Bergeron Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology

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⠀Transform Your Idea Into a Business









March 8-10 , 2024

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Lassonde School of Engineering Logo
Sustainable Development GOALS

An extraordinary learning opportunity

BEST Startup Experience 2024 is an application-based experiential learning opportunity that empowers students to build a business from an idea. Participation is open to all upper year Undergrad, Masters and PhD students from all disciplines who are interested in entrepreneurship, working in high tech and making an impact in the world.

The experience begins with you, the student, joining a team and taking on a problem or challenge. You will then find a solution and turn it into a prototype through an iterative design sprint framework, all with the help of mentors dedicated to helping your team build a business plan. Upon completion, your team will present the project with a pitch presentation to judges from various industries.

We encourage you to consider tackling one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SGDs), tackling these challenges is a key objective at the Lassonde School of Engineering as we work to create a better world for all.

By participating in the BEST Startup Experience, you will gain the vital skills needed to succeed in both your career and your own ventures, like launching your own startup or acting as a key leader in an organization. You will also be able to apply the tools, techniques and skills you learn in your personal life. Finally, you will learn how to work with a team to create an impressive project that you can showcase on your resume and portfolio.

Please make sure to highlight your passion and motivation in your application. After the event, you will receive support to turn your concept into a reality. In addition, the top three pitches will receive prize money.

Join us and discover entrepreneurship through this engaging event!

Application deadline is February 23, 2024 11:30PM.

Registration Process

Sign up individually on Eventbrite and pay the $10 fee.

Who can apply?

Participation is open to all post-secondary students(upper year undergrad, Masters and PhDs) who are interested in entrepreneurship, working in high tech and making an impact in the world. 

Registration Fee

The $10 fee is to ensure student commitment because there are quite a lot of teamwork activities during the event that requires your full commitment so you can create a great project in collaboration with your team.

Refund Policy

The $10 fee will be refunded back to the original method of payment upon completion of the BEST Start Up Experience and Reflection Survey Submission.

A few takeaways from 2022 participants

Ayush Sharma

(Computer Science)

“My Biggest takeaway was the efficiency with which out group showed, whether it be researching for up and coming technologies and incorporating them in our product, or thinking about how to effectively market the product. This experience gave a greater appreciation of working with teams and like minded people.”

Adam Hallag

(Electrical Engineering)

“The biggest takeaway from this experience was working in teams. When working in teams, I learned to communicate more effectively with fellow peers. This is significant as in the real workplace, being able to offer ideas and explain them clearly to others, will come a long way. Also, building trust among others is very important, and also comes a long way.”

Fadi Naem

(Software Engineering)

“My biggest takeaway from this experience was that as the future generation, it is in our power to build or grow something to help the world especially during these times.”

Adhithya Kurup

(Environmental Biology)

“My biggest takeaway was the belief that persistence and hard work bring success. I learned more about myself which includes my collaborative skills, communication skills etc. This startup experience gave me an insight on how unique we can think and work.”

Elmira Onagh

(Computer Science)

“I learned how effective teamwork can be and how having a diverse team can help with coming up with out-of-the-box ideas. I learned more about my strength areas and with help of the mentor I learned about techniques that I can use in real life.”

Sutharsini Ravichandra

(Computer Science)

“I’ve learned that half the battle of do something worthwhile is putting yourself out there.”

Ahmed El-Dib

(Software Engineering)

“I gained a huge confidence boost from the experience. Working with strangers that I had never met before and being able to come up with a pitch that we were happy with under such a tight time constraint was very eye opening. It helped me feel comfortable under pressure and improved my communication. Very glad I participated.”

Ahmad Chamseddin

(Computer Engineering)

“Going through this activity I didn’t think the miro board was a good start. However, towards the end of our project when we were creating our pitch. We often looked back at the miro board. It was a very useful tool that helped us organize our ideas, problems and solutions. It’s better not to rush to the conclusion but rather question the problems.”

Maney Zaveri

(Financial And Business Economics)

“My biggest takeaway was to learn about how to develop a start up. I learnt how to start from the basic step like identifying the problem and have 10 stages further on. The steps really simplified he process.”

What’s the Design Sprint?

What’s in it for you?

Discover your passion

Identify problems and develop solutions

Understand desirability, feasibility and viability concepts

Learn the tools and techniques to broaden your perspective

Foster teamwork, leadership, communication and project management skills

Develop an interesting project for your resume and portfolio

Build your network with students, mentors and advisors

Group of students sitting at a table

Program Schedule

Fri, Mar 8

5:30 pm – 10:30 pm

check icon Introduction

check icon Opportunity discovery

check icon User need

check icon Root cause analysis

check icon Formulate a “How Might We” statement

Sat morning, Mar 9

9:00 am – 12:00 pm

check icon Solution ideation

check icon Solution selection

check icon Pitch & get feedback from mentor/partner team

check icon Solution Validation/Prototyping

Sat evening, Mar 9

1:00 pm – 10:00 pm

check icon Refine solution

check icon Identify first customers

check icon Barriers to adoption

check icon Desirability, feasibility, and viability

check icon Business case/Pitching

Sun, Mar 10

9:00 am – 4:00 pm

check icon Preliminary pitches and feedback

check icon Final judging

check icon Closing ceremony and prize announcement

Become a Mentor

Mentorship is a key part of this experiential learning event, providing immense value to students as they gain invaluable advice from someone experienced and build their professional networks.

Mentors highlight the design sprint process, facilitate teamwork and guide students through the event.

By becoming a mentor, you will gain valuable experience and build meaningful relationships with other aspiring student entrepreneurs.

Become a Volunteer

Volunteering is a unique opportunity to get involved on campus and give back to your community.

By becoming a volunteer you will get to meet with students from different backgrounds and broaden your network.

Frequently Asked Questions

BEST Startup Experience - Professor Maxwell, Maedeh handshake with students
Best startup Experience - Professor Maxwell mentoring a student
The event is designed for upper year undergraduate, Masters and PhD students from all disciplines. The BEST Startup Experience is a great experiential learning opportunity that provides a safe space for you to tackle challenges, meet new people, learn new processes and explore your passions and strengths.
You and your team will be required to come up with your own challenge to solve, based on your passions, no challenges given out.
Students are expected to sign up as a team, however if you still need more team members you can let the organizers know on the application form that will be shared after registration.

As you fill out the application, we will ask you to provide some information about yourself, your skills, your passions and a potential challenge that you would like to address. Prior to the event, students will receive their admission to the experience and the next steps they need to complete.
Projects are judged based on the following criteria:
● Innovativeness,
● Desirability,
● Feasibility,
● Viability,
● Presentation quality
The first place: $1500; second place: $1000 and third place: $600.
In addition, the winning teams will be invited to join the BEST Lab and access various resources such as mentorship, coaching and connections to continue building their projects.
For information and challenges in last year’s event:


Yes, the event will be held fully in person at Bergeron Building. Participants are expected to attend all activities in person as outlined in the program schedule on our webpage.
The $10 fee will be refunded back to the original method of payment upon completion of the BEST Start Up Experience and Reflection Survey Submission. The fee is to ensure student commitment because there are quite a lot of teamwork activities during the event that requires your full commitment so you can create a great project in collaboration with your team.

Our Sponsors

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Summer Fresh logo

This Year’s Partners

York University Logo
lassonde logo
Schulich School of Business logo
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Have questions? We’ve got answers!