is an important learning outcome of team-based project work on the Enterprise project. The MEEI and MTEI programs use a confidential service to provide each individual with personalized performance feedback from their peers on a period basis. Approaches to improving ones own performance include mentoring and guidance by their Enterprise Advisor.