Just six days remain before submissions for McGill University’s $100,000 Dobson Cup will no longer be accepted on February 1.
The event, hosted by McGill’s Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship, will award cash prizes to the best ideas presented from intelligent young entrepreneurs.
“If you already have a project in the works, or just have an idea for a startup, this competition is for you!” wrote the centre.
Judging focuses on innovation, viability, and growth potential. Teams can apply through four tracks: Social Enterprise, Small & Medium Enterprise, Health Science and Innovation Driven Enterprise.
The Dobson Cup’s website says $100,000 is up for grabs in “prize money and other services.”
According to McGill, “While prize money is great, no matter what the outcome, you will benefit from helpful recommendations to help grow and advance your business ideas. In addition, you will meet other like-minded entrepreneurs at McGill and develop your personal and professional skills.”
Applicants will pitch judges between March 14 and 17, while on April 20, qualifying teams will be asked to submit a “final five page start-up plan.” The final pitches will happen May 4-5, 2016.
At least one founder in a company must have a McGill affiliation, meaning enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program, hold (or have held) a staff, faculty or postdoctoral position, or McGill alumni. If the sole McGill affiliation on a team is a McGill alumni, they must have graduated no later than January 2011.
Student startups can also vie for the Grit Prize, a $5,000 prize awarded to a team “Composed of students who have participated in the final round of the McGill Dobson Cup Start‐Up Competition or similar Dobson Centre competition with a preference to a team of students who have demonstrated outstanding dedication towards establishing their business venture.
Moreover, teams can also win the $5,000 Food and Agribusiness Convergent Innovation Prize, “Offered to support a venture in the areas of agriculture, food and agribusiness, that clearly intertwines technological innovation, social innovation, and institutional innovation to simultaneously derive measurable economic and social health benefit(s).”
Proposals submitted in 2015 came from every faculty at McGill, including Science, Law, Management, Music, Engineering, Medicine, Arts, Education, and Music.
Founded in 2009, the Dobson Cup claims it has helped “Create more than 133 successful start-ups that continue to employ nearly 700 people, and have raised over 40x the seed funding we provided.”
237 teams participated in the 7th annual McGill Dobson Cup, a 56 per cent increase from the previous year, and more than 1000 teams have pitched startup ideas.
The National Bank of Canada donated $500,000 to create the startup accelerator fund at McGill.