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Top tech journalists to follow right now

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Top tech journalists to follow right now

Keeping up with where the tech space is headed, startup raises in the field, acquisitions, government initiatives and thought-provoking commentary will not only keep you informed but allow you to make better business decisions.

Here’s DMZ’s top-ten tech journalists to follow right now:

Sean Silcoff | Technology Reporter, Globe and Mail
Focus: technology and innovation

From startup raises, government initiatives, acquisitions and emerging industry trends, Sean Silcoff is known as one of the GOAT reporters at the Globe.  He is the winner of three national newspaper awards and is the co-author of Losing the Signal: the Spectacular Rise and Fall of BlackBerry, which was released in May 2015.

Looking for in-depth, objective and emerging tech news? Look no further than Sean.

 

Tara Deschamps | Business Reporter, Canadian Press
Focus: business, technology, real estate
 


Tara Deschamps currently writes for  the Canadian Press and is no stranger to major outlets, including the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, and the New York Times. Oftentimes bringing in a startup perspective, the bilingual reporter has covered various topics in the business sector, from technology to banking and insurance, retail and food. 
If Tara Deschamps is one thing, it’s versatile.

 

Rebecca Gao | Tech Update, Toronto Star
Focus: technology

Rebecca Gao wears many hats, three of them being a writer, an editor, and a digital content creator. These hats also include being Editor-In-Chief of the Strand and an Associate Editor at Best Health Magazine. She is also the master mind behind your bi-weekly innovation tech updates. 

Explore Rebecca Gao’s technology hat through Toronto Star’s Tech updates.

 

Meagan Simpson | Senior Editor, Betakit
Focus: Canadian technology
 

Meagan Simpon has over 6 years of experience in the journalism and technology industries. Meagan is passionate about helping startups and entrepreneurs reach their goals, and works to share their stories with BetaKit’s readers. Her work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, CBC, Techvibes, and many others.

Turn to Meagan Simpson and take pride in the Canadian tech scene.

 

David Skok | CEO & Editor-In-Chief, The Logic
Focus: innovation economy

David Skok has over 15 years of experience in the media industry, having worked as a reporter, editor, and content strategist. He has an extensive background in media strategy, content creation, and digital publishing. A big name in journalism, he sits on the advisory board of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard and as a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes in journalism. 

High-quality reporting and analysis might as well be David Skok’s middle names.

 

Lance Chung | Editor-In-Chief, The Bay Street Bull
Focus: Canadian entrepreneurship

Recognized as one of the top Canadian financial journalists by Canadian Business Journal, it only makes sense that Lance Chung is the architect and  behind renowned publication Bay Street Bull. His two decades of experience award him expertise in stock markets, currency markets, and macroeconomics.

Looking for reads that perfectly intersect Canadian business, technology, entrepreneurship, lifestyle and culture? Look no further.

 

Temur Durrani | The Globe and Mail
Focus: creator economy, Big Tech, Web3
 

Temur Durrani has reported from five continents, publishing work in the New York Times, the Guardian, and the Washington Post. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Newspaper Award, the Michener Award, and the Canadian Journalism Foundation Award.

Objective journalism, informed by his unique perspective as a South Asian-Canadian, is the name of Temur Durrani’s game.

 

Camille Dundas | Co-Founder, Editor-In-Chief, ByBlacks
Focus: racial equity, Canadian businesses and entrepreneurs

ByBlacks provides a platform for Black Canadian voices to be heard and their stories to be shared. The Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief, this venture led to Camille being named one of Toronto Metropolitan University’s “Media Makers,” an honour given to Journalism grads who have made exceptional achievements in journalism. Before ByBlacks, Camille was the Features Editor at CBC Life and, before that, the Arts Editor at NOW Magazine.

Over the course of a decade, Camille Dundas has built a career focused on creating meaningful content that engages and inspires readers.

 

Stephanie Hughes | Financial reporter, Financial Post
Focus: business news and finance

Stephanie Hughes is a financial reporter for the Financial Post, specializing in coverage of the Canadian economy. She has been covering business and economic trends since 2013, making financial news accessible to the public as an advocate for financial literacy. Her work has been recognized by the Canadian Association of Journalists and the National Newspaper Award.

All founders could use Stephanie Hughes right now as a source of insight into economic uncertainty.

 

Sarah Bartnicka | Head of Content, The Peak
Focus: business and finance, technology, economics

Sarah Bartnicka is a highly sought-after speaker on a variety of topics related to content creation, media, and entrepreneurship. She is committed to helping bring readers quality content that is both timely and engaging as Head of Content at The Peak, a five-minute newsletter on Canadian business, finance, and technology.

Wasting time is impossible with Sarah Bartnicka’s quick yet high-quality picks.

 

Want to hear our top-pick stories too? Sign up for our bi-weekly Tech Talk newsletter here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your 2023 Manifestation Guide to Founder Success

If you’re an avid social user — or even an occasional scroller — you’ve likely heard of manifestation. What is believed to have started as a Hinduism practice has now turned into a worldwide phenomenon trickling into the world of business.

So, what is manifestation? Simply put, manifestation is the practice of turning thoughts into reality. It requires you to be intentional with your emotions, beliefs, habits, and of course, actions. But it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Whether you believe in manifestation or see yourself as more of a goal-setter, there’s no denying the power of positive intent followed by disciplined action. Dreaming is one thing, but the day-to-day grind of a startup can be dark and challenging.

If you’re ready to hustle, keep reading to discover your 2023 manifestation guide to founder success.

Let your mind wander

Ever catch yourself daydreaming about your startup becoming the next big thing? What about securing a million-dollar funding round or landing your next big client? Don’t stop! Exercising your brain to get excited about the future is key to manifesting. Take a few moments each day to sink into your daydreams and discover what truly fuels your passion.

