Illuminate 2023


Illuminate 2023 programming has ended for this year, but the exciting live finals are still to come!  Register for a seat in the audience to watch the Top 5 companies pitch live! For students and community members of any gender looking to attend and support fellow Memorial student peers. 

Nov.16, 4-6 p.m., CSF-1302  + whale atrium. Refreshments provided!

Illumimate 2023: Shining a light on innovative ideas led by women and gender-diverse students.

Welcome to MCE’s new initiative where we showcase and support innovative ideas led by women and gender-diverse students at Memorial University. Illuminate is an inclusive program and event that incorporates skill development, training, networking, pitching, mentorship and funding.

Have a business idea that’s not yet started?  You can apply!
Working on a business idea, but yet to acquire customers or earn revenue?  You can apply!
Actively working on a startup, in any sector?  You can apply!

This initiative is not limited to any particular industry or stage of business. If you’re a woman or gender-diverse Memorial student (at any campus) with a business idea, we want to hear from you!

Not feeling ready? Let us help you get ready!

This fresh take on a pitch competition prioritizes training and skills development by intentionally building support into the process.

How does it work?

If you don't yet have an idea or have not started on your business idea, simply express your interest in being involved in this exciting new initiative:

  • Fill out the expression of interest form  - Click the "Sign up as a participant" button at the top of the page. [Now closed for 2023]
  • Once registered, you can attend Illuminate training sessions to understand the steps required to get your idea started, receive dedicated mentoring and advice from an MCE coach, and join the online Illuminate community. See Timelines and Training Sessions.

If you already have an idea and are ready to apply, fill out the online application. 

  • Complete the online application form [Now closed for 2023] using the skills you acquired along the way, and feel free to ask any questions to an MCE startup coach along the way to help you put your best answer forward. [Online applications due no later than 12:00p.m. NL time on October 26, 2023]
  • Attend Illuminate training sessions to learn best practices around pitching and advance your Q&A skills, along with individualized support to make sure you’re pitch-ready. See Timelines and Training Sessions.

Finally, attend the live event

  • Pitch your idea live and feel the excitement and support from a room of peers and allies on November 16! 
    *Whether your idea makes it to the live finals or not, come celebrate all you’ve learned with the new connections you’ve made, and help support other women and gender-diverse innovators! 

What’s in it for you? 
  • A chance to win one of FIVE prizes. [See awards below];
  • Skills development and training to advance your entrepreneurial thinking and leadership expertise;
  • Connection with other women and gender-diverse students and mentors to build your community;
  • The pride of knowing your participation is advancing gender diversity in entrepreneurship and in the broader business world! 
  • Overall winner [Sponsored by MCE]: $5000 + 5 hours of mentoring with Swiftsure CEO, Deanne McCarthy
  • Promising idea [Sponsored by Susan Murray Consulting]: $1000 + 5 hours of mentoring with Dr. Susan Murray
  • Leadership [Sponsored by NLOWE]: $1000 + 5 hours of mentoring with NLOWE CEO, Jennifer Bessell
  • Social impact [Sponsored by the Centre for Social Enterprise]: $1000 + 5 hours of mentoring with social entrepreneur and Dragon's Den deal winner, Constanza Safatle
  • Community choice [Sponsored by Genesis]: $500; selected through a vote by the live audience

Additional in-kind prizes

  • From ethree consulting:
    Top four prize winners will receive a complimentary leadership and HR-focused coaching session with Jess Chapman [valued at $350]
  • From the Gardiner Centre:
    Top winner receives a complimentary one or two-day professional development seminar [valued at up to $1000]
  • From the shop, SALT:
    Top winner receives apparel of their choice from the shop, SALT
    [valued at $250]
  • From Susan Murray Consulting:
    The Leadership Award winner will receive a full leadership assessment and one hour of coaching with Dr. Susan Murray 
 Proudly sponsored by: