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Pre-Incubator

Turn your vision into reality

Establish your minimum viable product, validate your idea and secure customers with the DMZ’s Pre-Incubator program. Plus, get a chance to secure an exclusive spot in the DMZ Incubator after graduation to receive $10K+ in entry grant funding, 18+ months of additional support and exciting perks.

Rolling intakes monthly

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How it works

Startups need flexibility, which is why the Pre-Incubator is flexible in length. Applications and program intake occur on a rolling basis, with new startups joining at the beginning of each month. On average, startups spend 4 to 6 months in the Pre-Incubator.

PRE-INCUBATOR
ENTRY

1 MONTH

INCUBATOR
ENTRY

If the startup is not hitting their goals, they may be asked to exit.



DMZ delivers results

807

businesses incubated and accelerated

$2.54B

in funding raised

4997

jobs fostered in our
community

Establish your business

  • 12+ hours of curated on-demand content on 8+ topics
  • Hands-on support, including 1:1 meetings with Experts-in-Residence, curated workshops, progress check-ins, and founder meetups
  • $470K+ in perks from 80+ partners
  • Exclusive invites to industry networking events and workshops
  • Startups with a Black founder receive a $5K grant upon entry
  • Startups with at least one Black Co-Founder receive additional support
  • Startups with at least one woman-identifying Co-Founder receive additional support
  • Opportunity to gain accelerated acceptance into DMZ's Incubator to receive $10K in entry grant funding, 18+ months of additional support, funding, DMZ office space, and more!

Meet DMZ's team

Delaram Amani

Programs Execution Lead

Deniz Celebioglu

Sr. Programs Lead

Mohi Sanisel

Programs Manager

Sherif El Tawil

Sr. Director, Programs & Global Operations

Stephen Wu

Sr. Programs Lead

Meet your Experts-in-Residence

Take a look at the mentors that support our Pre-Incubator companies. To see all mentors, please visit our Experts-in-Residence page.

Anthony Lau

Product, Sales

Frank Erschen

Pitching

Hackim Farrell

Cybersecurity, Product

Jodi Echakowitz

Public Relations

Karen Hogg

Customer Success

Meet your Professionals-in-Residence

Through the Professional-in-Residence (PiR) program, DMZ founders have direct access to senior leadership at vetted companies, all under DMZ's roof. One-on-one strategic consultation meetings are pro-bono and any projects or work arising thereafter (at the founder's discretion) is offered at DMZ exclusive discounted rates.

Frequently asked questions

Am I eligible?

At a minimum, applicants must have:

  • An idea dedicated to solving a compelling problem using innovative technology
  • An early minimum-viable-product
  • At least one dedicated full-time founder
  • An in-house tech lead
  • Potential to transition into DMZ's Incubator after graduation

How does DMZ's Pre-Incubator differ from Incubator?

The Pre-Incubator is a program to validate a business idea and secure first customers. At a minimum, founders should have an MVP. Startups have access to curated online learning material, a day-pass workspace at the DMZ’s head office in the heart of downtown Toronto, hands-on support, exclusive perks from 80+ partners valued at $470K+ and more. Startups in the Pre-Incubator will have the opportunity to gain accelerated acceptance into Incubator.

DMZ's Incubator is for startups ready to launch and grow their business — venture-backable pre-seed and seed-stage companies with a full-time founder, early traction and proven product-market fit. Startups receive up to $10K+ in entry grant funding, 18+ months of additional support and exciting perks. If startups applying to the DMZ are eligible for the Incubator, they do not need to go through the Pre-Incubator first.

Not sure what program is right for you? Check out our programming here.

How long is the program?

Startups need flexibility, which is why the Pre-Incubator is flexible in length. Applications and
program intake occur on a rolling basis, with new startups joining at the beginning of each month. On average, startups spend 4 to 6 months in the Pre-Incubator.

Am I guaranteed to remain in the program?

No. They can stay in the program as long as their progress is satisfactory and they're on track to their goals.

Am I guaranteed a spot in the incubator program?

The Pre-Incubator helps companies increase their eligibility for the Incubator program. Given the high competition for our Incubator admission, Pre-Incubator companies who hit all goals and meet eligibility criteria for the Incubator are not guaranteed a spot in the next Incubator cohort intake.

What am I required to commit?

Participating startups can expect to commit 10-12 hours monthly. This includes:

  • 6 hours for scheduled Friday Founder Meetups
  • 3 hours for on-demand content
  • 2 hours for 1:1 calls with Experts-in-Residence
  • 1 hour for 1:1 meetings with DMZ Program Leads
  • Startups may also be invited to optional exclusive events and workshops

Are there membership fees?

There are no membership fees to join the Pre-Incubator. After 3 months in the program, startups will be asked to be 2.5% equity in the form of options. Pre-Incubator graduates accepted into DMZ's Incubator program do not provide additional equity for the Incubator’s 18 months of support.