“When you’re passionate about your dreams, it doesn’t feel like work. Organize your life around your passion, turn your passion into your story and use that story to leave a legacy.” — Ahmer Rafiq, CEO, Souqh

Be intentional with your goals

How can you map your aspirations? Goal-setting looks different for everyone — but whether you create a detailed Excel sheet, draw up a mind map, or jot down notes in your journal, being intentional is key. Set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) to achieve your desired outcome, and don’t forget to stay disciplined.

Fail quickly, learn fast

As a founder, there’s no question you’re going to fail — we all do! While it may seem like the end of the world, failure truly is the secret ingredient to success. Think of failure as a tool that helps uncover next steps by telling us exactly what’s working and what’s not. After all, Yin doesn’t exist without Yang.

“With every failure, I’m one step closer to success.” — Kelly Emery, Founder & CEO, Troop

Stay positive

Turn “I wish” phrases to “let’s do it” and “what if I fail?” to “when I succeed.” Focusing on the negative is easy, especially as a founder who inevitably hits what feels like every bump in the road. When you catch yourself drifting to that place of negativity, shift your mindset to practice gratitude and confidence. There’s nothing more powerful than believing in yourself and your business.

“Success is not defined by the end result – within every initiative, you will find an opportunity to grow, to learn and to push yourself one step closer to your goals and your success.” — Ahmer Rafiq, CEO, Souqh

Put yourself in the driver’s seat

Be accountable and disciplined. Of course, the most essential practice in manifestation is action. Joining an incubator like the DMZ helps hold founders like you accountable to your goals and provides a playbook to put dreams into action. Take ownership. You got this.

“I meditate daily, allocate time for sales calls, and have regular touch points with advisors who hold me accountable.” — Kelly Emery, Founder & CEO, Troop

 

Can you really manifest your startup dreams? Try it.

If you’re looking for a sign to join the DMZ, this is it. Check out our programs here.

Hear from Roadmunk’s Co-Founder & CEO, Latif Nanji, on his rollercoaster ride from emergence to exit

Latif Nanji, Co-Founder and CEO of SaaS platform Roadmunk, connects the dots of his entrepreneurial journey at the DMZ’s Founder Dinner, uncovering his rollercoaster ride from emergence to exit.

Founded in 2012, Roadmunk is product management software that solves how product innovators build and communicate their strategy. Roadmunk has an impressive track record, from being listed as one of Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 and their acquisition by Tempo in 2021 to serving over 3,000+ customers, including Amazon, Visa, Nike, Adobe and Morgan Stanley, to name a few.

Latif’s history is also not one to miss. Before Roadmunk, he co-founded several companies, including Pokerspace, an online social network for poker players, and Pragmatic CEO, a Toronto meet-up group for tech entrepreneurs. He also spent five years as a Product Manager at Miovision, working on intelligent traffic infrastructure, where he developed his passion for helping product managers build the right things for customers. Latif enjoys biohacking, rock climbing, scuba diving and angel investing in his spare time.

Looking for inspiration to build the next big thing? Check out Latif’s insights on his rollercoaster ride from emergence to exit from our latest DMZ Founder Dinner – an event series designed to bring DMZ’s community together for an evening of food, drinks and connections. ​​Watch Latif’s full founder talk below, or keep reading, to discover his top tips for being a successful entrepreneur and building an acquirable business.  

Go team!

“One of the early things I instantiated in the business was a core value called ‘Start with empathy.’ It was a family-like core value, and I thought it was a great idea.

Eventually, I realized that the mentality I had was one of protectionism — a high empathy and high loyalty culture. There’s nothing wrong with these values, but as an investor, I want to know if you are going to make the hard decisions.

Sometimes the teams need to change their structure or formation, just like they do in a sports team, to get to the outcome. If you want to level up through the divisions in soccer, you are going to different players as you progress. It’s not that you can’t thank the players before, but the new ones have to come in.”

The secret to reliable hiring: homework

“There were a few key things we did to fix our ongoing issue of short-lived new hires:

  • Anyone who walked through our doors looking to be hired was assigned homework on neutral ground that had nothing to do with our company or product.
  • This homework was assigned in an open-ended exercise that allowed us to have a dialogue and observe how responsive a potential hire is, how they write emails and how they ask questions.
  • We invited team members from other departments to sit in on meetings and presentations to get a chance to spar with candidates and provide feedback. This was the single most important thing we did when hiring in the early stages of the business.“ 

Students don’t interview the teacher

“We had to hire a software architect in 2020. I interviewed him, and I thought he was great, but I didn’t think he was that impressive from a cultural perspective.

I had my two top senior engineers interview him, and they came back to me and said, ‘We don’t think he’s the right fit.’

My COO walks in, and he asks us what we were doing. I said, ‘We’re interviewing.’ He said, ‘No, you’re not; students don’t interview the teacher.’

It was a simple concept, but it felt like a hammer hitting me in the head. So, we brought in the VP of Platform at Ritual and two external CTOs, who gave him a test on how to scale Google Drive. They came back with a report and said, ‘If you don’t hire him, we will.’ 

This was a great lesson in making sure not just other people that feel like they’re more senior, but people that have experience in the domain that understand your business and your business needs, are part of that process.” 

The key to winning the valuation game is pacing

“The problem isn’t with raising a little bit more money; it’s when you get further down the valuation trap.

If you raise five, six, seven million bucks when you only need  $1m, your post-money is maybe between $30 to $35 million instead of $5-10m. That means in the next 24 to 36 months or less, you’re going to grow >$30 million in valuation. That’s where things get really complicated. Going incrementally at a reasonable pace is how I think the best startups function before they see some version of a breakout growth path.”

