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Toronto Metropolitan University’s DMZ joins JETRO’s Global Acceleration Hub as first Canadian incubator partner

New partnership empowers Japanese startups to break into the Canadian market and reach new heights


TORONTO, June 21, 2023 – The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) and DMZ at Toronto Metropolitan University unveiled a new partnership today designed to empower Japanese startups to enter the Canadian market by harnessing DMZ’s world-renowned startup expertise in coaching, mentorship and global connections.

Headquartered in Toronto, Canada and recognized as a world-leading tech incubator, DMZ joins JETRO’s Global Acceleration Hub (GAH) as their official Canadian partner. Established in 2018, JETRO’s Global Acceleration Hub promotes collaboration between Japanese organizations and leading tech ecosystems to support Japanese entrepreneurs seeking international expansion.  

Key players in the global economy, Canada and Japan, share a unique bond that goes beyond economic collaboration, anchored in a vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific region and shared social values. While DMZ and JETRO are formally announcing this new partnership, the two organizations have worked together on various projects in the past, creating the foundations for a robust bilateral relationship that fosters international collaboration and market connections for startups from both respective countries.

“Given Japan’s longstanding reputation as a pioneer in global innovation, it is an honour that JETRO has selected DMZ as its Canadian partner for the Global Acceleration Hub,” said Abdullah Snobar, Executive Director, DMZ, and CEO, DMZ Ventures. “This collaboration is a testament to both countries’ vision to foster business growth beyond borders, and we’re eager to unlock business expansion opportunities for Japanese startups visiting Toronto this month.”

Considering JETRO and DMZ’s shared mission of supporting startups to break into global markets, their initial engagements demonstrated the opportunity for a formalized program, leading to today’s announcement.

“We are thrilled to introduce DMZ as our official Canadian partner for JETRO’s GAH program and look forward to integrating Japanese startups in the North American innovation ecosystem. The partnership represents a significant step in further strengthening Japan and Canada’s robust bilateral relationship, building on our respective missions to promote international expansion efforts for startups”, said SAITO Takeshi, Executive Director, JETRO Toronto.

The program’s first intake of Japanese startups kicks off in advance of North America’s largest tech conference, Collision, where eight tech startups supported by JETRO —Beatrust, Boostdraft, Greenroom, Lingo Mii, Magic Shields, Newond, PLEN Robotics and Vanguard Industries— will travel to Toronto to partake in the conference and DMZ programming. Two additional startups supported by JETRO GAH —I’mbesideyou and Incubion—have also been selected as part of the partnership’s inaugural cohort.

Participating startups can access DMZ’s Experts-in-Residence — hand-selected mentors that have extensive backgrounds across business verticals — DMZ HQ and DMY NYC office space, a global network of potential customers, active early-stage VCs and investors through cultivated one-on-ones, office hours, monthly workshops and more to accelerate their success.

Select founders will be pitching at the DMZ stage (booth E281) at Collision on Wednesday, June 28, at 1:00pm. Participating startups represent diverse industry specializations, including robotics, age tech, legal tech, edtech, HR tech, enterprise collaboration and sustainability data.

To learn more about JETRO’s services and business support, please visit For information about DMZ’s global initiatives, visit and for Collision activities, visit




Media Contact
Luvy Hardy, The DMZ

About DMZ
DMZ is a world-leading startup incubator based at Toronto Metropolitan University that equips the next generation of tech entrepreneurs with the tools needed to build, launch, and scale highly impactful startups. By providing connections to customers, coaching, capital, and a community, DMZ’s customized approach helps innovators reach the next milestone in their entrepreneurial journey – whatever that might be. Through its award-winning programming, DMZ has helped more than 790 startups raise $2.47 billion in capital and create 4,900+ jobs. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada with globally-accessible programming, DMZ has a widely-recognized international presence with offices in Vietnam, India, and the U.S., and partnerships across North America, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

About the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
JETRO is a Japanese government trade, investment and innovation promotion agency which supports cutting-edge Japanese startups to scale globally through its J-Startup and Global Acceleration Hub (GAH) program. At Collision, JETRO Toronto will provide increased visibility for Japanese startups through its booth and public relations activities and will facilitate B2B meetings. JETRO also assists innovative Canadian startups to partner with Japanese corporates and expand into the Japanese market. JETRO currently maintains 76 offices overseas in 55 countries and 49 offices in Japan, including their Tokyo and Osaka headquarters.


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