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The DMZ announces ‘Women Founders Accelerator Program’ Winners

TORONTO – September 21, 2018 – The DMZ has announced the winners of the “Women Founders Accelerator” program sponsored by Scotiabank and Tangerine. Launched in February 2018, the program has operated with the goal of fostering Canada’s top early-stage women-led startups through an exclusive four month acceleration and mentorship experience.

Of the eight finalists who had the opportunity to pitch their startup in front of the judges, three winners were named:

First Place: RockMass Tech, precise intuitive mining technology producing the world’s fastest geotechnical data and intelligence to assess tunnel stability for geologists, prize of $50K

Second Place: SWTCH, innovative electric vehicle charging management solutions for the residential and commercial real estate markets, prize of $25K

Third Place: Furnishr, an end to end turn-key home furnishing platform, prize of $15K

“This program has truly delivered on its mandate of supporting diversity and inclusion in Canada. The Women Founders program proves the value of networks that provide easier access to people, process, technology and capital for female entrepreneurs,” said Nicole German, Global Head of Digital Marketing, Digital Banking at Scotiabank and one of the four judges of the competition. “The level of innovation across all the candidates has been truly inspiring and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with this community as they grow their businesses.”

“Tangerine is proud to be part of a program that empowers women and provides access to entrepreneurs,” said Brenda Rideout, Chief Executive Officer, Tangerine. “Any time we can we provide access to people, networks and capital our communities benefit. We look forward to the bright futures these entrepreneurs have before them.”

“By bringing together industry leaders and serial entrepreneurs to contribute to a results-driven program, the finalists have been able to find better product-market fit, increase customer acquisition and receive access to non-dilutive funding,” said Abdullah Snobar, executive director of the DMZ. “We look forward to continue working with the finalists to build on the success they have experienced in the past four months.”

Throughout the acceleration, the finalists benefitted from:

  • Connections to customers, partners and influencers, which has led to startups with an MRR multiplying by four times in the course of four months
  • Full access to DMZ space and services, allowing startups to have strategic 1:1 coaching by entrepreneurs-in-residence
  • An all-expenses-paid trip to New York City to meet investors and potential customers, which led to a secured investment and customer

“The DMZ Women Founders program has helped our startup receive invaluable connections and opportunities, which has led to a level of growth that makes us thrilled embark on the next phase of our business,” said Shelby Yee, co-founder and CEO of RockMass Tech.


About the DMZ at Toronto Metropolitan University:

The DMZ is a leading tech accelerator headquartered in Toronto, Ontario that helps high-potential startups grow and scale to world-class businesses. Also supporting ideation and validation stage startups, the DMZ’s incubator program has been ranked number one in the world by UBI Global. Since 2010, the DMZ has helped 350 startups raise over $477.2 million and foster more than 3,367 jobs. For more information about the DMZ, visit

About Scotiabank:

Scotiabank is Canada’s international bank and a leading financial services provider in the Americas. We are dedicated to helping our 25 million customers become better off through a broad range of advice, products and services, including personal and commercial banking, wealth management and private banking, corporate and investment banking, and capital markets. With a team of more than 96,000 employees and assets of $947 billion (as at July 31, 2018), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: BNS) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BNS). For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @ScotiabankViews.

About Tangerine:

Tangerine is a direct bank that delivers simplified everyday banking to Canadians. With over 2 million Clients and close to $38 billion in total assets, we are Canada’s leading direct bank. Tangerine offers banking that is flexible and accessible, products and services that are innovative, fair fees, and award-winning Client service. From no-fee daily chequing and high-interest savings accounts, a Credit Card, GICs, RSPs, TFSAs, mortgages and mutual funds through its subsidiary, Tangerine Investment Funds Ltd., Tangerine has the everyday banking products Canadians need. With over 1,000 employees in Canada, our presence extends beyond our website and Mobile Banking app to our Café locations, Pop-Up locations, Kiosks and 24/7 Contact Centres. Tangerine was launched as ING DIRECT Canada in 1997. In 2012 it was acquired by Scotiabank, and operates independently as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

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