The DMZ offers programs to founders at any stage of growth: from early-stage founders in the ideation phase to seed-stage startups. While we focus on tech-based startups, the DMZ is sector-agnostic. Check out our Portfolio to get a sense of our world-class roster of companies. We welcome only the most innovative, high-potential companies that can benefit from our resources and extended network. As a rule, we strive to foster a collaborative space and build a highly engaged community that represents a rich variety of sectors and industries. Visit our Apply page for more details.
Yes, you can still apply for our programs if you are not from Canada! All of our programs are currently being run in a virtual format. Upon reopening our physical space, we will still be offering virtual programming across all initiatives.
No - generally, age does not matter when it comes to starting a company. You can become an entrepreneur at any time, all you need is an innovative idea. Bring your passion and commitment to execute on that idea, and we’ll help you with the rest.
Through our online application form.
Once accepted to the DMZ, startups are given tailored connections to potential clients and customers, mentorship, media exposure and workshops. 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.
Your membership in the DMZ depends on the program you’re in. For example, our Bootcamp program is six weeks long, but our Incubator is 18 months long. Once a part of the DMZ, you always remain a member whether as an active company or in our ever-growing roster of alumni.
The DMZ uses an equity-based model for our Incubator program, meaning that the DMZ takes a 2.5% equity stake in common shares from startups in exchange for programming. Any and all returns on this equity go back to Ryerson University, a charitable organization, to support future DMZ operations. In addition, any returns from startups in our Black Innovation Program will go exclusively back to supporting Black founders. We do not take equity from startups in our six-week Bootcamps. With the move to an equity-based model, DMZ’s offerings are now more accessible to early-stage startups who could not previously commit to monthly membership fees. Having an equity stake in our Incubator companies further reinforces our commitment to helping our founders see both short and long-term success.
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. The DMZ uses an equity-based model for our Incubator program, meaning that the DMZ takes a 2.5% equity stake in common shares from startups in exchange for programming. Any returns on this equity go back to Ryerson University, a charitable organization, to support future DMZ operations.
DMZ Ventures (DMZV) is a for-profit entity established and owned by Ryerson University and is affiliated with and based at the DMZ. DMZV is the vehicle through which DMZ is able to hold equity from Incubator companies that join the DMZ. DMZV was formally Ryerson Futures Inc. Visit DMZV's website to learn more.