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July 4th - August 24th, 2023


An IRL (in real life) summer entrepreneurship program helping students

Compete for one in six grants of up to $5000 in funding!

DMZ Basecamp is an 8-week intensive student incubation program that helps young entrepreneurs create tech solutions to growing social or economic gaps in society.

At Basecamp, students tap into their potential and learn how to develop and market business ideas with the help of other young innovators, industry mentors and successful entrepreneurs. This is an opportunity for students to start real companies and gain experiential learning opportunities to apply what they’ve learnt and solve the world’s biggest problems.

What's in it for you?

  • 1:1 mentoring with DMZ Staff, alumni companies, and outside mentors
  • Connection to Toronto Metropolitan University's 10 entrepreneurial zones
  • Customized coaching with DMZ experts on marketing, product development, lean canvas business models, consultations, and financing
  • Bi-weekly accountability meetings with DMZ staff
  • Opportunities to engage with other leading startups and experts from across Canada
  • Compete for one in six grants of up to $5000 in funding!

Basecamp by the numbers


Student applications received


Students accepted


Startups created


Features in major media outlets

What you'll learn

Sales and negotiation
man beside chart
Legal advice
person watching video on monitor
Marketing strategies
marketing platforms on cellphone
Product and brand
customer playbook
Value proposition
sections on a website
And so much more
people sharing ideas on whiteboards

Week by week

  • Program Validation & Prototyping
    Week 1: Entrepreneurship 101 & Goal Setting
    Week 2: Design Thinking & Customer Discovery
    Week 3: Mock Ups & Prototyping
  • Go To Market
    Week 4: Messaging & Marketing
    Week 5: Financing & Legal
    Week 6: Product Launch & Sales
  • Pitching & Storytelling
    Week 7: Pitching
    Week 8: Basecamp Finals!

Application criteria

Students interested in the program must:

  • Have at least one team member commit to the program in person 3 days a week
  • Be returning to school in the fall or have graduated high school or postsecondary within eight months program start date
  • Have an innovative business idea that utilizes technology to solve a compelling industry problem
  • Have a driven, coachable, and collaborative team

Don't have an idea, but still interested in Basecamp?

For students who don’t yet have a business idea, Basecamp now offers a stream in helping students ideate a business. Apply as an individual and be placed in a team with other like-minded students to go through all the steps of ideating a startup. In this stream, participants joining Basecamp without an idea get to participate in exclusive workshops and learn from industry experts and startup founders alike. At the end of the program, the top team will be awarded $5,000! Please specify in your application that you’re applying without a business idea, and you’ll be considered for this stream.

Can't commit to a full time program?

For first generation and Italian heritage students who are looking for a part-time program, the Canadian Italian Business & Professional Association of Toronto and DMZ have partnered to create Italia360, an 8-week part-time incubation program that helps first generation and Italian heritage student entrepreneurs create innovative and disruptive businesses. At the end of the program, students will compete for a paid trip to Italy! Students interested in the Italia 360 program can apply here.

Ready to validate your business?




Applications open Monday, March 27th, 2023
  • Application Deadline
    April 28th
  • Application Results
    May 15th - 19th
  • Interview Date
    May 23rd - 26th
  • Final Decision
    May 29th
  • Basecamp Onboarding
    June 14th


Late Applications open on May 15th, 2023
  • Application Deadline
    May 26th
  • Application Results
    May 29th
  • Interview Date
    May 29th - June 7th
  • Final Decision
    June 9th
  • Basecamp Onboarding
    June 14th

Success stories


A Friendlier Company is creating a smart, centralized reuse system to eliminate single-use food packaging waste. The company gives food service providers reusable takeout containers, and once used, A Friendlier Company handles all reverse logistics, washing, and redistribution for reuse. The containers are lightweight, stackable, and are competitively priced to disposable plastic containers. This zero-waste system generates up to 60% less greenhouse gas emissions than single-use alternatives. Since launching, A Friendlier Company has been featured on CTV News, Global News, and the CBC.


Anaxa specializes in the inconceivable. Even in a world of an ever-growing list of connected devices, there is so much room for growth. Our goal is to implement bleeding edge, quantum based hardware across different industries to solve their biggest problems. Anaxa will start protocol testing this year and is on track to developing its hardware in 2023.


MedaKi’s focus is on increasing accessibility to health care products and providers, specifically pharmaceuticals. We are headed towards a future where all pharmacy services and products will be delivered through an application on your mobile device or desktop. With MedaKi’s solution, we will allow users to directly connect with their local pharmacy! Medaki was accepted into Toronto Metropolitan University's Science Discovery Zone and Toronto Metropolitan University's Biomedical Zone. MedaKi also won the top prize at the Toronto Metropolitan University Venture Zone Industry Challenge.

Supporting partner

Agnes Hilkene

Executive Director, The George and Helen Vari Foundation

The George and Helen Vari Foundation

A particular focus of The George and Helen Vari Foundation is ensuring that motivated entrepreneurial students have the supports in place so they can reach their full academic and professional potential.

Past notable speakers

Amir Jaffari

Growth Lead, Shopify

Bobby Hennessey

Client Solutions Manager, Facebook

Daniel Asper

Senior Manager, Business Development, Shopify

Derek Hopfner

Co-Founder, Founded

Edward T. Fan

Partner, Torys LLP

Henry Shi

Co-Founder & CTO, Snaptravel

Inmar Givoni

Senior Autonomy Engineering Manager, Uber

Jyll Saskin Gales

International Growth Consultant, Google

Maria Attarian

Customer Solutions Engineer, Google

Mark Schnabel

Partner Manager, Pinterest

Morgan McCunn

Product Manager, Shopify

Ozge Yeloglu

Chief Data Scientist, Microsoft

Sheldon Levy

Special Advisor to the Minister of Small Business and Export, Government of Canada

Stephen Dixon

Telco Lead, Amazon

Tyler Lindell

AI/VR Lead, Tesla

Wesley Tarle

Software Engineer, Google

For more infomation, please contact

Adeana Ching-A-Sue

Events & Programming Assistant

Rose Ghamari

Manager, Entrepreneur & Talent Development

Esther Deng

Talent Development Programs Administrator