Hear from Roadmunk’s Co-Founder & CEO, Latif Nanji, on his rollercoaster ride from emergence to exit

Want a front-row seat at the next DMZ Founder Dinner to hear from other inspiring founders? Apply now to join our next Incubator cohort at dmz.to/incubator.

 

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Introducing the DMZ’s newest Pre-Incubator cohort

Our newest Pre-Incubator cohort is in full swing. The DMZ is thrilled to present 16 tech companies hand-selected to take their businesses to the next level. For the next 16 weeks, the DMZ will help these founders validate their business idea, establish a minimum viable product and build a roadmap for implementation to launch their startup.

Our Pre-Incubator founders participate in peer-to-peer sessions, founder roundtables and expert-led workshops, receive 80+ membership benefits valued at $470,000+, have one-on-one support from our DMZ Program Leads and much more.

Keep reading and join us in welcoming our newest batch of cutting-edge companies!

Introducing our Winter ‘23 Pre-Incubator cohort:

Ace It
Ace It is an Edtech software company based out of Toronto focused on simplifying the learning experience for students using an ecosystem that distributes user-generated content to leverage learning and increase engagement.

ASKaFOX
ASKaFOX is a France-based startup helping manufacturers find suppliers efficiently via an NLP-powered search engine and experts-assigned marketplace. They are rebuilding a more agile, resilient global supply chain that benefits SMEs.

Aversa
Women Founders and Black Innovation streams
Aversa is a robust platform for collaborative care between patients and specialists focusing on inclusivity and delivering timely, holistic, preventative and accurate information.

Better Resto
Better Resto is a no-code e-commerce builder for restaurants to accept online orders for pick-up and delivery using third-party delivery companies such as Uber Eats and DoorDash.

Connected Community
Women Founders stream
Connected Community has built the first fully integrated Real Estate Management software, making it easier for different teams to share information and drastically reduce implementation costs.

Docere
Docere is an all-in-one integrated telemedicine platform that makes the interaction between family doctors and patients straightforward through self-health checkups to 3D Animations.

Flowjin
Women Founders stream
Flowjin is an AI clip generator that finds the best highlights from podcast episodes and automatically creates videos.

fuse FUSE
Black Innovation Programs stream
FUSE aims to solve problems at the intersection of video-conferencing and collaboration in educational institutions. It eliminates reliance on multiple applications for different purposes and improves collaboration.

Guhuza
Guhuza is a full-service recruiting platform unlike anything on the market. By eliminating steps in the hiring process, Guhuza makes it possible for employers to interview candidates live within minutes of inputting their job descriptions into the platform.

ooomaker logo
OOOMaker
OOOMaker is the world’s first all-in-one out-of-office management platform that resolves work-life balance challenges through powerful workflows and integration.

PxP
Women Founders stream
PxP’s crowd-powered publishing platform gives authors all they need to grow and harness the power of their fanbase, bring their IP to its full potential, and build a successful business through a gamified social reading experience.

StrAIberry
Women Founders stream
StrAIberry is a multi-platform app developed to monitor an individual’s oral hygiene. Users can do check-ups, while organizations, insurers, and dentists can monitor and manage treatments, insurance claims and more.

summationsSummations
Women Founders stream
Summations is a research-focused educational content provider that transforms academic journal articles into instructional content for college and university students using NLP-driven summarization.

Tinga
Tinga is a platform that delivers personalized nutrition in one convenient location, solving the translation gap between diet aspirations and retailers.

Untangle Money
Women Founders stream
Untangle Money aims to close the financial security gap by helping women take control of their “now money” and “future money” with affordable products and services made specifically for women.

vidBoard
vidBoard is an AI-powered video platform that converts text to human-led videos without the need to visit a studio. Human presenters are created by transforming a human picture into a talking avatar.


Are you an early-stage tech founder interested in building your business? Discover more about our Pre-Incubator program and apply to our next cohort here.

The DMZ’s top ten tech Twitter accounts to follow

The DMZ has created a curated list of people and organizations to keep tabs on, whether you’re looking for bite-sized updates or advice on which market to break into next. After all, success is often about who you know – or in this case, who you follow.

1. Tech Crunch | @TechCrunch

You’ve probably heard of it before, and for good reason. Tech Crunch is one of the leading platforms for technology-related updates catered to founders and startups. Here you can find real-time breaking news and insightful analysis from the best in Silicon Valley and around the world.

Disney strikes a big adtech deal with The Trade Desk as Disney+ expands into ads https://t.co/VmkYeLdqnM by @laurenforristal

— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) July 12, 2022

2. BetaKit | @BetaKit

The only independent tech innovation publication in Canada, BetaKit aims to report on the people involved in building the next generation of Canadian tech companies. Through their account, you can be the first to read new stories and get job opportunities delivered right to your Twitter feed, or email inbox if you’re subscribed to their weekly newsletter.

Small and medium-sized businesses may not have deep pockets but they might be surprised to know that a few basic tools and protocols can successfully mitigate 99 percent of cyber attacks. https://t.co/NhCylQRqFE

— BetaKit (@BetaKit) July 11, 2022

3. Emily Chang | @emilychangtv

Emily Chang is a prominent face in tech journalism. As the anchor and executive producer of Bloomberg Technology, you can find some of the biggest news stories in the tech world on her account, along with snippets of interviews she holds with leading executives, entrepreneurs and investors.

