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The Review

Unlocking DMZ’s benefits, from a $10K entry grant and travel subsidies to free legal support

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Tag Archives: Lightster

Unlocking DMZ’s benefits, from a $10K entry grant and travel subsidies to free legal support

As a #1 ranked incubator globally, DMZ has a lot to offer, and we pride ourselves on not only talking the talk but also walking the walk. We support the most promising and high-impact tech entrepreneurs who have what it takes to scale their businesses. But don’t get it twisted; we know it takes two to tango.

That’s why startups that join DMZ’s Incubator receive world-class programming and services. To us, that means real, tangible support. 

To start, startups accepted into our Incubator program receive a $10,000 entry grant to help kick-start their journey with us. While we know $10,000 can help with product development, a targeted marketing campaign, training and development or new infrastructure, we can also appreciate that $10,000 is a drop in the bucket. 

Beyond DMZ’s entry grant, startups receive personalized support with customer acquisition and fundraising, unlimited 1 on 1 coaching sessions from our Experts-in-Residence, pro-bono professional services, exclusive pitch competitions, access to the Student Work Placement Program, grant research and writing, startup perks and discounts valued at over $1 million, help with SR&ED tax incentives, free financial plan model custom built by a CFO, free UX design support,  24/7 office space and full-service amenities… the list goes on and on. 

So, how do all these program perks support startups with expenses, and —more importantly — how have they empowered startups to level up? We thought you’d never ask. 

Here are just a few ways DMZ’s Incubator can help your startup’s bottom line. 

Explore new markets without breaking the bank.  

Building a thriving business requires startups to go global, and DMZ helps founders cover travel costs for opportunities abroad through Mitacs Entrepreneur International. We’re committed to inspiring our founders to explore untapped markets and have been thrilled to see founders delve into opportunities abroad.

SoftDrive (Incubator ‘22) received $15,000 to travel to London, New York City, Japan and San Francisco to tap into international markets, meet with VCs, secure customers and attend global conferences

Lightster (Incubator ‘23) received $5,000 to travel to London to attend Techspo London and successfully secured a sales-qualified lead.

 

Fuel your research and level up your product. 

Strengthen your startup’s innovation capabilities through the Mitacs Business Strategy Internship. As a Mitacs partner, DMZ supports founders with the program to harness cutting-edge research to commercialize new products and gain a competitive edge in the market.  

Charmy Pet (Incubator ‘22) received $9,000 to research the health benefits of traditional Chinese herbs for pets, which led to the successful commercialization of a new product line available in over 450 specialty pet stores across Canada today.

 

Access essential legal services from day one. 

DMZ’s Startup Legal Support gives founders fully subsidized in-house legal services. We know how crucial legal support is for early-stage founders, which is why startups who come to DMZ don’t need to worry about cutting corners and instead can have legal processes in place from the get-go. 

To date, Startup Legal Support has saved founders over $600,000 in legal fees, helping them with legal matters, including corporate cleanups, intellectual property, stock option plans, term sheet reviews, share sales, terms of use, privacy policies, service agreements, customer contracts and more.

SoftDrive (Incubator ‘22) was able to save over $35,000 in legal fees.

XpertVR (Incubator ‘22) was able to save over $28,000 in legal fees.

Leasey (Incubator ‘24) was able to save over $25,000 in legal fees.

 

Save on startup must-haves.

DMZ’s perks and benefits provide discounts and fully subsidized tools for founders to save money on the essentials. From founder mental health, AWS Credits, financial services and more, DMZ startups receive perks from 170+ service providers worth over $1 million in business savings. 

Sitemax (Incubator ‘25) received $25,000 in AWS credits, allowing them to re-allocate resources to hire a new Business Development Representative for their team.  

Kaitongo (Incubator ‘24) received $25,000 in AWS credits, allowing them to make product enhancements.

Take part in exclusive pitch competitions. 

DMZ Incubator startups have the opportunity to participate in exclusive startup pitch competitions for the chance to showcase their business and secure grant funding. DMZ handed out $65,000 in grant funding to Incubator startups this summer.  

Chexy (Incubator ‘24) received $50,000 in funding, which helped them improve customer experience and expand their landlord offerings. 

Formaloo (Incubator ‘24) received $15,000 in funding to support their continued expansion with the new release of Formaloo 3.0.


Subsidize your team’s wages. 

Members of DMZ’s Incubator program get access to the Government of Canada’s Student Work Placement Program, which allows startups to subsidize student wages.

Lightster (Incubator ‘23) was able to subsidize $20,000 in wages, which covered 3 student placements, one of which did two terms. 

Want to learn more about how DMZ’s Incubator can help your startup through coaching, mentorship, programming and benefits? Head to dmz.to/Incubator to learn more and apply today. 

Rewiring co-creation: Learn how to become customer-obsessed 

We had the pleasure of chatting with Pat Sathiensamrit, the Founder of Lightster, to learn more about the startup, its global mentality and carefully crafted process that helps companies become customer-obsessed. 

Keep reading to learn more about Lightster, and Pat’s top tips for how companies can become customer-obsessed and build better products.

Can you tell us about Lightster and its mission?

Empowering companies to create better products for their target users, Lightster (Fall ’23) is a platform that connects tech companies with their intended customers to help guide their product development in 60 seconds. These 60 seconds represent our impressive ‘time to insight’ capability, eliminating the need for weeks of waiting to obtain actionable feedback. Our platform empowers companies to swiftly gather essential information, enabling them to make informed decisions and optimize their products quickly.

