JULY 6 - AUGUST 27 2020


A summer program helping youth develop, market and accelerate innovative solutions open to students from across the U.S. and Canada.


DMZ Basecamp is an intensive student incubation program that helps young entrepreneurs create tech solutions to growing social or economic gaps in society over the course of eight weeks in the summer.

In this award-winning summer program, students tap into their potential and learn how to develop and market business ideas with the help of other young innovators, industry mentors and successful entrepreneurs. This is an opportunity for students to start real companies and gain experiential learning opportunities to apply what they’ve learnt and solve the world’s biggest problems.

2020 Dates

Monday, July 6th - Thursday, August 27th daily from 10:00 am EST to 3:00 pm EST

Program overview

During the program, aspiring entrepreneurs bring their innovative ideas to life by learning about business fundamentals in areas including design thinking and sales while in parallel gaining insight into the next wave of technology from artificial intelligence to big data analytics. Throughout the eight weeks students are taught key skills including public speaking, leadership and concept testing which ultimately helps them develop into leading founders. During the program, students are paired with a mentor and by program end get the opportunity to pitch their solutions for a pool of $15,000 in grant funding to scale their companies to the next milestone.

Basecamp by the numbers


startups created


in funding raised to date


student applications received


students accepted


features in major media outlets

Week by Week

Why get involved

Kickstart a business

With over 30 workshops, access to a diverse network of 30 mentors, 1:1 coaching and a chance to pitch for a pool of $15,000, participants have the opportunity to turn their ideas into a reality.

Customized coaching

Participants can leverage our wide network to access personal mentors and pitch coaches to perfect their presentation skills.

Startup ecosystem

Students gain an understanding of the ins and outs of how successful organizations operate and the requirements needed to scale a business idea.

Disruptive technology

In close quarters with startup founders and industry professionals, students will learn the fundamentals of coding and disruptive technology such as artificial intelligence.

Who can apply?

Program applicants can either be current high school or post-secondary students and do not need any prior experience in entrepreneurship, but rather show initiative, dedication, and passion towards solving some of the world’s biggest problems. They must also:

  • Be a current student (high school, university or college), returning to school in the upcoming Fall semester or must be a recent graduate within the last 8 months.
  • Commit 15 - 25 hours per week and attend all program workshops.

Program Fees

Due to COVID-19, the original fee of $2,000 and all other fees associated with the DMZ Basecamp program will be waived for Canadian students.

Business as usual.. to business as virtual!

We’re going virtual! Due COVID-19, Basecamp will be hosted virtually for the first time. All workshops, activities and mentor meetings will be held over video conference.

Application Deadlines

1. Early Admissions

Candidates compete against a smaller pool and have the opportunity to receive a faster decision

  • Application Deadline
    May 3
  • Application Results
    May 6
  • Interview Date
    May 11-13
  • Final Decision
    May 15
  • Program Start
    July 6

2. Regular Admission

Candidates receive more time to apply but compete against a larger pool of applicants

  • Application Deadline
    May 17
  • Application Results
    May 22
  • Interview Date
    May 25-29
  • Final Decision
    June 1
  • Program Start
    July 6

3. Late Admission

Candidates are considered on a case by case basis depending on remaining capacity

  • Application Deadline
    June 21
  • Application Results
    June 24
  • Interview Date
    June 22, 23
  • Final Decision
    June 24
  • Program Start
    July 6

Innisfil Cohort

Basecamp Innisfil will run in parallel with the virtual general program, tieing into all workshops and founder talks. The Innisfil cohort will have Innisfil specific mentors throughout the program.

Basecamp Innisfil applicants are open on a rolling basis until Sunday, June 21st. Applications will be reviewed and interviews scheduled with select students throughout the month of June.

Please refer to the Basecamp 2020 Application Form below to apply to the Innisfil cohort and select Innisfil when asked which program you’re interested in.

* Applicants must be a resident of Innisfil or the surrounding regions.

Basecamp 2020 applications are closed.

Be the first to hear when Basecamp applications open. Sign up to our waiting list.


Our partners

We want to thank our partner who have supported us in making Basecamp a success.

Award Sponsor

What our alumni have to say

CEO of SmartCane, Riya Karumanchi is a 15 year-old entrepreneur who is extremely passionate about harnessing technology to better people's’ lives. She is an avid machine learning developer, a DMZ Fellow and an Innovator at The Knowledge Society, and is recognized as one of the Top 20 Teen Entrepreneurs Worldwide.

SmartCane is an enhanced version of the common white cane typically used by visually impaired people, that was never updated to take advantage of new technologies. The device leverages technology to increase independence and safety through GPS integration, object detection, location sharing, an emergency button and light and wetness sensors. Riya has gained over $70,000 in funding and assistance from some of the world’s top companies such as Microsoft and Google.
EmPowerEQ is a social enterprise developing solutions to improve energy access in developing rural areas. The company was founded by Hussein when he was in high school and has since worked with many organizations to grow the business, including World Vision.

EmPowerEQ tackles the state of energy poverty in rural Malawi, Africa through the integration of a patented electric generator into everyday activities, such as water collection. They empower communities with clean energy and increased economic prosperity with the goal to change the lives of over 15 million Malawians. Their product harnesses energy from rotating motions such as water collection devices, bicycles and wheelbarrows and stores the energy in a capacitor that can power household electronics such as radios, fashlights and cell phones.
Glycosa is a biotechnology company developing a non-invasive smart insulin patch for young, active diabetics. The smart patch is externally connected to a patient’s continuous glucose monitor (CGM) via bluetooth, which allows it to release insulin accordingly using microneedling technology.

The insulin store for the patch, which feeds insulin to the microneedles, can be periodically reflled as to accommodate a user’s individual insulin intake needs. This design along with the adhesive of the SmartPatch allow a user to engage in physical activity without the concern of a bulky, invasive insulin pump that could potentially lead to injury.

Past notable speakers

Amir Jaffari

Growth Lead, Shopify

Bobby Hennessey

Client Solutions Manager, Facebook

Daniel Asper

Senior Manager, Business Development, Shopify

Derek Hopfner

Co-Founder, Founded

Edward T. Fan

Partner, Torys LLP

Henry Shi

Co-Founder & CTO, Snaptravel

Inmar Givoni

Senior Autonomy Engineering Manager, Uber

Jyll Saskin Gales

International Growth Consultant, Google

Maria Attarian

Customer Solutions Engineer, Google

Mark Schnabel

Partner Manager, Pinterest

Morgan McCunn

Product Manager, Shopify

Ozge Yeloglu

Chief Data Scientist, Microsoft

Sheldon Levy

Special Advisor to the Minister of Small Business and Export, Government of Canada

Stephen Dixon

Telco Lead, Amazon

Tyler Lindell

AI/VR Lead, Tesla

Wesley Tarle

Software Engineer, Google

Basecamp in review

28 startups. 51 students. 6 weeks. Get a rundown of Basecamp 2018.
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