Finances are no longer keeping students from turning their entrepreneurial dreams into a reality. The DMZ’s Student Grant Program provides the funding, network and tailored skill coaching needed to become industry-leading innovators and change-agents.
Our selected finalists (listed below) have a cutting edge solution to some of the world’s biggest problems and are hard at work to take their business plans and pitches to the next level. They will present their ideas to a panel of judges who will determine who walks away with the cash!
Want to support these student entrepreneurs while they take the big stage? RSVP here.
Build connections with DMZ’s thriving community of world-leading entrepreneurs, business leaders, tech experts and startup founders.
Show support for the finalist!
Stage One: Eligible Finalists for $5,000 Student Grant.
CompTech: Redefining compression therapy through our new compression tech that greatly increases the patient’s quality of life.
Myotics: Merging prosthetics with computer vision and Artificial Intelligence to bring forth adaptable and intuitive control to forearm amputees and consequently overcome the financial limitations with modern advanced prostheses.
SANA: We leverage existing mobile technology to connect extremely rural regions to medical personnel.
Sensofine: Glucose monitoring packages, including patches and the app: An innovative non-invasive real-time solution for you to become the master of your blood sugar level.
SmartEyes: A mobile application that combines object detection and audio cues to aid the blind.
Takionics: Helping restaurants reduce food waste and operational costs by forecasting the amount of menu item sales.
Stage Two: Eligible Finalists for $10,000 Grant.
May Contain:Connects people with food allergies to allergy-friendly restaurants, locally and abroad.
Quad Clover:Performance monitoring leg wear that eliminates injuries arising from imbalanced physical movements or bad tendencies and, post-injury, guides and validates a successful recovery all through a real-time feedback warning system.
Scuto:A growth and management platform for photographers. We also provide unique search tools for clients to find the perfect photographer for their wedding.
Teem:One-stop shop SaaS platform for teamwork, where you can find your teammates, collaborate and review each other’s performance.
Stage Three: Eible Finalists for $15,000 Grant.
Bootcamps for Change:Removing all barriers to fitness programming and industry education for youth.
Ftr.:Industry leading recording artists, music producers, and mixing/mastering engineers available for hire at the click of a button. Collaborate effectively with ft
Vimto:We provide education and automation of sales development to help SMEs scale internationally.
Black entrepreneurs and creatives have long been a driving force of innovation in the Canadian tech ecosystem. Yet, Black people face some of the most systemic and complex barriers when seeking tech opportunities. Calls to action around diversity in tech are everywhere, but that has not necessarily changed this story for Black entrepreneurs.
Left behind by most diversity initiatives that focus on people of colour without acknowledging the specific and varied experiences of Black populations
Black Innovation Fellowship (BIF) Founding Partner Isaac Olowolafe (Founder, Dream Maker Ventures & DMZ Advisory Council Member) understood this only too well and decided to do something about it. Other organizations that shared the same vision as Isaac decided to be a partner include Shopify, BMO, and Canadian Women’s Foundation.
“At the DMZ I learnt how to effectively express my ideas in a world that was dominated by people who did not talk or look like me. This is a bridge to being legitimized, to be able to figure out what your style is, on your own terms.” – Manu Kabahizi DMZ Alumni Founder & CFO of Ulula
The DMZ values equity over everything and puts founders first. Our BIF program takes a personalized programming approach, that is tailored for each founder so they can learn, develop and scale their business while staying true to themselves.
The stories of black entrepreneurs in tech are diverse and full of innovative excellence. This should be celebrated.
So, we have decided to feature a few Black entrepreneurs in our network that are making big moves: their achievements, their experiences, and what Black entrepreneurship and Black history month means to them.
Alexandra McCalla, DMZ BIF Founder and COO, AirMatrix.
“I really appreciate that BIF is not separate but is seamlessly integrated into the DMZ.We do not need separate programs, we just need space held for us… There is so much history here (black people in tech) and there may only be two black people in your office but it’s really important for you to take the time to think about how their experiences are different than yours.”
– Alexandra McCalla
“As an entrepreneur, I know how important it is to put people first. My staff, my customers, partners. People matter and that’s something I really saw at the DMZ.” – Manu Kabahizi. Manu is the new Head of the Accelerator Program at the Canadian Digital Service. Congratulations, Manu!
