The DMZ is based at Ryerson University, but we are open to any startup with an innovative business idea. Startups must also have a strong business plan and a working prototype that’s ready to launch or is already in the market. Visit the Apply page to learn more about our eligibility criteria. Check out the Startups page to get a sense of our world-class roster of companies.
You must be a legal resident of Canada living in close enough proximity to the DMZ to take advantage of everything it has to offer. If you are not a legal resident in Canada, you may be interested in the Startup Visa program offered through Ryerson Futures Inc. (RFI), an accelerator and seed fund program associated with Ryerson University and the DMZ.
We care about your startup idea, not your age. Most of our applicants are between the ages of 18 and 30, but we believe great ideas happen at every age.
Through our online application form. There are no deadlines; we accept applications on an ongoing basis.
Once accepted to the DMZ, startups are given tailored connections to potential clients and customers, mentorship, media exposure and workshops. Startups also receive dedicated workspace on one of the DMZ’s four floors and access to resources including WiFi, fully equipped meeting rooms, event space and technology, discounted services and more. Entrepreneurs benefit from the DMZ’s collaborative work environment and peer-to-peer knowledge transfer. Click here to learn more about what the DMZ offers.
We expect DMZ members to be active and engaged, through attendance at regular progress check-ins and mandatory mentorship and planning sessions. We also expect DMZ members to attend relevant events and workshops and share knowledge with fellow members. Members must also agree to the terms outlined in the DMZ’s terms and conditions, provided upon acceptance.
The initial term in the DMZ is four months. Subject to space availability, members in good standing can extend their stay after four months by opting into the paid membership program.
No. The DMZ and Ryerson University do not take any equity in DMZ startups. The intellectual property remains with the startup.
We monitor the progress of our startups after they exit the DMZ and on average, 65 to 70 per cent of them are successful. We define success as startups that have been acquired or are growing after exiting the DMZ.
The DMZ, as part of Ryerson University, is a not-for-profit organization. We receive funding from Ryerson University, government grants and corporate partnerships. Revenue also comes in through membership and facility rental fees.
Ryerson Futures inc. (RFI) is an accelerator program that selects and assembles high-potential, highly scalable startups, accelerating their go-to-market success through intense process observation, education, networking and development. RFI is a for-profit entity established and owned by Ryerson University and is affiliated with and based at the DMZ. Visit RFI’s website to learn more.