If you watch one thing about the Google/AI/feelings debate, watch this 10 mins with @mmitchell_ai re: Blake Lemoine aka @cajundiscordian

Full convo: https://t.co/wMArRzf16O https://t.co/D8PMsnBT5t

— Emily Chang (@emilychangtv) June 18, 2022

4. Business Insider Tech | @BITech

Popular news outlet Insider has a specific account dedicated just to their articles related to tech. Their slogan “What you wanna know” speaks for itself – with updates on major events and relevant and unique industry trends and analyses that you probably won’t find on other tech media giants.

Bill Gates’ VC fund and Intidex just led a $30 million round into Circ, a startup that slashes emissions from fast fashion. Check out the 11-slide pitch deck it used to raise the funds. https://t.co/ZAPEA8x34P

— Business Insider Tech (@BITech) July 12, 2022

5. The Next Web | @thenextweb

Based in Amsterdam, The Next Web is a tech Twitter staple that has been updating its followers on a variety of sub-sectors within the industry, with news from North America, the EU and so much more. Their occasional job postings and TECH TIP OF THE DAY guarantee that you can use their resources and put them to use.

It’s the ultimate fight between hackers and mathematicians, and the future is at stake https://t.co/SP4BqnbPMD

— TNW (@thenextweb) July 12, 2022

6. Anil Dash | @anildash

Anil Dash is the founder of Glitch, a coder community platform that promotes co-collaboration. Outside his day job, however, is when he adds the top tech stories – and sometimes pop culture – from various outlets to your timeline. You can expect some light-hearted personal anecdotes and interactions with others in the community.

The fundamental flaw of most social platforms is a tech mindset that thinks the hard part is managing content, when the hard part is actually managing discontent.

— Anil (@anildash) July 15, 2022

7. WIRED | @WIRED

Tech veteran WIRED is many people’s go-to for up-and-coming technologies affecting any sector, whether it be culture, politics, or the economy. Get immediate delivery of their newest articles to your feed and read up on your daily commutes or breaks. Chances are someone else in the room is doing the same.

Daylight provides debit cards with your chosen name, no matter what your ID says. (From 2021) https://t.co/bU6xuBQ7J8

— WIRED (@WIRED) July 12, 2022

8. The Verge | @verge

The Verge is a multimedia platform that treats technology as the centrepiece of culture as they report on technologies changing future life in media, transportation, and science. Add The Verge to your daily news check-ups and get interesting updates that you can be the first to know about among friends and co-workers.

What if we could look into the future and see how technology will change everything — from raising pets and houseplants to how we dress, eat, date, and even how we die. Our new docuseries The Future Of is premiering on @Netflix on June 21st pic.twitter.com/h3cAgqo7Tp

— The Verge (@verge) June 13, 2022

9. Arati Sharma | @aratisharma

If you’re looking for first-hand opinions and anecdotes from someone who knows what they’re talking about, give Arati Sharma – ex-Shopify executive’s – account a quick follow. Not only are you signing up for updates from a professional and a founder (Backbone Angels), but you also get some engaging and thought-provoking tweets about BIPOC and women-founded businesses.

“More than half of South Asian women in Canada are planning to leave their jobs, study reveals”… well that’s an alarming stat. https://t.co/TVpdeYTYOp

— Arati Sharma (@aratisharma) April 20, 2022

10. The DMZ | @TheDMZ

Forgive the shameless plug, but our own DMZ Twitter account can help you stay connected to a community of entrepreneurs and stay up to date with new events, programs and news on Toronto’s and the rest of the world’s startup ecosystems. This is where you can start implementing your ideas and connect with experts.

.@FredVanVleet is helping us spread the word that Blueprint: Backing BIPOC Businesses is back! Powered by @theDMZ, the mentorship & grant program designed to support the advancement of BIPOC businesses. Applications close on July 26, 2022. Eligibility criteria & terms apply.

— Amex Canada (@AmexCanada) June 14, 2022

Looking to turn your newfound knowledge into action? Check out our programming and take your first steps to success.

Hear from DMZ’s first-ever unicorn founder for his advice on building a billion-dollar company

Co-founder and CEO of brand interaction platform Ada, Mike Murchison, spilled the entrepreneurial tea at DMZ’s Founder Dinner earlier this month, sharing lessons learned from scaling the first-ever DMZ unicorn company the ground up.

Empowering brands to automate customer interactions, Ada brings a VIP experience to every customer and employee through its platform. Since 2018, Ada has increased its revenue by 764% and in 2021, raised its Series C at a valuation of $1.2B, officially achieving unicorn status.

The first in-person DMZ Founder Dinner since 2019, the events are designed to bring the larger DMZ founder community together for an evening of food, drinks and connections.

We thought we’d share some of Mike’s insights and how he built the first-ever DMZ unicorn company for other founders looking to build the next big thing. Watch his full founder talk below to learn more about Ada and Mike’s journey, or keep reading for a recap of the tips and learnings Mike shared with the audience during his talk.

Entrepreneurship is a deeply personal experience

“We in this room are all united by this shared dream of building something important, big and world-changing. The journey that we’re all on is a very, very unique one, but we’re all unified in that shared ambition.”

The value of improving your rate of learning

“I think the single most important thing I’ve learned over the course of this journey has been a deep inward focus on improving my own rate of learning.

I think that’s one of the things I so admire about the community here at the DMZ, is that we’re all committed to learning. We’re all highly curious people who are eager to learn new things.

I encourage you to ask yourself, ‘What is piquing my curiosity? What problem am I facing that may seem insurmountable that I may be able to learn something new from?'”

Founders have a responsibility to support one another

“We all have a responsibility as founders to support one another in our own growth. I encourage everyone making progress themselves to share it with others.

We’re not competing against one another, we’re supporting one another. We all win when a startup in our ecosystem succeeds.”

Mike Murchison talking with another guest. - DMZ Founder Dinner recap

Sometimes the easiest path IS the right path

“I was dealing with a hard problem and someone asked me, ‘What if it wasn’t hard? What if it was easy?’

