Women Founders

A Canada-wide program helping leading early-stage tech companies achieve product-market fit.

Fueling Canada’s high-potential women founders

Women entrepreneurs are key to thriving entrepreneurial ecosystems.

This intensive four-month accelerator program, in partnership with Scotiabank and Tangerine, will help Canada’s top women-led startups grow by achieving their product market fit and securing early revenue.

Applications are now closed.

Have questions? Get in touch
partner-scotiabank-logo partner-tangerine-logo

What you get

Need mentors? Connections? Funding? Community? Here’s what we offer and how we can help.

growth mentors

Weekly one-on-one accountability meetings with dedicated program mentors and high-caliber investment, sales and marketing experts.


Weekly tailored workshops on customer discovery, product market fit, marketing strategies and more, facilitated by Canada’s leading domain experts and influential entrepreneurs.


Hands-on support to build and refine your customer acquisition plan and land customer contracts, including support on pricing, reducing sales cycles, hiring and more. Immerse your company in the U.S. market through a fully covered trip to New York City.

Cash prize
and funding

Selected program participant companies will have the opportunity to connect with a curated list of investors in one-on-one meetings and to pitch for prizes in the amount of $50,000, $25,000 and $15,000.

Community and
peer networks

Through our regular founder talks, you’ll connect with North America’s top tech founders and entrepreneurs. Immerse yourself in a dedicated and tight-knit community comprised of peers, investors, advisors, partners and alum at our socials and networking sessions.


Vibrant workspace alongside seven other handpicked, high-performance companies in a collaborative community - all in downtown Toronto, the largest startup ecosystem in Canada. You’ll learn from founders solving similar problems and those who are three to 12 months ahead of you.

Selection criteria

We’re looking for eight high-potential startups with a minimum viable product who have what it takes to scale their business.

Interested applicants must:

For complete details, please read the contest rules.

The team

Program leads

Nouhaila Chelkhaoui

Programs Lead, Incubator & Women Founders

Sen Sachi

Director, Global Startup Pipeline & Community Relations

Weronika Gruszczynska Strlič

Manager, Office of the Executive Director


Corrine Sandler

Founder and marketing expert

Michael McCarthy

Strategy and business development

Rokham Fard

Founder and development strategist

Uzair Chutani

Expert in digital marketing, business development and customer success

Meet the startups

Awake Labs

Technology to empower people with intellectual and developmental disabilities live healthier and more independently


Comfable is a dynamic and innovative tech company dedicated to promoting health, comfort, and sustainability


A home furnishing company that handles everything from room design to in-home setup for customers with limited time.

Ratio City

Helps prospective owners and investors locate, map and track real estate opportunities in large urban centers.


SWTCH provides turnkey electric vehicle charging & energy management solutions for businesses and individuals.


Get as write real-time analysis and corporate insights info your online communications. Ensure the c...

Program timeline

February 15, 2018: Applications open

Eligible startups can apply via the online application form here.

March 20, 2018: Applications close

The deadline to complete and submit your application is March 20, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

March 26 and 27, 2018: Entrepreneurs pitch their startup

16 finalists will be invited to pitch their company to a selection committee comprised of program advisors and the DMZ’s Programs and Partnership team.

April 2, 2018: Selected participants are notified

The panel will select eight winning startups to participate in the four-month program. Successful applicants will be notified by April 2, 2018.

April 16, 2018: 4-month program starts

Entrepreneurs start the four-month intensive journey and join one of the most vibrant entrepreneurial communities in North America.

September 2018: Startup showcase

At the end of the four months, startups participate in a “Startup Showcase” where they’ll pitch their business for cash prizes of up to $90,000. Prize breakdown to be determined.

Applications for the DMZ Women Founders Accelerator program are now closed. Have questions?

Get in touch
Have a question?


Scotiabank is Canada's international bank and a leading financial services provider in North America, Latin America, the Caribbean and Central America, and Asia-Pacific. We are dedicated to helping our 24 million customers become better off through a broad range of advice, products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate and investment banking, and capital markets. With a team of more than 88,000 employees and assets of over $915 billion (as at October 31, 2017), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (TSX: BNS) and New York Exchanges (NYSE: BNS). For more information, please visit www.scotiabank.com and follow us on Twitter @Scotiabank.
Tangerine is a direct bank that delivers simplified everyday banking to Canadians. With over two million Clients and close to $38 billion in total assets, we are Canada's leading digital bank. Tangerine offers banking that is flexible and accessible, products and services that are innovative, fair fees, and award-winning Client service. From no-fee daily chequing and high-interest savings accounts, a Credit Card, GICs, RSPs, TFSAs, mortgages and mutual funds through its subsidiary, Tangerine Investment Funds Ltd., Tangerine has the everyday banking products Canadians need. With over 1,000 employees in Canada, our presence extends beyond our website and Mobile Banking app to our Café locations, Pop-Up locations, Kiosks and 24/7 Contact Centres. Tangerine was launched as ING DIRECT Canada in 1997. In 2012 it was acquired by Scotiabank, and operates independently as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Our community

People and culture play an important role at the DMZ. Join a strong collection of people -- partners, founders, alumni, investors, friends -- who come together to learn, build and challenge.