Hamilton, ON, October 04, 2011—
Helping engineering students through the challenge of converting their entrepreneurial ideas into business reality is the goal of the new Don Pether Incubation Centre that officially opens Monday at McMaster University.
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Pether, former CEO and president of Dofasco Inc., and recent chair of McMaster's Board of Governors, made a gift of $1 million to the University's Faculty of Engineering in 2010. The gift supported the creation of the centre and of the Don Pether Chair in Engineering and Management, extending the steel industry leader's long history of support for McMaster. "We have students who develop ingenious, award-winning inventions every year that generate a great deal of interest from industry and consumers," said McMaster President Patrick Deane. "Don's gift is telling them that their inventions are valued, that they are supported, and that resources are available to help them commercialize their creations."
"Converting solid ideas into viable new enterprises is one of the greatest challenges in all of business," said Pether. "Canada's future prosperity relies on successful inventors and entrepreneurs receiving the support they need to close the gap between invention and marketplace."
The new incubation centre is to open with a reception Monday afternoon. The facility is strategically situated on the third floor of the Atrium building at McMaster Innovation Park.
There, selected students and recent graduates of the Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation master's degree program will receive startup support for their technology businesses, using the centre to continue the process of commercializing new products and services.
The centre will provide office facilities and access to the guidance, experience and knowledge of the University's Xerox Centre for Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the McMaster Industry Liaison Office and proximity to other commercialization specialists at the innovation park.
Four sets of emerging technology entrepreneurs and their teams will each have one year in the Incubation Centre to move the development of their businesses forward.
Among the first set of entrepreneurial projects to take up residence in the centre is Natural Protection Solutions Inc., which has developed technology for producing melanin pigment for sunglasses using plant sources, at a fraction of the cost of producing the same product from animal or synthetic sources.
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