I’ve grown up and trained myself into thinking I need to do the hardest things, and what I’ve learned in the course of building Ada is that sometimes the easiest path, where you’re feeling the pull, is actually the right path.”

Don’t take yourself too seriously

“Looking back, something I would’ve done differently is not taking myself so seriously.

I wasted a lot of energy thinking about what the ideal path was meant to look like. I wish – earlier on – I would’ve let go of my perception of the right path and been more excited about the path that was unfolding before me.”

DMZ card that says "Changing entrepreneurs' lives." - DMZ Founder Dinner recap

Want to have a front row seat at the next DMZ Founder Dinner to hear from other founders who have made it? Apply to our upcoming Incubator cohort kicking off this fall at dmz.to/incubator.

Meet 13 up-and-coming tech startups in the DMZ’s Pre-Incubator

Our newest Pre-Incubator cohort is in full swing, and we are thrilled to present the 13 tech companies that we have hand-selected to take their businesses to the next level. For the next six weeks, the DMZ will help these founders validate their business idea, establish a minimum viable product and build a roadmap for implementation to launch their startup.

Our Pre-Incubator founders get the chance to participate in peer-to-peer sessions, founder roundtables and expert-led workshops, receive 80+ membership benefits valued at $470,000+, have one-on-one support from our DMZ Program Leads and much more. Post-graduation, they will be on track to launch their startup within three months and generate revenue within six, allowing them to kick-start their entrepreneurial journey!

We are delighted to share that our new cohort of startups have a global reach, with startups across Canada, the United States, Brazil, Estonia and Africa.

So, without further ado, please welcome our incoming cohort of cutting-edge companies:

Newest cohort of DMZ Pre-Incubator tech startups
BestAuction

Newest cohort of DMZ Pre-Incubator tech startups: bestauction

BestAuction is a digital platform designed for individuals and SMBs to manage the procurement process and initiate digital cross-collaboration.

Troop Impact

Woman Founders stream
Newest cohort of DMZ Pre-Incubator tech startups: troopTroop Impact is a social impact tech platform for SMBs that allows businesses to meet the social responsibility demands of employees and customers by voting monthly on where their company’s social impact dollars will be allocated.

TechFusion

Black Innovation Program stream
TechFusion is an accessible digital banking platform for credit unions, cooperatives and savings groups, targeted toward the unbanked and underserved in Africa.

SensaioTech

Newest cohort of DMZ Pre-Incubator tech startups: SensaiotechSensaioTech is an end-to-end fire risk assessment solution that is able to monitor and predict when and where a wildfire will occur using artificial intelligence.

Paysync

Black Innovations Programs stream
PaySync is a financial technology services company developing financial solutions for employee wellbeing and productivity.

Gander

Black Innovation Program stream
Gander is a B2B, subscription-based, AR and 3D modelling API plug-in service designed to allow customers to virtually interact with products on e-commerce sites.

ZewalletZewallet

Zewallet allows customers to scan a QR code to tip, split and pay a bill at the end of their meals, benefitting both customer experiences and merchants in cost and time efficiency and in increased revenue.

ZaNiheza

Woman Founders stream and Black Innovation Programs stream
Newest cohort of DMZ Pre-Incubator tech startups: Za NihezaZaNiheza is a dual booking software and travel marketplace that empowers verified operators to list and sell quality experiences online to travellers.

Sleekscore

Black Innovation Program stream
Sleekscore is a financial technology company that seeks to assist those who are either unfamiliar with credit or inadequately served by traditional financial products to build and improve their credit scores while getting into the habit of saving money.

Scooli

Black Innovation Program stream
Scooli is a one-stop-shop digital solution for educators that minimizes the time teachers and administrators spend on redundant administrative tasks.

Frenzy Brands

Frenzy Brands

Woman Founders stream
Frenzy Brands extends a child’s understanding of the stock market, business and investing with a focus on learning through play.

LeaderTree

Black Innovation Program stream
LeaderTree is a single integrated platform that enables effective leaders,

teams, collaboration and results through assessments, training, coaching and tools to understand strengths, needs, tendencies and preferences.

DataCalculus

Woman Founders stream
Data CalculusDataCalculus is an automated software that acts like a personal computer but for the purpose of advanced data analytics and machine learning for the mass market.

 

If you are an early-stage tech founder and are interested in joining the DMZ Pre-Incubator alongside amazing peers like these, check out more about the program and its selection criteria here. Our next cohort kicks off September 2022!

23 up-and-coming tech startups you’ll want to keep an eye on

Meet the DMZ’s newest Pre-Incubator cohort, 23 companies who are innovating across diverse industries


Our newest
Pre-Incubator cohort is in full swing. The DMZ is ecstatic to present 23 tech companies that have been hand-selected to join this cohort, from startups that produce smart bedsheets, to platforms that help businesses share data about their carbon footprint. For the next 6 weeks, the DMZ will help these founders validate their business idea, establish a minimum viable product, and build a roadmap for implementation to launch their startup.

Pre-Incubator founders participate in peer-to-peer sessions, founder roundtables, and expert-led workshops. They receive 80+ membership benefits valued at $470,000+, have one-on-one support from our Program Leads, and much more. Post-graduation, they will be on track to launch their startup within 3 months and generate revenue within 6, allowing them to kick-start their entrepreneurial journey!

The cohort has founders based in Canada, U.S., U.K., and Ukraine.

