6 weeks, 15 companies, 35 workshops, 3 prizes of $5,000!
The Basecamp program allows DMZ to get back to its roots – helping student entrepreneurs build viable, sustainable businesses. The six week annual summer program provides customized, intensive coaching and mentoring from DMZ EiRs (Entrepreneurs-in-Residence), workshops headed by the likes of Google and culminates in a pitch competition. Its university cohort just wrapped and all three of the winners are Ryerson University students!
By the end of the program, winners don’t just receive a $5,000 prize, they also have a validated business model tailored for long-term success and receive the opportunity to become a ‘DMZ Fellow’. The fellow network provides up-and-coming entrepreneurs the opportunity to immerse themselves in the startup ecosystem with access to Ryerson’s Zone network, ongoing coaching from DMZ EiRs and other resources that prepare them for DMZ’s official incubator, validator or accelerator program.
“Canadian post-secondary students are the future pace-setters and will determine the success of our country,” says Natasha Campagna, director, DMZ Sandbox. “The Basecamp program allows skilled, talented, creative students to get the experience they need to manage a business, get introduced to STEM and become the innovative leaders of tomorrow.”
So, who won $5,000?
Omar Said, Founder of Smart Eyes
Omar is an Electrical engineering student at Ryerson University and a promising tech founder. Smart Eyes is a mobile application that uses real-time video processing tool to show visually impaired users the objects obstructing their path. “My participation with the program was instrumental in driving my business forward.The mentors I connected with included founders who raised millions of dollars in funding like Henry Shi, founder of DMZ alum company SnapTravel, who was recently funded by Steph Curry!”
Kartik Balasundaram, Founder of Scuto
Kartik is a Business Technology Management student at Ryerson University and founder of Scuto. Scuto’s platform enables photographers to accept payments, generate new clients and receive dispute management services. “With the help I received, I was able to learn about the fundamentals of finance for early-stage startups, refine my business and effectively tell our story to people who aren’t our customers.”
Annie Chen, Founder of Menuless
Annie is an Interior Design at Ryerson University and founder of Menuless, an ordering application that saves customers time by allowing them to make their bill payments directly from their phones. Through her participation in Basecamp, Annie brought forward her passion to make a global impact through design thinking and technology. Her biggest takeaway from Basecamp was learning how to get out of her comfort zone. “I learned that coming up with an idea is easy, but running with it and trying to make it a reality is hard. I learned to always put yourself in uncomfortable situations, because that is how you learn and improve the fastest. The hustle never stops and neither should you.”
Look out for updates from the upcoming Basecamp high school cohort, set to take place July 22 – August 21 – truly the next generation of tech entrepreneurs!
Have an innovative business idea but don’t know where to start? We’ve got a program for you. Visit dmz.to/sandbox to learn about our programs, or follow us on Instagram at @DMZSandbox.
Reach out directly to our Sandbox programs lead Haseeb Khawaja at firstname.lastname@example.org.