We aim to increase collaboration between companies and users while benefiting both parties. The benefits are twofold. Customers who sign up can share their insights while earning rewards, and companies create a direct channel of communication with their target audience to refine their products through surveys, chat messages and live conversations.

Despite being an early-stage startup, you’ve already set up shop with multiple partners worldwide. How has your experience been working across global markets?

By exploring new markets worldwide, Lightster has opened up untapped customer segments that allow us to unlock new avenues for growth. This has been made possible by securing strategic partnerships with organizations in countries like Brazil, Jamaica and Switzerland. Our partners have opened doors for us by providing us with connections, market exposure, and, most importantly, insights on the problems that tech companies globally face in their mission to become customer-obsessed. 

Given we work with startups and partners across the globe, we’ve found timezone differences can be both a benefit and a challenge. With our co-founder working remotely from Asia, we understand that finding meeting times that work for all parties can be difficult, but operating in different time zones can often give us additional time to complete deliverables. 

When one office closes, another one opens up, which allows work to be completed around the clock globally. With teams located across different time zones, we have the advantage of having our offices open around the clock. This enables us to promptly address any issues that may arise when our customers are asleep, ensuring efficient resolution and minimizing any potential delays. By having all hands on deck, we’ve made things happen even faster than before. 

For any founder who’s hesitant to open up to new markets, I’d encourage them to go for it. We’ve expanded our reach significantly by working with trusted global partners. Startups might be pleasantly surprised to discover how many companies are eager to tap into the North American market, actively seeking partnerships in the region to unlock new opportunities and expand their reach.

How exactly do you work with your clients? What is your solution offering them?

Lightster empowers companies to connect with their users, by allowing them to create instant communities of their target users based on who is available to provide input on their product while it’s being built. Companies connect directly with their target audiences to involve them in the co-creation process of products that were built for them.

Our clients get to connect with their users directly, providing them with an opportunity to voice their genuine opinions. We’re proud to enable companies like Nobul, Ecowiser, Between.co, Referral Candy, and incubators that support startups like DMZ to become customer-obsessed and build their best products yet on Lightster.

Lightster has grown its user base to almost 7,000+ users. What does this reach mean for your companies, and what’s next?

A more extensive user base translates to better success for our clients as they can connect to a broader set of target audiences faster. Companies that join Lightster instantly match with more users who fit their criteria and target audience.

Companies on Lightster will soon have more ways to connect with their users through a pre-launch product ‘feed’ where they can invite their users and potential users to join and co-create the product as it’s being built.

Could you share your top 3 tips for how companies can better serve their customers? 

  1. Involve them in the co-creation process. As soon as your idea sparks, founders should seek user input. Stats have shown that early involvement increases customer loyalty.
  2. When looking for customer feedback, ask open-ended questions and focus on past behaviours and events instead of asking “what if” questions. This approach produces richer responses allowing you to pinpoint and improve on real, proven challenges, rather than hypothetical scenarios. 
  3. Utilize the vast array of potential users on Lightster by experimenting with different types of representative behaviours and characteristics. You might be surprised; what you discover could lead to your next big idea.

Head over to Lightster’s website to learn more about how they are creating customer-obsessed companies. Want to learn more about how you can help Lightster on its journey? Reach out to their team at welcome@lightster.co.

Meet the DMZ’s Spring ‘22 startup cohort

DMZ’s Incubator is a market validation and traction program that helps venture-backable pre-seed and seed-stage startups execute their go-to market strategy, acquire lighthouse customers, gain media exposure, explore global expansion, preparing for the next round of funding, and much, much more.

Out of hundreds of the high-calibre startup founders that applied from Canada and around the world, the DMZ hand-picked 11 tech companies to join a new 18-month cohort in the Incubator. 

This cohort has startups joining from Vancouver, Canada to Budapest, Hungary, across diverse industries like logistics, insurtech, fintech, proptech, and more.

Introducing our Spring ‘22 Incubator cohort:

 

AssetFlo is building the next generation of location products to help the supply chain increase visibility with a single device that works everywhere and eliminates costly infrastructure.

Baoba is creating street-smart insurances by combining location intelligence with technologies to create geo-triggered coverages. Baoba’s vision is to become the #1 global ecosystem orchestrator for on-demand insurance needs and the platform for connecting a fragmented market.

Carmodity partners with car dealerships to provide lease-financing to customers in a debt-free and interest-free model.


Cozii Technologies provides sustainable residential and commercial properties management services. Their flagship product Cozii Proptech allows residential landlords to manage their rental properties from anywhere in the world.

Lightster is a mobile platform that enables tech startups to build instant user communities for input and co-creation, and rewards users for their time with exclusive access and cash.

Businesses, governments, and individuals share many important documents every day. myLaminin uses Blockchain to deliver security, convenience, and control to the document issuer, document holder, and third-party document verifiers.

Reyts is a marketplace that allows individuals to swap currencies seamlessly and securely.

SizeWize offers an AI-backed fit recommendations eCommerce app that ensures online shoppers can buy the right size online, providing reduced returns, increased conversion, increased AOV, targeted marketing and optimal supply chains. 



ShiftRide is a car subscription service allowing people to subscribe to cars listed by owners and dealerships in the community. Every subscription comes with maintenance, insurance options, and flexible terms that suit any lifestyle.

VRapeutic is an Ontario-based UNICEF Innovation Fund portfolio software house specializing in developing therapeutic and rehabilitation solutions, with a focus on virtual reality (VR) for learning and developmental challenges.

 

If you are an early-stage tech founder interested in joining DMZ’s Incubator, check out more about the program details and selection criteria here.