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DMZ and Landing Pad Tokyo launch new partnership to create opportunities for Canadian and Japanese SMEs

Powered by the DMZ, Landing Pad Tokyo will facilitate joint collaboration between Canadian and Japanese markets

TORONTO – October 5, 2020 – Toronto Metropolitan University’s DMZ and Landing Pad Tokyo (LPT) announced today that they have formed a new partnership together to foster collaboration across the Canadian and Japanese tech industries and bring a new culture of innovation to Japan.

Based in Toronto, Canada and recognized as a world-leading tech accelerator, DMZ will help transform LPT into a state-of-the-art program through the provision of advisory services related to startup program development, structure and curricula. This support will allow LPT to accelerate management, R&D and operational capabilities for Japanese SMEs in the manufacturing sector.   

The partnership will also give DMZ and Canadian startups access to customers, market knowledge and business connections, making this a mutually-beneficial relationship for both Japanese and Canadian partners. DMZ’s startups will be strategically matched with Japanese companies to accelerate innovation in Japan and facilitate joint collaboration. LPT’s members are positioned well to work with Canadian startups and will help them further develop their technology and increase their exposure to high-potential Japanese customers, as LPT’s reach goes beyond just the Tokyo region. The organization is expanding its membership in other parts of Japan and developing cooperative relationships with local hubs and partners located nation-wide.

Dr. Kiyotaka Kato, PhD in electrical engineering specializing in plasma technology, leads LPT as Executive Director. “I have started up a few companies and operated in Silicon Valley. I recognize a notable difference in the Silicon Valley culture and the culture of DMZ and Canada, which respects and values diversity. I am particularly impressed with DMZ’s values of “Founders First”.  I hope LPT can build an equally great culture and community to revitalize the quality-oriented Japanese manufacturing SMEs and help them digitize their operations and create innovation. I am looking forward to building a great relationship with DMZ and Toronto Metropolitan University.”

Sherif El Tawil is DMZ’s Senior Director of Programs and Partnerships where he leads the strategic direction of DMZ’s international operations. “It’s not always easy for Canadian startups to get direct access to Japanese connections such as industry leaders, small and mid-size businesses and potential customers. Japan is the world’s third-largest economy, which presents endless possibilities for Canadian startups to explore,” Sherif explains. “We look forward to expanding DMZ’s global presence and helping Landing Pad Tokyo create a program where Japanese SMEs can succeed. It’s a phenomenal opportunity for both sides of the partnership.”

Canadian and Japanese startups can learn more and apply now at

Media contact
Emily Collins, DMZ


About The DMZ:

We help companies grow their business. That means when founders want a high-impact and highly-customized tech accelerator program, they come to the DMZ. Ranked as the #1 university-based tech accelerator in the world, the DMZ provides a launchpad for founders to build and scale fast. Bigger and bolder than any other program of its kind, the DMZ has been creating the next gen of game-changing, global businesses since 2010. To date, the DMZ has helped more than 400 startups raise $917+ million in capital and create 4,000+ jobs. With its headquarters in Toronto, Canada, the DMZ has a widely-recognized international presence including offices in New York City and 70 partnerships around the world. Learn more at

About Landing Pad Tokyo:

Landing Pad Tokyo (LPT) is an “incubator/accelerator” for Japanese SMEs that brings a new culture of innovation to Japan.  LPT introduces innovative state-of-art technologies and creative expertise mainly from Canada to accelerate developing management capabilities and R&D/operational capabilities of Japanese manufacturing SMEs. Learn more at

About Toronto Metropolitan University:

Toronto Metropolitan University is Canada’s leader in innovative, career-oriented education. Urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to more than 45,300 students, including 2,600 Master’s and PhD students, 3,800 faculty and staff, and more than 216,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, visit

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