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Women-led tech startups LyfeMD, Roga and Granularity received $230,000 CAD at DMZ’s Women Innovation Summit

The Firehood commits $230,000 CAD in cash investments to fuel the growth of rising women-led companies from across Canada, and DMZ’s 2024 Women of the Year recipients revealed in honour of International Women’s Day. 

TORONTO, March 8, 2024Toronto Metropolitan University’s DMZ held its second annual Women Innovation Summit, where 10 women-led tech startups had the opportunity to pitch their businesses to angel investors from The Firehood to secure cash investments.  

DMZ hosted the Summit at its Toronto headquarters in honour of International Women’s Day.  The day-long event featured curated activities to empower and celebrate women in entrepreneurship and business. These included intimate roundtables that encouraged candid discussions around women’s empowerment, the unveiling of DMZ’s 2024 Women of the Year recipients, and a pitch competition in partnership with The Firehood, an angel group committed to fueling women-led tech innovations.

The pitch competition, which received over 160 applications to participate from coast to coast, heard from 10 women-led startups and awarded a total of $100,000 CAD to: 

  • LyfeMD, a Calgary-based startup that offers an evidence-based platform transforming the management of inflammatory diseases, received $60,000 CAD. 
  • Roga, a Toronto-based startup that provides a mental healthcare platform and wearable non-invasive brain stimulation device designed to reduce employee anxiety, received $40,000 CAD. 

Following the pitch results reveal, The Firehood also announced an additional $130,000 CAD investment in DMZ alum Granularity, an AI-powered platform empowering retailers and brands to stay ahead of viral social media and search trends.

“Partnering with DMZ for the Women Innovation Summit for a second consecutive year was an honour,” said Danielle Graham, Co-Founder of The Firehood. “Empowering and investing in women-led innovation is at the heart of our mission at The Firehood; we’re committed to supporting these amazing ventures to fire up their growth.”

“The impact of DMZ’s Women Innovation Summit extends far beyond the cash investments and our Women of the Year awards. It was designed to unite individuals from across the ecosystem, including influential women leaders, executives, investors, corporate partners and startup founders,” said Emily Smiley, Director of Partnerships and Investor Relations. “Championing a future where women-led innovation thrives is a collective effort, and DMZ strives to be a convener and catalyst for the ecosystem.” 

The Summit also unveiled DMZ’s 2024 Women of the Year recipients. Created to honour women in Canada’s tech and business community, the annual award recognizes an esteemed list of individuals for their outstanding accomplishments and impact. 

DMZ’s 2024 Women of the Year award recipients include: 

  • Amber Mac, President of AmberMac Media Inc.
  • Ashley Wright, Founder and CEO of The Wright Success
  • Fatima Zaidi, Founder and CEO of Quill 
  • Helen Ahrens, Chair of OUT at Shopify and Senior Merchant Success Manager of Key Accounts 
  • Helen Huang, Co-Founder of Co.Lab
  • Shriya Gupta, CEO and Co-Founder of Daily Blends
  • Stephanie Curcio, CEO and Co-Founder of NLPatent 
  • Sylvia Ng, CEO of ReturnBear
  • Rhiannon Davies, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Sandpiper Ventures

For more information on DMZ Women of the Year award recipients, head over to

Associate Minister of Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity, the Honourable Charmaine A. Williams, weighed in on how the Government of Ontario invests in supporting women-owned small businesses and the importance of empowering women to pursue their dreams to build a stronger Ontario.


Beyond the Women Innovation Summit, DMZ’s Women Innovation Programs provide women entrepreneurs with additional opportunities and specialized support to accelerate their growth, like exclusive community events, mentorship opportunities, a peer network and connections to investors – on top of DMZ’s standard programming all members receive.   

Formally announced at the Women Innovation Summit, DMZ will now provide a $5,000 grant for women founders accepted into their Pre-Incubator program and a $10,000 grant for women founders accepted into their Incubator program. Additionally, women founders in their Incubator program can tap into a pool of $5,000 each to cover approved business expenses.

Following the Summit, DMZ is gearing up to launch an impact report showcasing the breadth and significance of the Women Innovation Summit. Crafted to encapsulate and distribute valuable insights from the event, the report will be widely shared with the ecosystem and organizations committed to empowering women innovators.

To learn more about how DMZ supports women-identifying founders to build and grow their startups, head to


Media Contact
Luvy Hardy, 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 820 startups raise $2.58 billion in capital and create 5,000+ 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. Learn more at dmz to.

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