Underrepresented communities continue to face barriers in accessing lucrative entrepreneurship opportunities created by Canada's burgeoning technology-driven innovation sector. Black entrepreneurs in particular encounter steep challenges when starting and growing a business - from accessing seed capital to having fewer publicly recognized role models.
This is why Ryerson DMZ has joined forces with a community of Founding Partners to develop the Black Innovation Programs (BIP). The first-in-Canada programs will provide startups led by Black entrepreneurs with the strengthening support of a top university-based incubator network, as well as additional programming, mentorship, events, and connections to industry, capital and an alumni network, to support their success and growth.
Launchpad is a free skills development platform and year-round program geared at building the next generation of successful tech entrepreneurs.
Open to learners of all ages anywhere in the world, Launchpad helps participants develop the personal and professional skills needed to kickstart their entrepreneurial journey.
Our six-week Bootcamp helps early-stage founders validate a business idea/market opportunity, and build a roadmap for implementation.
The Bootcamp gives founders exposure to elements of core DMZ programming and helps speed up startup development to qualify for our Black Innovation Fellowship.
Our Incubator helps startups with a minimum viable product achieve product-market fit, build a powerful team and develop a winning sales strategy over 8 to 12 months. This program is ideal for Bootcamp graduates.
Our Accelerator helps high-potential startups fine-tune business processes, attract top investors and skyrocket revenue generation in a four-month intensive program.
The Black Innovation Programs would not be possible without our partners' commitments.
Thank you to these organizations and individuals for their unwavering support to strengthen
Inaugural Founding Partner
Dream Maker Ventures (DMV) is the investment arm of Dream Maker Corp. (DMC), a Toronto-based vertically integrated asset management ﬁrm founded in 2003. With divisions in real estate, development, property management, and insurance, DMC has a total of half a billion AUM. The DMV Diversity Fund is an early-stage fund that primarily invests in under-represented, diverse founders such as racial minorities, women, persons with disabilities and Indigenous entrepreneurs across North America.
Ralph E. Lean is a highly regarded business lawyer and a trusted advisor to clients that range from start-ups to global corporations. Since September 2011, Lean has been a distinguished counsel in residence at the Ted Rogers School of Management. In addition to his illustrious legal career at Heenan Blaikie and Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, he is currently counsel in the Toronto office of Gowlings. Lean also serves on the boards of many Canadian public and private companies, as well as several charities, foundations and civic groups, including the Canadian Advisory Board and Right to Play.