Skip to content. | Skip to navigation


Personal tools
You are here: McMaster Industry Liaison Office > Resources > preINC > Program Details

Program Details

A detailed description of the preINC program


McMaster Industry Liaison Office’s preINC Program is an initiative of the Vice President of Research and International Affairs designed to support startup companies from the McMaster Community in their efforts to bring a product or service to market.


To be eligible for space or services in the preINC program, candidate companies must meet the following criteria:

  • Planning to bring a product or service to market within 2-3 years
  • Have an association with McMaster University
  • Have a preliminary business plan
  • Have at least one dedicated full time employee
  • Be willing to share experiences and expertise with other preINC companies
  • Participate in activities that assist in building a culture of commercialization at McMaster
  • Have no pending legal claims against or lawsuits against the company or individual at the time of application


McMaster Industry Liaison Office (MILO) maintains a dedicated but limited amount of space to house preINC companies within its office at McMaster Innovation Park.  Full time tenants are provided with a cubicle workspace with desk and chair, internet, access to a board room and meeting rooms, photocopying and faxing services, reception and a shared kitchen with the MILO office.  Non-resident participants may book temporary desk space, meeting rooms or the conference room on an as needed basis.


MILO staff members are available to provide general support with intellectual property, business development, incorporation, contract and legal document review, applications for funding and other activities related to starting your business.   As resources are limited, the availability of MILO staff time is dependent on both the demand from other preINC companies and university-related obligations of MILO staff.  While some basic services can be provided free of charge, companies requiring extensive support on a specific project (filing a patent, drafting a business plan, filing documents of incorporation or drafting a shareholder’s agreement, etc) may negotiate a flat or hourly fee for such work with MILO staff.
In addition to services provided by MILO staff, we have connections with a broad range of service providers (lawyers, accountants, etc) who have expressed an interest in working with early stage companies from McMaster.  In general, these service providers will provide information sessions and an initial meeting free of charge and then negotiate the details of specific projects with companies on a case by case basis.


The fee structure for companies using the preINC service and space is as follows. (Note: it is expected that within two years, a company will have sufficiently established its business as a going concern and so will leave preINC and move into permanent space.) 

  • preINC Tenant
    • First year - $100 per month forgivable loan, repayable on financing or achieving sufficient revenue, forgivable if company is unsuccessful
    • Second year  - $100 per month, paid in full quarterly, minimum 6 month commitment
    • Beyond second year (or established company rate) – to be negotiated with MILO Executive Director
  • preINC Participant with access to hot desk space (up to 30 hours per month)
    • First year - $50 per month, forgivable loan, repayable on financing  or achieving sufficient revenues, forgivable if company is unsuccessful
    • Second year - $50 per month, paid in full quarterly, minimum 6 month commitment
    • For participants requiring more than 30 hours per month, arrangements may be made with MILO’s Executive Director on a case by case basis
  • preINC Participant (limited access to services, meeting rooms and mail service only)
    • $25 per month paid quarterly

Rules of Engagement

As space is limited and in high demand, expectations of participants are as follows:

  • Tenants / Participants must sign a lease document with MILO outlining terms of their stay and acceptable use of facilities.  Lease renewal is not guaranteed and is at the discretion of the MILO Executive Director.
  • Tenants / Participants must provide an (informal) quarterly report to PreInc staff about the status of their venture, what assistance they need and any highlights that can be shared within the McMaster Community via a newsletter or web release
  • Tenants / Participants must be respectful of other companies and MILO staff.
  • Tenants must be fair in assessing their needs for space within the MILO office.  Since space is limited, companies who occupy permanent desk space but use the space infrequently may be asked to switch to Participant status after a review of their needs with preINC staff and the MILO Executive Director.

Application Process

An intake from must be completed and submitted to MILO and will be reviewed by MILO staff on a monthly basis.  A preliminary meeting with a MILO staff member will be made once your intake form is received to assess your needs and how preINC can assist your venture.   Successful applicants will be selected based on:

    • the benefit the new venture will bring to the McMaster community
    • an assessment of the benefits to the company of being a tenant or participant and ability of MILO staff and service providers to provide support
    • an assessment of the benefit to other preINC companies
    • alignment with the strategic goals of the Vice President of Research and international affairs