Frequently asked questions.

You have questions, we have answers.

From the application process to how you can get involved with the Black Innovation Programs, here are the answers to your questions.

What is the Black Innovation Programs?

The Black Innovation Programs (BIP) is a first-of-its-kind partnership in Canada between Ryerson University and a community of founding partners. The BIF will see more startups led by Black entrepreneurs gain access to the strengthening support of DMZ’s award-winning university-based incubator network, gain access to exclusive mentorship opportunities, custom programming, and access to funding. The BIF will also foster an alumni and support network that will drive conversations, actions and new stories around Black entrepreneurs in Canada.

I’m interested. How do I apply?

Applications are open year round for our Sandbox & Validator program. Our Accelerator program application is currently open and closes on August 20th, 2019.

The BIF program team will help interested founders navigate the application process to determine which of our 3 programs is right for them!

Is there a participation fee?

No -- BIP is free for participants and will additionally waive any desk and participation fees associated with participating in one of the DMZ programs. This program is made possible by the leadership and support of a community of Founding Partners, including Shopify and the program’s Inaugural Founding Partner, Isaac Olowolafe Jr. of Dream Maker Ventures.

How long is the BIP program?

The BIP program will last 12 months. Entrepreneurs can anticipate 8-12 hours a month of formal programming.

What support will entrepreneurs in the BIP receive?

Being part of DMZ’s network already provides startups with a wealth of value. This includes work and meeting space in downtown Toronto, competitions and awards that can unlock new partnerships and funding, promotion and marketing opportunities, and the backing of a supportive community of peers, experts and staff.

BIF participants will receive additional benefits and programming, some of which will be tailored to the distinct needs of each cohort. These benefits include:

  • Potential to receive dedicated seed capital for fellows
  • Waived participation fees
  • Mentorship from successful Black entrepreneurs from the tech sector & beyond
  • Coaching and guidance from accomplished professionals and executives
  • Access to the expertise, perspective and capital of Dream Maker Ventures and other seasoned investors with a knowledgeable perspective of the Canadian startup landscape
  • High-value special events and workshops
  • Guidance from a dedicated Program Manager who will serve as an anchor for the cohort and advocate for their interests

Have more questions for us?