“What attracted me most to the BIF program was how candid they were about the experiences of black founders, especially black women founders. There was a realness and transparency. No gloss, you don’t usually see that.” – Farah Brunache.
Empowers digitally underserved communities by running hyper-localized and accessible Infrastructure as Service (laaS) platforms.
Addresses the growing digital divide, which Farah witnessed in her home country of Haiti (where she is currently travelling to grow her consumer base).
Renee Raymond, DMZ BIF Founder and CEO,Daya Lens.
“There are barriers for black entrepreneurs and they need to be acknowledged. BIF does that. The DMZ community here has taught me how to see potential mistakes as a part of knowledge production. There is so much knowledge here.” – Renee Raymond
Provides VR Stimulation that gradually exposes those with PTSD to triggering environments so they can get back to their day-to-day lives
Grew from Renee’s work as a registered psychotherapist, where she saw the detrimental gaps in PTSD patient focused technology firsthand.
Website in development, reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Leon Nsengiyumva, DMZ BIF Founder and CEO, Odessu.
“Representation matters, it’s cliche but it’s true. It is hard to not be around anyone that looks like you. We have a little community at the DMZ, it’s awesome… (Black history month) is an important time to reflect and programs like this are a step in the right direction.” -Leon Nsengiyumva
“(At DMZYYZ) you tap right into the middle of a network, not just 2 or 3 LinkedIn meetings, but you dive into a community and you are surrounded by customers and mentors.”
– Kata Ludvig, 2019 DMZYYZ Participant from Hungary CMO of BankZee
DMZYYZ is a two-week intensive soft-landing program in Toronto, Canada. The program fuels integration between international growth-stage startups and the North American market.
The North American innovation ecosystem is made of global Industry-leaders, and we’re just getting started. DMZYYZ is your personalized ticket in.
Toronto has reached a whole new level, on and off the court.
This is not one size fits all, but a tailored two-week program based on your business.
Need to improve your growth strategy but completed your product testing?
Need investor support but not marketing?
Wherever you are on your journey, DMZYYZ will meet you right there.
1-1 COACH- personalized coaching from our Entrepreneurs in Residence (EiRs).
TAILORED LEARNING- sessions with cutting-edge industry champions.
INTRODUCTIONS- pitch coaching and scheduled meetings with investors who make sense for your business.
TICKETS TO A WORLD LEADING TECH CONFERENCE- connect with DMZ’s community and alumni of serial entrepreneurs from Canada and America.
CONTINUED COACHING, NETWORKING AND SUPPORT- from DMZ’s team, community and EiRs while you are here and once you have gone home.
Meet one of DMZ YYZ’s Entrepreneurs in Residence (EiRs) Phillip Gales:
“Harvard Business and Cambridge Engineering graduate, he’s raised $12 million from international VCs. He will teach you how he built an oil and gas data analytics company funded by Y-Combinator (W14). He currently runs inate.ai, a company that optimizes startups and automates VC due diligence utilizing AI.”
Meet the rest of DMZYYZ’s EiRs (bios found in coaching subsection of page).
“We really benefited from the space. It was great going to meet with investors and seeing people interested in not just money making but also what we are trying to achieve.”
– Mohammad Saif Ahmad, 2019 DMZYYZ Participant from Jamaica, Founder of SmartTerm
RioAnalytics Founder, Victor Chaves from Brazil, saw an opportunity in Toronto and was able to take it because of DMZYYZ. RioAnalytics secured a lead investor for Series A round during DMZYYZ and generated 150+ customer leads. After DMZYYZ, RioAnalytics is now operating out of Toronto with staff and Victor is relocating to Toronto through DMZ’s Startup Visa Program.
“The calibre of the network within the DMZ community is huge. The amount of knowledge transfer that happens within the conversations you have is second to none.”
After the program, DMZYYZ alumni have access to EiR online coaching, DMZ online content, investor introductions and community. Also, access to DMZ Toronto and DMZ New York offices for subsequent visits.
Applications are now open, it is time to start your global impact. APPLY NOW