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Canada’s top university-based business incubator turns five!

Canada's top university-based business incubator turns five!

The DMZ at Toronto Metropolitan University celebrates over $70 million in funding for startups

The DMZ started in 2010 as a small working space occupied by a handful of Toronto Metropolitan University-based startups that were developing digital media products. Five years on, it is the leading business incubator for technology startups in Canada, proudly based at Ryerson, Canada’s preeminent comprehensive innovation university, with the reach to forge powerful connections across a global ecosystem.

“Five years ago Toronto Metropolitan University had a lofty goal to help grow Canada’s digital economy by empowering young people and giving them the tools to realize their dreams,” said Valerie Fox, Executive Director of the DMZ. “The result has surpassed every expectation. The DMZ is fueling the success of entrepreneurs at home and abroad at an unprecedented pace.”

The DMZ by the Numbers:

#1 ranked in Canada and #5 in the world for university business incubators by University Business Incubator (UBI) Index
 More than 1,605 jobs created and fostered by the DMZ and its incubating companies
 Over 180 startups incubated
 Nearly 900 innovators supported
 Over $70 million in funding raised by present and past incubated startups
 7 new Ryerson zones inspired by the DMZ which serve as hubs for student entrepreneurship and innovation.
 20 international partnerships with incubators, universities and organizations such as the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute, South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand and MasterCard
 More than 80 industry-leading advisors counselling startups in funding, finance, law and more
 Hosted over 1,400 DMZ tours, including industry giants, top government officials and royalty
 Moving forward, the DMZ has a number of exciting developments on the horizon including a newly unveiled brand reflecting its evolution—including changing its name from the Digital Media Zone to the DMZ—representing a more inclusive mandate to help grow technology startups of all stripes. The DMZ has also updated its look, logo and language to better convey the maturity of the startups it serves, its impact on Canadian business and the unparalleled opportunities offered to its entrepreneurs.

Click here to view or download an infographic associated with this release.

The DMZ is one of Canada’s largest business incubators and co-working spaces for entrepreneurs. The top-ranked university incubator in Canada and fifth in the world, the DMZ is a hub of innovation, collaboration and commercialization. Since opening in April 2010, the DMZ and Ryerson Futures Inc.—its affiliated accelerator program—have incubated and accelerated 180 startups which have collectively raised more than $70 million in funding and fostered more than 1,605 jobs. For more information about the DMZ, visit

Toronto Metropolitan University is Canada’s leader in innovative, career-oriented education and a university clearly on the move. With a mission to serve societal need, and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community, Ryerson offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. Distinctly urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to more than 38,000 students, including 2,300 master’s and PhD students, nearly 2,700 faculty and staff, and more than 155,000 alumni worldwide. Research at Ryerson is on a trajectory of success and growth: externally funded research has doubled in the past four years. The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada’s leading provider of university-based adult education. For more information, visit

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