STEM Entrepreneurship Bootcamp 2018

During the last week of August, the B.E.S.T. Lab hosted its second annual STEM Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, where some of Canada’s brightest young minds joined incoming Lassonde students to transform their Canada Wide Science Fair projects into viable businesses. In collaboration with Youth Science Canada, B.E.S.T. Lab at Lassonde School of Engineering, and the Canadian Innovation Centre (CIC), the program provided an excellent opportunity for current high school students to learn about various skills needed for future success such as creative problem solving.

 Curating Candidates

Thanks to the great success of the 2017 Bootcamp, the B.E.S.T. Lab team travelled to Ottawa to meet this years CWSF finalists and learn more about their projects. The team invited 20 promising finalists to attend the Bootcamp (three finalists pictured below).

Megan Gran awarding CWSF finalist Nick Murray with a golden ticket to the STEM Bootcamp.

Megan Gran awarding CWSF finalist Nicolas Fedrigo with a silver ticket to the STEM Bootcamp.

CWSF finalist Ahmad Ali pictured with Maedeh Sedaghat and Megan Gran (B.E.S.T Lab Team) who awarded him with a golden ticket to the STEM Bootcamp.

B.E.S.T Bootcamp

The Bootcamp days were filled with a combination of lectures, workshops, guest entrepreneur speakers, and field trips. The lectures covered topics such as: communication, critical factors for venture success, barriers to adoption, and developing a value proposition. Students also learned how to creatively solve problems, work in teams and reflect on their experiential learning journeys. During the second workshop students learned the importance of building empathy, a skill they used throughout the week. Students also got a chance to speak with B.E.S.T. entrepreneurs and learned how they turned novel technologies into scalable businesses.

Field trips included a visit to Pioneer Village where students got a private “Life in a New Land” tour to explore the differences and the evolution of past technologies.

Students at Pioneer Village.

Practicing Pitches

Throughout the week, students worked in dynamic groups, and were free to help each other with their projects. This provided them with a safe space to share their ideas and provide constructive criticism to each other’s work. At the end of the week, the students had to prepare a pitch and present to a panel of Lassonde judges who the provided overall and individual feedback to all of the groups.

Teams Spinespector (Nicolas Fedrigo & Prabhnoor Sidhu) and Skinspector (Nick Murray & Ivy Verriet) with B.E.S.T Lab and Lassonde judges after winning Best Pitches.

Student Experiences

At the end of the Bootcamp students received the B.E.S.T. Lab Certificate of Participation for the STEM Entrepreneurship Bootcamp. The awards were presented by Dr. Andrew Maxwell (Bergeron Chair in Technology Entrepreneurship).

Obaid Siddiqui receiving the STEM Entrepreneurship Bootcamp Certificate from Maedeh Sedaghat and Dr. Andrew Maxwell.

Mitchell Hynes receiving the STEM Entrepreneurship Bootcamp Certificate from Maedeh Sedaghat and Dr. Andrew Maxwell.

Future of the Program

As the second year of the STEM Entrepreneurship Bootcamp wrapped up, the B.E.S.T. Lab team received an overwhelming amount of positivity from the students and community. We are expanding the program from 15 to 25 students next year and will be attending CWSF Finals 2019 to recruit some more brilliant minds!


STEM Bootcamp Participants, B.E.S.T. Lab Staff, and Lassonde Judges.