McGill Dobson Cup: Application Tips

The McGill Dobson Cup is McGill University’s flagship startup competition. For the past 12 years, it has revealed and supported the most promising entrepreneurs from the McGill community. We provide over $200,000 in prize money but also a great learning experience by offering targeted workshops offered throughout the competition.

What’s new this year?

Each year we try to make sure that our registration process allows the most innovative ideas to emerge, and that our participating teams gets the best support we can offer.


To enhance the Startup experience in 2021, we have:

1. Defined a new track

We’ve introduced a new track which will allow Environmental Enterprises to be recognized and celebrated for the worthy issues they tackle. If your project is built upon activities and strategies that seek to address one or several major environmental issue(s), or has a strong drive to minimize the environmental impacts of its activities, then apply for the Environmental Enterprise Track! Environmental enterprises can be for-profit or non-profit. Review the four tracks’ definitions in the guidelines.

2. Integrated a new template for the startup plans

The main piece of the Dobson Cup application is the five-page startup plan. It is also the main tool that the Dobson team and the judges use to evaluate the quality, the innovative nature and the feasibility of each project. In order to help teams build a strong plan, we have created a fillable Microsoft word template that all teams must use.

It contains all the mandatory information needed for the application, along with useful guidelines to help teams ponder the important aspects of a successful startup.

3. Enhanced the learning experience

This year, Dobson cup teams will not only have access to targeted workshops with high-quality speakers – see the entire list in our Program Brochure, they will also have access to one-on-one tailored consultations through our three clinics. The clinics give the opportunity to meet with an expert and consult them on a specific issue related to their startup project.

  • The Health Sciences Strategic Clinic

The Health Sciences Strategic clinic is run by Amplitude Ventures experts and is open to all Health Sciences Enterprise track semi-finalists and finalists, by appointment. Amplitude Venture specializes in creating, building, and growing break-out healthcare companies developing regulated products. These clinics will focus on helping teams work on strategic issues such as indication prioritization, alignment on key value inflection data points, KOL / client engagement and regulatory challenges.

  • The Financial Clinic, run by Michael Amar

Michael is a McGill alumnus from the Desautels Faculty of Management with experience in Audit (KPMG), Private Equity (Novacap) and Strategy Consulting (Roland Berger). He will be operating the Financial Clinic to help teams deal with specific financial issues, by appointment.

A dedicated team of students from the Faculty of Law offer free legal advice to all startups, and appointments can be made online through their website.

4. Added a new prize: The Steven Pal Family Award

Established in 2020 by Steven Pal, BSc 1979, MBA 1981, to encourage students enrolled in the Desautels Faculty of Management’s Dobson Cup Program to be creative and entrepreneurial. The Award will be for an undergraduate or graduate student who has demonstrated entrepreneurial talent and initiative, and is involved in an entrepreneurial venture.


Ready to apply?

Dobson Cup application to do list

If you have an innovative startup idea, would like to access the great learning resources the Cup has to offer, and run for great money prizes, apply here before January 18!

If you have any questions, please write to dobsoncup.mgmt [at]

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