Keep an eye out for these startups who are making major waves in tech:

lightster image
Lightster
offers a mobile platform for customer interviews on-demand.  They enable Product Managers & Entrepreneurs (Creators) to talk to target customers (Lightsters) in 60 seconds, allowing anyone to earn $60 an hour by being their true self with no investment or skillsets required.

notion patch
Notion Patch is an ed-tech startup offering online XR exams. Identifying the need for online exam security and XR technology positions, Notion Patch offers customers to complete certified & approved exams online in Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, or with a Smartphone AR App.

 

crowdparty
Crowd Party Inc.
is the Netflix for workplace games, allowing teams to build joyful connections remotely or in a hybrid working environment.

 

ballstreet image
BallStreet
is building a fractionalized stock market for trading sports cards on the blockchain. They enable card owners to earn royalties and buyers to invest in fractional ownership in the sports world’s most sought-after collectibles.

 

carbongraph
Carbon Graph is a communications platform for businesses to share data about the carbon footprint of their products. It is the first of its kind to enable complex, global supply chains to achieve carbon transparency and associated ROI.

 

carjuggle
Car Juggle
is a platform where users can appraise, buy, sell, or lease a pre-owned vehicle, with the ability to determine fair market value, list or buy, and get instant offers from dealers, including international buyers.

 

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SWFTR
provides a platform to streamline the process of making critical deliveries with high reliability, transparency, and efficiency. Equipped with a technology-enabled platform and scalable network of delivery professionals, SWFTR offers clients a holistic critical logistics solution, allowing them to focus on their day-to-day operations.

 

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Dwella
is a prop-tech company aiming to democratize real estate investing. By leveraging the ethereum blockchain, Dwella is making fractional ownership possible and providing liquidity.

 

tailwind
Tailwind is an online guidance counselling platform that helps students make a successful transition into the first year of post-secondary school.

 

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Litespace
is a modern, hybrid, and remote workplace solution focused on optimizing efficiency and engagement in the workspace. Through AI, Litespaces enables efficient collaboration among employees based on their statuses, teams, roles, and their proximity to each other.

 

noxware
Noxware Ltd.
is a MedTech startup that produces smart bedsheets for remote health monitoring for seniors requiring telehealth services at home. Noxware’s bedsheets can detect different patterns of body movement, perform remote rehabilitation, and monitor cardiovascular abnormalities and sleep disorders.

 

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GoBazzinga
is a blockchain-powered gamified social media platform that helps creators in developing faster monetization of sustainable revenue streams that allows them to continue doing what they love.

 

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Quanta Vici
is a smart wearable tech startup that was born to expand the spectrum of human senses and abilities through practical day-to-day smart wearable technologies. Their products include Smart Heated Wearables, a product line of gloves and socks that sense and maintain the exact temperature clients personally chose.

oo

Cartoonely is a marketplace that helps customers purchase custom art made by real artists. Cartoonely has sold custom portraits across 14 different countries within a year.

 

round
Round the Block
offers a mobile app that helps students find driving instructors easily. They also organize instructor schedules and handle daily marketing, enabling instructors to focus on teaching.

 

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Virtue
is a Chrome extension that empowers consumers to make a change by leveraging their buying decisions. Virtue activates when users shop online while seamlessly recommending 300+ Black-owned alternative businesses.

 

baa
Beauty N Brushes
is a social beauty booking web app connecting women and People of Colour to Black beauty professionals. It allows clients to explore the Black beauty looks they love and book the professionals responsible for those looks.

 

arrow
Simplicad
is building a SaaS-enabled marketplace that allows homeowners to order custom ironwork from all around the world.

 

snap write ai
SnapWrite AI
uses product images to generate product features and product descriptions for eCommerce companies. They provide tools for retailers, independent store owners, in-house marketing teams, and copywriters to structure a brand’s catalogue.

 

brainbot
Brainbot is a personalized concussion recovery app that gamifies recovery, focusing on tracking activities and symptoms and providing the clear guidance survivors seek. Their platform connects users virtually with licensed Occupational Therapists for enriched support. Shelley Vaisberg, Brainbot’s founder, is available for private consultation here.

 

granularity​​
Granularity helps businesses decide how much to order and how often with improved accuracy. Granularity infuses demand forecasting with AI and big data, using social media, macroeconomics, and more.

 

visionai
VisionAI Solutions
integrates data from wearables and medical devices and patient EMR (Electronic Medical Record) data to provide real-time data on homecare, retirement home, and long-term care clients.

carbongraph
Vicuna Corp
is an ed-tech startup that houses Scholaebot, a smart engine streamlining the creation, generation, editing, and management of mathematics content with minimal user input. Scholaebot consists of a base repository of mathematics template questions, and analyses and generates similar questions based on those templates.

 

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

 

Introducing Nathaniel Bagnell: Alumni-in-Residence Spotlight

Hear from Nathaniel on why he’s excited to give back to the DMZ community, the experiences of an Indigenous entrepreneur, and how he conceptualized the MVP for LiveGauge


The DMZ is thrilled to introduce Nathaniel Bagnell, the co-founder of
LiveGauge, and our newest alumni to join the DMZ’s Alumni-in-Residence (AiR) program

Nathaniel’s breadth of business expertise will provide founders guidance in accounting, resource planning, hiring, product management and corporate strategy. 

The AiR program brings alumni back to the DMZ to act as mentors to the founders in current DMZ programs. Whether it’s offering sound business advice to new founders or providing guidance on personal development as an entrepreneur, AiRs play a vital role in the success of current startups at the DMZ – they were once in their shoes, and they know exactly what it’s like to be an early-stage founder.

A marketing technology entrepreneur with over 12 years of experience, Nathaniel is an ambitious founder with a strong interest in creating and participating in innovative ideas, projects, and products that impact the world in a positive way.

At the DMZ, we are committed to creating an equitable future for all founders; a prosperous economy is one that fosters diverse perspectives. The underrepresentation of Indigenous founders has been a persistent issue in the startup ecosystem as they are met with a disproportionate number of barriers when trying to break in. 

