Entrepreneurship | iGEM Concordia-Montreal


From iGEM to Entrepreneurship

In May, we attended a workshop organized by iGEM Stockholm. The workshop was led by Associate Professor Fredrik Blix. The goal of the workshop was to guide other iGEM teams who were interested in undertaking entrepreneurship tasks for this year's global competition. The facilitator covered the main instruments of business planning necessary for the commercialization of an iGEM Project.

From iGEM to Entrepreneurship

Figure 1: From iGEM to Entrepreneurship

Learning Outcome

From iGEM to Entrepreneurship was a fantastic first learning experience for our team. We learned the importance of clearly understanding the legal frameworks surroundings patent protection in one's country. This learning outcome encouraged us to start our research on this specific topic earlier. Since we are located in Canada, we first took a look at existing projects created by other Canadians teams. We relied on iGEM's Phoenix Project, a tool designed to help iGEMers teams discover what other teams have created in the past (After iGEM, n.d.). Through this tool, we found that uOttawa 2015 had created a Canadian iGEM specific guideline to help iGEM members get a quick understanding of what materials qualify for patenting and how modifications are patented under the Canadian law (Kidisyuk, 2015). Lastly, the workshop helped us understand how to incorporate sustainability into our project.

Quebec Scientific Entrepreneurship Program

Astroyeast team members participated in the Quebec Scientific Entrepreneurship (QcSE) program, a 14-week program for researchers who seek to explore the path required to go from research to market (Quebec Scientific Entrepreneurship, n.d.). Thanks to this program, our team gained an ample understanding of the entrepreneurial journey and how to transform our Astroyeast into a marketable solution.

Our Journey Through the QcSE Program

Figure 2: Our Journey Through the QcSE Program

The program was divided into three phases. During Phase #1, we discovered the leading methodologies available to aspiring entrepreneurs in order to disrupt markets. Next, during Phase #2, we explored potential markets for our technology. Lastly, for Phase #3, we spent the last three weeks learning how to navigate the Montreal local start-up ecosystem. Over the course of the program, we had access to curated readings and interactive webinars. We also participated in networking events and met renowned experts and District 3 startups. Participating in the QcSE program required a minimum 3 hours per week time commitment.

Next Steps

Our plan for the future is to participate in pitching competitions and incubators programs that will allow us to develop a proper business plan from beginning to end. We are also very interested in applying for funding opportunities that promote the integration of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals into all sorts of entrepreneurial activities.


After iGEM. (n.d., n.d. n.d.). After iGEM. Phoenix Project. Retrieved May 20, 2021, from

Kidisyuk, M. (2015). Fair Use of Genetic Material: An iGEM-Specific Guide. iGEM uOttawa.

Quebec Scientific Entrepreneurship. (n.d., n.d. n.d.). QcSE. QcSE. Retrieved May 18, 2021, from