USask SIGMA is the only program of its kind in Canada, creating entrepreneurs ready for the real world.

About

SIGMA will help you learn the craft of entrepreneurship and technological innovation. It is led by Tate N. Cao, Assistant Professor, La Borde Chair in Engineering Entrepreneurship, College of Engineering, University of Saskatchewan.

When you bring your proof-of-concept or ready-to-market technology to SIGMA, we will help you investigate its viability by identifying an initial market, defining and building the right product and securing customers or partners.

USask SIGMA leverages a unique systematic approach to build the human capacity in you - the company founders – while supporting you and removing financial barriers.

To learn more about USask SIGMA, attend one of our Information Sessions

USask SIGMA Information Session: March 15, 2022 at 5pm

Recording of 1st Information Session & Workshop on Customer Interview: 
https://usask.cloud.panopto.eu/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=484c86da-3b23-4515-ab61-ae5a012a4f04

USask SIGMA Information & Customer Discovery Workshop: March 22, 2022 at 5pm

Recording of 2nd Information Session & Workshop on MVP: 
https://usask.cloud.panopto.eu/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=3605bd8d-e2d0-4bbc-bd5e-ae630141b9f5

USask SIGMA PitchNMatch: April 12, 2022 at 5pm

USask SIGMA Application Deadline: April 17, 2022 at 11:59pm

Teams notified: First week of May

Program begins: Monday, May 16

Demonstration Day for companies: Friday, September 9

 

All activities are scheduled in the CST-6 time zone.

Participants are expected to attend all meetings and activities.


What SIGMA offers

Peer learning and community building

This is the core of the program. Teams provide a progress report each week. Then you and your teammates will field questions and ask for help from the group, if needed. Teams often work together to help each other out.

Teams form a strong community of peer entrepreneurs who support each other during the program and beyond.

Mentorship and coaching

SIGMA will support your team with one-on-one coaching sessions and meetings with external mentors carefully matched to the needs of the student ventures.

Simulated board meetings

Once a month, your team will present your progress to an external board and get feedback in a mock board meeting session. Board members are leaders from industry.

Guest talks, seminar series and network building

Through SIGMA’s seminar series and guest speakers we will help your team expand your knowledge of entrepreneurship, technology, leadership and the nuts and bolts of the entrepreneurial journey. You’ll benefit from introductions to relevant industry experts, investors, and other entrepreneurs in the ecosystem.

Money

If you are a current USask student, you will receive a stipend of $2,000 per month during the program. As you and your teammates progress through the program and meet specific milestones, you may receive additional support of up to $10,000 for your venture, allocated at the discretion of the program staff and a panel of experts.

Preparing to launch

Selected teams will work to further their venture by identifying their beachhead market, refining the product, and securing initial customers or partners so that they are ready to launch. 


Who should apply?

SIGMA is for current USask students. This means any undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in a degree or certificate program. If you graduated in June 2021 you are considered a current student.

Your team must have at least two members and no more than five. All should be founders or founder-level (owning 20 percent or more of the company).

Your team must be an early-stage venture that is solving a real-world problem using innovative solutions at the ISC Technology Readiness Level Scale of 7 or higher.

Please note SIMGA is a capstone program designed for teams who have been working on their idea-stage venture for two to six months before applying and who have shown passion and commitment for moving their ideas forward.

If you are just starting to explore entrepreneurship, take a look at our academic courses:

GE490 (Innovation Speaker Series)

GE431 (Innovation Product and Venture Creation)

GE495 (Innovation Design Capstone)

You can also check out our Technological Innovation Certificate. There are also workshops on entrepreneurship offered throughout the academic year.


Apply

Complete your online SIGMA application before April 17 11:59 pm.

This PDF of the SIGMA application includes helpful tips. 

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of faculty and industry professionals, as well as angel investors.


Success stories

RUNNR

RUNNR is an innovative delivery scheduling platform for companies in the service industrial markets (agriculture, transportation, parts, construction) who use couriers and hotshot services daily. 

Team: Louis Kolla, Nicholas Kolla, Liam Bigelow

Teachingate

Teachingate is an online educational platform that assists students around the world with their educational needs in engineering (mechanical, electrical, computer, chemical, civil), science, math, chemistry and physics. 

Team: Daniel Etesami, Mohsen Hadian, Rosa Moazed, Azita Khorsandi

ECOWATER

ECOWATER addresses optimization of wastewater treatment plants with its innovative Eco-Model and EcoFilter to remove pollutants, including pharmaceuticals, from wastewater before it’s released back into the environment.

Team: Khaled Zoroufchi Benis, Shahab Minaei, Mohsen Asadi

Valu Pal

ValuPal is a web application for people who are new to derivatives trading, helping them analyze different trading opportunities and formulate and analyze effective trading strategies. 

Team: Matt Neufeldt, Dan Richmond-Martina, Adam Bouthillette

Autumn

Autumn provides productivity software for high-mix low-volume businesses such as machine shops and other custom manufacturers who need help with managing and tracking progress of work in their shops. 

Team: Jordan Sinclair, Nelson Wani and Daylon Ball 


Partners

Volunteers and mentors

Prachi Bandivadekar, Administrative Coordinator, USask Engineering

Vernon Bachiu, Lecturer, USask Edwards School of Business

Annette Bester, Partner, National Leader Credit Unions, MNP

Chris Bowman, Technology Transfer Manager, USask Research Excellence and Innovation

Deven Dave, Executive Director, M Young Centre of Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital

Alisha Esmail, Founder & CEO, Road Coffee

Amanda Evitts, Lecturer, USask Edwards School of Business

Joel Frey, Assistant Professor, USask Engineering

Aaron Genest, Applications Engineer Manager, Siemens Software

Joseph A. Gill, Startup Lawyer, Partner, McKercher LLP

Rylan Grant, CEO, Delta Point Wireless

Derek Hoffman, Lawyer, Strategic Advisor, Founder, Hoffman Group

Tom Kishchuk, Managing Director, TPK Management Consulting Inc.

Helen Power, Assistant Librarian, USask Engineering

Dallas Price, Programs & Marketing Lead, Co.Labs / Co-Founder, Leo Prestte agency

Leejay Schmidt, iOS Developer, Facebook

Mike Stefaniuk, Director, Business Development (IoT and Digital Transformation), SaskTel

Jeff Thackeray, Director, Market Intelligence, Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership

John Visser, Senior Consultant, SR & ED tax credit, MNP

Jeanie Willis, Seaman Chair in Professional Communications & Assistant Professor, College of Engineering, University of Saskatchewan

David Yee, SIGMA Executive in Residence

Stephanie Yong, Lecturer, USask Edwards School of Business

Awards

Tate Cao accepting the "Outstanding Initiative Award" at the 2021 STIC awards

SIGMA won the Outstanding Initiative Award at the 2021 Science, Technology, Innovation and Collaboration (STIC) Awards in December 2021. The STIC awards, hosted by the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority (SREDA), celebrate the people, projects and products leading science and tech in the city. 

"We believe that in the community we can support the development of knowledge, passion and skills as our students take action to be the engineers the world needs," said SIGMA founder Tate Cao as he accepted the award.