Young entrepreneurs meet with Minister of State, MP for roundtable discussion

By Stefanie Bonazza , March 20, 2015
    MP Mike Wallace, far left, and Minister Gary Goodyear, second from left, at the Ron Joyce Centre Thursday meeting with student and alumni entrepreneurs .

Young and aspiring entrepreneurs got a chance to talk about the opportunities and challenges they face at a roundtable event Thursday at McMaster’s Ron Joyce Centre in Burlington.

The roundtable was chaired by Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario) and MP Mike Wallace (Burlington) and was focused on what government can do to make building businesses easier for young entrepreneurs.

Students discussed creating an environment of collaboration and partnership for young entrepreneurs, and providing more floor-level funding to encourage more students to consider entrepreneurship as a future career option.

Sean Van Koughnett, associate vice-president, Students and Learning, also attended the session. He pointed out that universities have a tremendous role to play in fostering innovation and are seen as being a starting point for entrepreneurial careers.

With programs and resources like the Forge and Spectrum, McMaster students have the ability to focus on fleshing out their innovative ideas, while having access to important resources such as research expertise and collaboration space.

Minister Goodyear said that entrepreneurship programs at universities such as the W Booth School of Engineering Practice and the McMaster Industry Liaison Office have a tremendous effect on the Canadian economy, and postsecondary institutions are increasingly realizing direct correlation between innovation and commercialization as a result of these programs.