Made at Mac: Entrepreneurship event celebrates founders making a difference

Image of McMaster alumna Lianna Genovese in the innovation lab

McMaster graduate Lianna Genovese is the founder of ImaginAble Solutions, an assistive technology company helping people around the world with limited hand mobility.

Why does entrepreneurship matter? Where do I start if I have an idea? How do successful founders navigate the entrepreneurship ecosystem at McMaster?

Learn the answers to these questions and more at the Made at Mac: Celebrating Entrepreneurship Event in L.R. Wilson Hall on Wednesday March 27.

The event, open to all students, staff, faculty and community members, supports McMaster’s strategic focus on entrepreneurship, says President David Farrar.

“McMaster is a research powerhouse with an extensive network of partners working to quickly move our discoveries from the lab to the real world where they can make an impact.”

Entrepreneurship is a vital part of the university’s mission to advance human and societal well-being, Farrar says.

“Entrepreneurship is a critical way for our community to respond to the urgent challenges of our time,” he says.

“Everyone — from first-year students to globally renowned researchers — can access McMaster’s robust innovation ecosystem.”

Meet McMaster founders

The event starts at 12:30 p.m. with an Innovation Showcase, where McMaster founders will discuss their ventures and entrepreneurship journeys.

Some of the ventures at the showcase include: Jetson Infinity, Longan Vision, Rayyan Therapeutics and Geras Dance.

Farrar will be joined at a fireside chat by Leyla Soleymani, associate vice-president, research (commercialization & entrepreneurship); and Sean Van Koughnett, associate vice-president (students and learning) and dean of students, as well as three McMaster alumni who are leading in the innovation space: Mo El Mahallawy, co-founder of Shepherd; Sonia Sennik, executive director of the Creative Destruction Lab, and Jocelyn Wessels, co-founder of Afynia.

The fireside chat will be moderated by Gay Yuyitung, acting director at the Forge incubator and executive director of McMaster Industry Liaison Office (MILO).

“Entrepreneurship is about more than building companies, it’s a mindset,” says Van Koughnett, special advisor to the President on innovation and entrepreneurship.

“All of our students have the opportunity to cultivate relationships with entrepreneurship mentors who challenge them to tackle problems in their community and careers with confidence.”

McMaster is designing new supports for faculty through initiatives like the McMaster Entrepreneurship Academy, including the Professor Entrepreneur Fellowship, which will allow more McMaster researchers to commercialize important discoveries, Soleymani says.

“McMaster’s entrepreneurial students, faculty and alumni, including those at our affiliated hospitals — Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joe’s Healthcare — are creating ventures that improve lives and impact society,” says Soleymani, a co-founder of FendX Technologies.

“From vaccine development and next-generation radiopharmaceuticals, to transportation electrification and intelligent materials, we are leading innovation globally.”

“These innovations can dramatically improve the health of people and our planet,” she says. “They are also creating jobs and prosperity for our community and Canada.”

Related Stories