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The Review

Italia360: Supporting first-generation and Italian student entrepreneurs


Meet the brilliant mind behind Fuori and how she’s leading the ethical activewear movement

Congratulazioni to the first cohort of participants of DMZ’s Italia360 program; what a ride it’s been!

Italia360 is an 8-week part-time incubation program that helps first-generation and Italian heritage student entrepreneurs create innovative and disruptive businesses. The program taught students how to develop and market their ideas with the help of  mentors and provided them the opportunity to work with other young innovators.

Made possible by the Canadian Italian Business and Professional Association Of Toronto (CIBPA), students had the opportunity to participate in exclusive workshops conducted by CIBPA mentors, engage with other leading startups and experts from across Canada, connect with Toronto Metropolitan University’s Zone Network and receive one-on-one coaching from DMZ experts. 

The excitement doesn’t end there. In addition to gaining entrepreneurial tools for success, the winning startup also received an all-inclusive 3-day trip to Italy to connect with their Italian roots and tour the local businesses of CIBPA.

DMZ was floored by the quality of startups from Italia360; a huge congratulations goes out to all participants.


Founded by Toronto Metropolitan’s very own Sofia Beraldo, Fuori is a trailblazing fashion brand committed to revolutionizing the activewear industry towards sustainability. Its approach centers on whole-garment knitting and the utilization of natural fibers, diverging from the prevalent reliance on synthetic plastics that dominate the market today.

With her trip to Italy, Sofia plans to explore the region of Prado, which is known as a textile hub responsible for 15% of all global textile recycling. During her visit, she hopes to establish partnerships that will enable her to send cherished and well-worn garments for recycling.

“I can’t say enough about Italia360. From the advisors we’ve met, the sessions that we’ve been able to take part in, the network of entrepreneurs who have the same aspirations — it’s all been incredibly rewarding,” said Sofia.  


Our panel of judges was so impressed with the caliber of startups, that they also decided to give an award to the runner-up.

Founded by Dmitry Baleshev, a BComm student at Ted Rogers School of Management, Junily works to guide students toward their ideal career path and match them with Canadian education institutions. 

“Italia360 has provided tremendous support, guiding us from ideation to the realization of our business model. Having mentors by our side was a great source of motivation,” said Dmitry.

The inaugural cohort of Italia360 has every reason to feel accomplished for their dedicated efforts this summer. Embodying the true Italian spirit, wishing Buon Viaggio (safe travels) to Sofia! 

Looking to join similar DMZ programming in 2024? Subscribe to our TechTalk newsletter and stay informed on program applications here. Until then, we invite you to check out DMZ Masterclass to master your business skills at