McGill Dobson Cup 2018

McGill Dobson Cup

Over $100 000 in total was awarded to the most promising McGill startups at the 2018 McGill Dobson Cup. Congratulations to all the winning teams & a sincere thank you to all the participating teams.

The McGill Dobson Cup

What is The McGill Dobson Cup?

The McGill Dobson Cup (MDC) powered by National Bank and hosted by the McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship, is McGill’s flagship annual startup competition.

  • 5-page business plan included in the application process
  • Average of 140 applications received from ALL faculties at McGill every year
  • Can attend entrepreneurship events and workshops organized by Dobson Centre in the Fall and Winter semesters
  • Semi-Finals round of pitches to judge-mentors
  • Work with Semi-Finals judge-mentors to prepare for Finals
  • Pitches to Finals judge-mentors where over $100,000 in seed funding is awarded to the most promising McGill startups across 4 Tracks: Innovation Driven Enterprise, Small & Medium Enterprise, Social Enterprise, and Health Sciences

Applications now closed

  • Deadline: 11:59PM EST Wednesday, January 17, 2018
  • Read guidelines: PDF icon 2018_mdc_guidelines.pdf
  • Note: Your team does NOT need to be a registered company to enter to compete in the McGill Dobson Cup. However, IF your team ends up making it to the Finals on March 28 AND win prize money, only then will you have to register your company. Prize money will only be paid to registered companies with bank accounts in Canadian funds with no exceptions. If your company is not registered please visit www.incorporate-in-canada.com for help.


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The Dobson Chronicles for news on the McGill Dobson Cup. 


How do I win?

Judging will focus on innovation, viability, and growth potential - as presented by the teams. 


Who can compete?

At least one founder of the 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 2013.


Key Dates

Submission Dates

  • December 4, 2017 - January 17, 2018 – Registration and five page startup plan due

Semi-Final Pitches

  • February 20, 2018 - Qualifying Health Science track teams pitch to judges
  • February 21, 2018 – Qualifying Social Enterprise track teams pitch to judges
  • February 22, 2018 – Qualifying Small & Medium Enterprise track teams pitch to judges
  • February 23, 2018 – Qualifying Innovation Driven Enterprise teams pitch to judges

Final Pitches

  • March 28, 2018 – All tracks pitch to judges
  • April 5, 2018 - MDC Awards Ceremony

Prizes to be Won

Teams who are considered as having the most innovative and viable concepts, and that show distinct growth potential, are awarded over $100,000 in prizes. The competition embodies experiential learning at its best and provides students with invaluable feedback, mentorship and networking opportunities.  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.

Grit Prize 

Established in 2014 by Samer Bekai‐Saab, BEng 1993, MBA 1996, to encourage students to pursue entrepreneurial interests. Awarded to (a) team(s) 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. Awarded by the Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship at the Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University.

Amount: $5,000 which can be given to one team or split between two or more deserving teams


Murdoch Family Initiative Award

Established by Neil Murdoch (BCom‘81) and Gisele Murdoch to help support undergraduate students in the Desautels Faculty of Management to take the initiative to gain practical experience during their studies and to encourage students to be creative and entrepreneurial. The award will be for a student, in good academic standing, who has demonstrated entrepreneurial talent and initiative and is involved in an entrepreneurial venture. Students apply through the McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship. Preference for the award will be given to students entering U2 or U3.  Students will apply for the award by submitting business plans to the McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship.  The award will be given to the student whose plan is judged worthy of support as determined by the Director of the McGill Dobson Centre for Entreprenership. The recipient of the award shall be selected by the Director of the McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship.  The recipient for the award will be selected by the Director of the McGill Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship.  It is understood that the process and method for selection is currently the McGill Dobson Cup competition, which already has a committee of independent judges.

Amount: $6,000


The McGill EngInE Prize 

Established in 2017 in the Faculty of Engineering, the McGill EngInE Prize is offered by the McGill Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship hub (the McGill EngInE) to support a venture competing in the final round in the Innovation-Driven Enterprise track of the McGill Dobson Cup competition.  To be eligible for the McGill EngInE Prize in the McGill Dobson Cup 2018, at least one team member must have an affiliation with the Faculty of Engineering (i.e. current student, professor, staff or alumni)

Amount: $5,000


The Food and Agribusiness Convergent Innovation Prize

Convergent Innovation fosters individual behavior change and societal transformation by instilling social and environmental objectives of agriculture, food product development, nutrition, and health into business models, while improving economic viability of efforts focused on social benefit. Established in 2016 under a partnership between the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (FAES) and the McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics (MCCHE), the Food and Agribusiness Convergent Innovation Prize is 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 benefit(s). In 2018, Trussbridge joins FAES and MCCHE in awarding the prize. The winning team would need to be interdisciplinary, with at least one member from the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (FAES) holding a substantial role in the team. The prize will be awarded to a team in the McGill Dobson Cup.

Amount: $5,000


Avmor Prize for Social Responsibility 

Established by Avi Morrow, founder and Chairman of Avmor, this is an annual prize for the best startup plan submitted in the McGill Dobson Cup by an undergraduate student(s) on behalf of a not-for-profit organization.  Awarded by the Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship at the Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University.

Amount: $1,900