Since Ryerson University’s DMZ (Digital Media Zone) was launched in 2010, it has become a world-class accelerator for tech startups; helping roughly 412 businesses collectively raise close to $605.6 million in funding and creating more than 3,779 jobs. Last year, it was named the top university-run business incubator in the world by UBI Global. What makes the DMZ so successful? In this blog post, we’re breaking down three of the top reasons why tech startups are lining up to apply for this fantastic program.
Startups accepted into the accelerator program are given unparalleled access to various mentors and partners who work with the DMZ. These experienced and successful coaches provide one-to-one counselling on everything from marketing to fundraising and product development to pipeline management. Companies are also assigned a Program Lead who is dedicated to supporting their weekly growth.
Some of the in-house entrepreneurs include experts on business development, sales team optimization, growth strategy, equity raising, UX/UI design, and digital marketing while the advisory council is made up of business leaders from companies like Uber, Deloitte, and Google. All of these experts come together to make Ryerson’s DMZ an incubator for tech innovation and growth.
Located centrally at Yonge and Dundas Square, the DMZ is at the heart of downtown Toronto. The state of the art, 40,000 square feet space, plays host to each season’s startup cohorts. Startups receive a dedicated workspace on one of the DMZ’s four floors and access to resources including WiFi, fully equipped meeting rooms, event spaces, and discounted services. Entrepreneurs benefit from working in a collaborative environment not just with DMZ mentors but with fellow startups.
If working in the center of Canada’s innovation and tech business hub wasn’t enough, the DMZ also offers a yearly Roadshow. This two-week multi-city program connects entrepreneurs face-to-face and one-on-one with investors and customers in important U.S. markets, such as New York City and San Francisco.
The DMZ main accelerator program is a three and a half month intensive dive for Canadian tech-startups wanting to learn how to scale their business. It teaches these businesses to become revenue and sales-focused so that their business can grow and become profitable. While applicants to the accelerator program must have a minimum of $20K in monthly revenue through an existing customer network, there are other options for startups that are not that far along. The DMZ also two offers pre-accelerator programs. The Sandbox is a startup creation incubator while the Validator will help entrepreneurs to create a minimum viable product and build early sales.
Looking at the community, home, and programs run by Ryerson’s DMZ it’s easy to see how it has set itself apart as a world-class tech startup accelerator and why Schmooz Media is so fortunate to partner with them for our 5th Anniversary party. We’re looking forward to seeing you at the DMZ on June 18th for #5chmooz!