> THE DMZ
A World-Leading Tech Incubator
A World-Leading Tech Incubator
Guided by a vision of a world powered by ambitious entrepreneurs, the DMZ is a world-leading incubator on a mission to change the lives of founders both in Canada and around the globe.
By equipping the next generation of leading tech entrepreneurs with the tools needed to build, launch, and scale highly impactful startups, the DMZ is committed to playing an instrumental role in its founders’ success, regardless of where they are on their entrepreneurial journey.
Since its inception in 2010, the DMZ has evolved from a small student coworking space to a world leading incubator, supporting some of the most daring entrepreneurs. The DMZ has made transformative shifts over the years to better serve the Canadian startup ecosystem. As the ecosystem has matured, the needs of startups and entrepreneurs have changed drastically – it’s a priority for the DMZ to fill in gaps and double down on areas where the ecosystem is lacking.
While the DMZ has significantly evolved, its values have always remained the same, differentiating the organization from other players in the space.
Equity over everything – Founders first – Be great
The DMZ originally hailed from Toronto Metropolitan University’s Zone Learning (Formerly Ryerson University), a network of 10 incubator spaces that each focus on a specific industry. Each zone provides real-world opportunities for entrepreneurs to shape initiatives from the ground up.
Zone Learning is also featured in this publication on page 42. Formerly known as the Digital Media Zone, 2015 marked a major turning point when the incubator announced an official rebrand to ‘The DMZ’. As the DMZ evolved from its inception in 2010, the majority of startups were no longer considered digital media companies, which thus sparked the rebrand to signal our sector agnosticism.
Lending a hand to those who need it most: the DMZ’s diversity streams
The underrepresentation of Black and women founders has been a longstanding issue in the startup ecosystem. These groups encounter steep challenges when starting and growing a business, experiencing barriers when it comes to accessing support programs, venture capital and potential customers.
The DMZ prides itself on its programming devoted to Black and women founders. Offering streams that devote additional benefits, specialized mentorship, and peer-to peer support to underrepresented founders, the DMZ strives to make an impact, see growth in the number of companies led by underrepresented entrepreneurs, and create a more inclusive innovation ecosystem.
Women Founders Programs
Women-identifying founders that come to the DMZ receive additional opportunities and specialized support to accelerate their growth – on top of the standard programming that all founders get.
Helping startups raise, hire and scale.
The DMZ’s flagship Incubator program
The DMZ’s Incubator program supports startups at the seed and pre-seed stages of growth. The incubator is a highly-customized program that helps venture-backable tech startups grow their business over the course of 18 months. The DMZ’s Incubator offers founders:
• Up to $25K in cash funding upon program entry to support growth
• 60+ hours of one-on-one time with Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, in-house subject matter experts and additional time with DMZ staff
• Curated workshops and peer-to-peer sessions to share lessons learned, and best practices on a wide range of topics
• Support with fundraising strategies, pitch coaching, and introductions to investors in the DMZ’s VC and angel investor networks within Canada and beyond
• A fully furnished workspace for founders and their teams with 24/7 access in the heart of downtown Toronto that offers meeting and event space, reception and concierge services, daily coffee and snacks, community socials, a meditation room, game room, bike storage, showers, and more.
• Member benefits such as perks, discounts, access to free resources and office hours with vetted affiliate partners. Member Benefits are valued at over $1M in business savings.
Toronto roots with a global presence
Not only has the DMZ transformed into an international powerhouse with on-the-ground operations across the globe , the incubator also empowers startups to embrace an appetite for intelligent risk and international expansion via access to a global network of incubators, partners, customers and investors.
Entrepreneurs from around the world can access DMZ programming, but with the networks that have a deep understanding of their local ecosystems, supporting the DMZ’s commitment to be the global blueprint for entrepreneurship support.
DMZ-powered incubators can be found in:
• South Korea
• Trinidad and Tobago
To learn more about the DMZ head over to dmz.to, or reach out to us at [email protected]
Our impact: DMZ by the numbers
66 startups currently at the DMZ
7.4% acceptance rate
$1.65B in funding to date
704 businesses incubated and accelerated
4,615 jobs created