Empowering students to develop awareness of global challenges and tools to address them

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Skills You’ll Learn

  • Teamwork

  • Communication skills

  • Leadership

  • Creative problem solving

  • Decision making project management
Mercier Lecture

Events and Programs

Ernest C. Mercier Lecture 2020 featuring Ms. Eva Lau, Ernest C. Mercier Lecture featuring Dr. Allan Carswell, Mercier Lecture featuring Mr. Suneer Singh Tuli

Dr. Eileen Mercier, a York graduate (MBA ’77, Hon LLD ‘10), established the lecture series in her late husband’s name. Bridging the worlds of business and commerce with the intensive research world of science, the series will present an entrepreneur and renowned scientist who has used his/her own science education as a springboard to other enterprises.

“Ernest believed that the benefits of discipline and analytical thinking, which his engineering education provided, were basic to understanding the cause-and-effect laws of business.” says Dr. Mercier. “This lectureship will hopefully inspire others to use their education in similarly unique ways.”

This is aligned with BEST’s mission that is to empower and support young engineers and scientists who are developing and applying technology to improve society worldwide, by sharing insights, resources and experience that will better prepare them for future careers, especially those interested in starting their own technology ventures.

The Mercier Lecture offers a unique workshop and lecture from a noted entrepreneur; the workshop is about 60 minutes for BEST Startups founders and co-founders who are working on their own technology ventures and the main lecture is about 45 minutes for all participants followed by 40-45 minute Q&As.

Previous Lectures:

5th Mercier Seminar featuring Dr. Mark Talesnick, 6th Mercier Seminar featuring Dr. Benton Leong

During this seminar series, students get exposed to and inspired by people who made an entrepreneurial journey and made a difference. This one hour session includes 30 minute presentation from the speaker followed by Q&A.

A monthly meetup for Lassonde and Schulich students to help build the ventures of tomorrow. The guest speaker is usually a Lassonde or Schulich graduate who started their own businesses and share their journey to inspire our students and set aspiration level that we could build companies to change the world. The Dream Team evolves into a pitch session where students have a minute to informally pitch their idea, and get feedback and maybe meet the partners that will help them make that dream a reality, building a dream team. The winning pitch as chosen by everyone in the session wins a $100 Amazon gift card.


UNHack is a three-day experiential learning program where students are offered an immersive hands-on learning opportunity which will help them realize how they might contribute to some of the world’s greatest challenges usually around United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. During this weekend experience, students will collaborate on addressing global challenges following our structured design sprint methodology and they also learn about creative problem solving, about team building and about themselves. This structured learning journey will help students define an important problem, and develop a viable solution. Our hope is that the weekend will be life changing, that will encourage students to explore how they might address important global issues, reflect on their experiences and challenge existing career assumptions.

This event is an advanced version of UNHack with a focus on developing viable solutions and building an implementation plan. Students will join this experience with their ideas and preferably their teams and will go through the advanced stages of the Design Sprint methodology, from validating solutions to refining and creating a strategy to get to market, from examining the viability and sustainability of delivering a solution to developing and pitching a business. Similar to UNHack, throughout the weekend, we will offer a series of interactive workshops where participants can get help with each of these stages. In addition to workshops, mentors reinforce the Design Sprint process, facilitate teamwork, and guide students through the process. The winning projects will be offered to join the BEST Lab where they get access to more resources and coaching to turn their project into a business.


Schulich School of Business and BEST at Lassonde School of Engineering partnered with Startup India to kick off TOGETHER 2021, a seven-day virtual Entrepreneurship Bootcamp and Venture Competition. Backed by global organizations, leading entrepreneurs and top venture capitalists, 250 student entrepreneurs from India and Canada form teams and are challenged to come up with potential solutions in line with values of self-reliability, sustainability and social purpose. Throughout the week, the 50 teams will get the opportunity to consult with various mentors from Canada and India to refine their ideas before the judging round. Through three judging rounds, leading venture capitalists and investors choose the top three venture ideas.

Schulich Startup Night

This bi-annual event staged in collaboration with BEST at Lassonde School of Engineering gives Schulich and Lassonde students and alumni an opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a panel of top industry professionals for a chance to win a $5000 cash prize. There is an application process where top three teams in two categories of Students and Alumni will be granted to enter the competition and pitch their idea. BEST offers an award for most impactful technology application idea with value of $1000.