We sat down with Nathaniel to learn more about his expertise, his entrepreneurial journey, the evolution of LiveGauge, and the challenges and opportunities Indigenous entrepreneurs experience.

 

What are your areas of expertise? What can founders come to you with questions about?

“My core expertise revolves around operational and financial aspects of business. This includes resource planning, hiring, product management, go-to-market strategy, product planning, budgeting, forecasting, and vertical expansion planning. I can also help with managerial accounting and financial accounting from my years of being the sole bookkeeper at LiveGauge.” 

 

What made you decide to come back to the DMZ, now as an AiR?

“I would not be where I am today without the DMZ and the support it has given me. I feel so appreciative of everyone who has helped me get to where I am, and I truly want to help others in the same boat. Being able to support other entrepreneurs through the DMZ is something I couldn’t be happier to do. 

 

Could you tell us a little bit about LiveGauge’s history? What problem were you trying to solve?

LiveGauge is an experiential marketing suite that helps brands and agencies better understand how effective their campaigns are.

“LiveGauge started by combining two ideas from experiences in my career. The concept of tracking people and understanding what led them to buy a product emerged from my time working at Future Shop as a merchandiser. 

Every Thursday, we rearranged the shelf order based on a planogram printed out by the POS system. Some products were positioned based on payments from the brand, but most positioning decisions were made based on historical sales information. 

I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be better to understand how we got to the end result of a purchase versus using end results to generate more end results?’ This is where my desire to understand consumer behaviour came from.

In a later role, I worked in mobile app development. In this job, I learned how it’d be possible to execute on the process of collecting consumer behaviour data. I was researching mobile devices and their technological capabilities and discovered a paper that explained the types of signals that cell phones emit. I used it as the MVP basis to execute on the business concept of LiveGauge.”

 

It has been nearly 9 years since you first launched LiveGauge — how has the company grown and evolved?

“Over the past 9 years, the company has been reborn. Every facet of the business, from the technological foundation, to the customers, to our founding team, has evolved.

Some changes were evolutionary, like adapting components to changing privacy laws and re-developing our algorithms to meet mobile marketplace changes. Others were revolutionary, like completely changing our target customer base, re-structuring our company, and developing new products completely outside of our primary focus. 

There are positives and negatives, of course. Positive growing moments are easy to point out — like moving into our own office space and surpassing revenue goals. Negative ones are hard to recognize as blessings, but they push us outside of our comfort zones. 

One notable example would be the pandemic. We are in the events business, and with in-person gatherings shut down around the globe, we were forced to look into new product developments and other target customers. Now, we are a multi-industry business with revenue streams from different verticals!”

 

What was your experience at DMZ’s Incubator back in 2017 like?

“I still remember getting the invitation to be a part of the Incubator — it felt so right for us. We wanted to be part of a community that shared our drive, and understood our struggles and dreams.

Our fellow DMZ startups in the space had an array of experiences and lessons to share, from B2B and B2C companies, loyalty program startups, fintech, to medical training education solutions. Being surrounded by other startups makes you even more hungry as an entrepreneur. Seeing others commit 110% to their business makes you want to commit 150%. It’s a fuel like no other.

The community was exceptionally valuable, not just from the other entrepreneurs, but the DMZ’s advisors and EiRs. Their experience and insights were priceless. Mentorship is one of the best hacks a startup can utilize. A handful of solid sessions with someone who has been in your shoes can save you hours from making their same mistakes.”


“Being surrounded by other startups makes you even more hungry as an entrepreneur. Seeing others commit 110% to their business makes you want to commit 150%. It’s a fuel like no other.”

 

Any insights into your experiences as an Indigenous entrepreneur? What kinds of support can startup incubators, government, etc. provide Indigenous entrepreneurs?

“I often have encounters with individuals who, at no fault of their own, stereotype what an Indigenous founder ‘should’ look like.

When I let someone know I’m Miꞌkmaq they are a bit shocked, which is understandable given the way the media and Hollywood have painted the picture of Indigenous peoples. I think we’ll see that change soon though!

Today, we’re seeing more grants being offered exclusively to Indigenous entrepreneurs and strong business support communities. What I find the most interesting is that there are companies across North America that want to work with businesses that are minority-owned, Indigenous included!

These companies seek minority-owned businesses for a handful of reasons, including government incentives, and preferential selection as a second-tier supplier or vendor if they are listed as working with minority-owned businesses.

The startup ecosystem can always be better, but quite frankly there’s never been a better time for anybody to start following their entrepreneurial dreams, Indigenous peoples included.”

 

Are there any mentors from your early days as an entrepreneur that have made an impact on your personal or professional growth?

“There are three that come to mind. I’ll just refer to them by their first names. The first is James, he taught me how to persevere through tough times and adopt a ‘hustler’ mentality. His lessons have helped me identify when to adapt, when to go all in and fight, or cut my losses and move on. 

The second is Dave. He has changed the way I look at and execute sales. He helped me to understand that the qualitative part of sales is equally as important as your quantitative parts. Focus on the psychology of your sales as much as you do your performance KPIs. Sales is an art and a science, and his mentorship has been invaluable. 

The third would be Sheri. Her guidance and advice are not explicitly business-related, but she  helped me to grow personally, which is critical as a business leader.”

 

Connect with Nathaniel here.

 

To access mentors like Nathaniel, apply to our programs today by visiting dmz.to/incubator.

