JULY 5 - AUGUST 26 2021


A global summer entrepreneurship program helping students
develop, market and accelerate their potential.

Compete for one in five grants of up to $5000 in funding!

DMZ Virtual Basecamp is an 8-week intensive student incubation program that helps young entrepreneurs create tech solutions to growing social or economic gaps in society.

At Basecamp, 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 solved the world’s biggest problems.

What's in it for you?

  • 1:1 mentoring with DMZ Staff, alumni companies, and outside mentors
  • Connection to Ryerson Universities 10 entrepreneurial zones
  • Customized coaching with DMZ experts on marketing, product development, lean canvas business models, consultations, and financing
  • Weekly accountability meetings with DMZ staff
  • Opportunities to engage with other leading startups and experts from across Canada
  • Compete for one of five grants of up to $5000!

Basecamp by the numbers


Student applications received


Students accepted


Startups created


Features in major media outlets

What you'll learn

Sales and negotiation
man beside chart
Legal advice
person watching video on monitor
Marketing strategies
marketing platforms on cellphone
Product and brand
customer playbook
Value proposition
sections on a website
And so much more
people sharing ideas on whiteboards

Week by week

  • Program Validation & Prototyping
    Week 1: Entrepreneurship 101 & Goal Setting
    Week 2: Design Thinking & Customer Discovery
    Week 3: Mock Ups & Prototyping
  • Go To Market
    Week 4: Messaging & Marketing
    Week 5: Financing & Legal
    Week 6: Product Launch & Sales
  • Pitching & Storytelling
    Week 7: Pitching
    Week 8: Basecamp Finals!

From Innisfil?

Innisfil-based participants can participate in the virtual program, tieing into all workshops and founder talks, with access to additional resources and connections to the Innisfil startup ecosystem.

Please refer to the Basecamp 2021 Application Form below to apply to the Innisfil cohort and select Innisfil when asked which program you’re interested in.

From Innisfil?

Application criteria

Students interested in the program must:

  • Commit to 15 - 25 hours per week
  • Be returning to school in the fall or have graduated high school or postsecondary within eight months program start date
  • Have an innovative business idea that utilizes technology to solve a compelling industry problem
  • Have a driven, coachable, and collaborative team

Ready to validate your business?




Candidates compete against a smaller pool and have the opportunity to receive a faster decision
  • Application Deadline
    May 2
  • Application Results
    May 5
  • Interview Date
    May 10 - 12
  • Final Decision
    May 16


Candidates receive more time to apply but compete against a larger pool of applicants
  • Application Deadline
    May 16
  • Application Results
    May 21
  • Interview Date
    May 24 - 31
  • Final Decision
    June 7


Candidates are considered on a case by case basis depending on remaining capacity
  • Application Deadline
    June 22
  • Application Results
    June 23
  • Interview Date
    June 22 - 27
  • Final Decision
    June 27

Success stories


A Friendlier Company is creating a smart, centralized reuse system to eliminate single-use food packaging waste. The company gives food service providers reusable takeout containers, and once used, A Friendlier Company handles all reverse logistics, washing, and redistribution for reuse. The containers are lightweight, stackable, and are competitively priced to disposable plastic containers. This zero-waste system generates up to 60% less greenhouse gas emissions than single-use alternatives. Since launching, A Friendlier Company has been featured on CTV News, Global News, and the CBC.


Anaxa specializes in the inconceivable. Even in a world of an ever-growing list of connected devices, there is so much room for growth. Our goal is to implement bleeding edge, quantum based hardware across different industries to solve their biggest problems. Anaxa will start protocol testing this year and is on track to developing its hardware in 2023.


MedaKi’s focus is on increasing accessibility to health care products and providers, specifically pharmaceuticals. We are headed towards a future where all pharmacy services and products will be delivered through an application on your mobile device or desktop. With MedaKi’s solution, we will allow users to directly connect with their local pharmacy! Medaki was accepted into Ryerson’s Science Discovery Zone and Ryerson’s Biomedical Zone. MedaKi also won the top prize at the Ryerson Venture Zone Industry Challenge.

A venture capital internship stream for Black-identified students interested in the VC world!

This Basecamp program stream is open to students across Canada that identify as Black and are working towards careers in venture capital with a focus on: sourcing deals, risk and due diligence, and equity negotiations. Successful participants will have the opportunity to apply to internships with VCs in the DMZ network.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in venture capital, simply select BIP VC Stream in the Basecamp Application!

Supporting partner

Agnes Hilkene

Executive Director, The George and Helen Vari Foundation

The George and Helen Vari Foundation

A particular focus of The George and Helen Vari Foundation is ensuring that motivated entrepreneurial students have the supports in place so they can reach their full academic and professional potential.

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.

For more infomation, please contact

Emily Smiley

Head of Programs & Investor Relations

Katlynn Sverko

Head of Global & Corporate Partnerships

Madison Henry

Sandbox Programs Assistant

Naveed Tagari

Strategic Programs Specialist