Meet 25 up-and-coming tech startups in DMZ’s Pre-Incubator

Introducing a new cohort of Pre-Incubator companies who are making waves across diverse industries 

Our newest Pre-Incubator cohort is in full swing, and we are ecstatic to present the 25 tech companies that we have hand-selected to help grow. For the next 6 weeks, the DMZ will help these founders validate their business idea, establish a minimum viable product and build a roadmap for implementation to launch their startup.

Our Pre-Incubator founders get the chance to participate in peer-to-peer sessions, founder roundtables and expert-led workshops, receive 80+ membership benefits valued at $470,000+, have one-on-one support from our Program Leads, and much more. Post-graduation, they will be on track to launch their startup within 3 months and generate revenue within 6, allowing them to kick-start their entrepreneurial journey!

We are thrilled to share that our new cohort has a global reach, with startups based across 8 different countries: Canada, Italy, Nigeria, U.S., Iran, Pakistan, Korea, and England. 

What are we waiting for? Meet the 25 startups in our summer Pre-Incubator cohort:


afrilearn image
Afrilearn is an education technology corporation leveraging seasoned teachers, animators and developers to deliver affordable, world-class education for Africans anywhere.
Glo3DInc

Glo3D offers a simplified mobile and web app for any eCommerce platforms to create, share and embed interactive, multimedia 2D and 3D product photos to their online stores.

 

PaydApp is Canada’s first financial app dedicated to post-secondary education. Payd leverages natural spending habits of current, former, and future students to help them pay off their student debt with ease, limiting financial stress and hardship. 


Websona connects students with campus involvement opportunities and fellow students. It allows users to connect with each other instantly by scanning their digital profile QR Code and filters extra-curricular events for users through tags.

 

Diatron Health is a health tech startup that is revolutionizing how chronic conditions can be prevented, managed and diagnosed by leveraging on the power of behavioural science, mobile computing, artificial intelligence and data science.


Stabl
is the first digital health platform with integration capabilities that enables physiotherapists providing virtual care to track and quantify a patient’s biomechanics using laptop cameras. Physios can diagnose a patient, create treatment plans, and monitor their improvements through reassessments, providing a more effective and transparent approach to virtual physiotherapy.

 

Ationlab is a lifestyle-design company that pursues social missions supporting sustainable, independent life in contemporary society. Their recently launched self-care app, Prickly, provides support to single-person households. They are also working on a portable UVC sterilizer and a mobile dumbbell using EMS technology.


TimeoutIQ Tech is an AI-powered solution that helps parents manage their kids’ recreational screen time and keeps their minds sharp with a personalized interactive K-8 education curriculum focused on Science, Math, Geography, Computer Science and English.

 


Visto is automating the immigration process to help people navigate the immigration journey at a fraction of the price. The immigration process can be extremely expensive, confusing and stressful, and Visto’s software solution was designed to empower  immigrants to go through the process on their own.

 

SCYiBL is a 6 step neuro-scientific process that helps individuals work through trauma. The app guides users to rewire their own brain using an innovative, scientifically-proven process that harnesses brain plasticity to help individuals overcome negative life events and thrive.

 


Lobbea is a private social network for apartment buildings that helps its residents communicate through a shared feed wall, as well as buy, sell, lend, and borrow items, create events, and send messages to their neighbours.

 


Djamgatech Corp builds multilingual and platform independent high tech education and certification mobile applications. Their objective is to have a global reach and help professionals and students prepare for their technical certification directly from their mobile phone.

 

iReal is the first Real-Estate-Data-Platform-as-a-Service with made-to-measure AI and NLP, capturing each organization’s ‘secret sauce’ to help them become the real estate company their clients expect.

Podium Team is a vertically integrated social media platform that connects, engages, and supports the athlete-fan community by empowering users to own and control their content and monetization.

 

PHYSICo is an application for companies to proactively identify and reduce burnout in their employees. Users send physical and custom challenges to each other and earn points for completing challenges. 

IMC Business Architecture has developed a mobile app-based banking solution that helps users build a budget using behavioural economic tools, as well as receive access to small credit for credit repair and savings tools for planning.

 

Curismart is a marketplace platform that allows healthcare professionals to only shop from verified sellers globally. This marketplace offers everything used in a healthcare facility from bin liners, materials, supplies, devices or capital equipment.

 

Pandos is an online platform that enables remote collaboration and teamwork in post-secondary programs. Students can use the platform to form and manage teams, while instructors can create teams based on criteria and assign tasks.

 

Voiceform is an online tool that gives you the ability to create surveys that can be answered with voice. It provides a convenient way to scale your research without losing the important contextual insights you would get from interviews.

 

Hutsy Financial is a Canadian digital bank committed to offering a fee-free prepaid VISA debit card with up to 30% cash back at select retailers, accompanied by an application that enables clients to track their spending and have access to early payroll.

 

Revitalizing Fitness is developing Toronto’s preeminent network of fitness and health spaces, both virtual and brick and mortar, by partnering with community gyms to develop and elevate the customer and trainer experience.

 

Bloc of Estate uses an intuitive gesture-based interface where users can share their home preferences. With that data, machine learning will automatically rank listings inferred from inputs so users waste less time going through listings.

 

Adam Wa Mishmish  is an educational cartoon created for children to learn and love the Arabic language. Catered to children aged 0 to 5, all episodes are music based for Arabic learning. Each episode focuses on a different subject, ranging from alphabets, numbers, musical instruments, animals, and more.

Blox is focused on developing supply chain technology to help clients save costs and increase visibility to their supply chain.

 


Tilaus
 helps small Canadian accounting firms to confidently implement changing professional requirements in a cost-effective, efficient and secure manner.  The cloud-based platform allows partners and sole practitioners in accounting firms to access and store client information in real-time, reducing the need for servers and outdated information.

 

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

Applications are now being accepted for the October 2021 cohort. Apply here today!

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