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A one-day event dedicated to standout women in tech
Thursday, March 7, 2024


What's in store: IWD 2024

At DMZ, we go big for International Women’s Day. This year, we're excited to do even more with an action-packed lineup of events on Thursday, March 7 that honour, empower and celebrate women in entrepreneurship and their allies. Building off the official 2024 IWD theme, #InspireInclusion, DMZ's Women Innovation Summit will recognize standout women who are driving tech's inclusive evolution.

This year's Summit is at capacity and registration is now closed. We hope to see you at our next event! Learn more about how DMZ empowers women entrepreneurs with advanced support here.

Women Innovation Summit 2024

8:00AM

Women of the Year Breakfast

Women of the Year Breakfast attendees listening to speaker

Women of the Year Breakfast

We’re kicking off the day with a high-energy breakfast event to announce winners of DMZ’s 2024 Women of the Year award, an esteemed list curated by the tech community that honours inspirational women in Canada. Join us to hear from a panel of influential women who are driving innovation in their respective verticals and network with the community.

10:30AM

Roundtables

Photo of Women Innovation Summit Pitch

Roundtables

These roundtables offer a platform to share knowledge and foster connections between startup founders, investors, corporate leaders, government representatives, non-profit visionaries and other key stakeholders. Sessions will delve into candid and thought-provoking conversations that provide actionable insights to empower women in tech.

1:00PM

Pitch competition

Photo of Women Innovation Summit Roundtable

Pitch competition

Get an insider’s look at the next generation of game-changing women entrepreneurs and watch 10 women founder finalists take the stage to pitch for a $100,000 cash investment from The Firehood. Plus, hear keynotes from notable women leaders and network with investors, corporates, government representatives, non-profit partners and more.

Last year's highlights



With over 800 nominations from around the country, meet the 2023 Women of the Year awardees

LEARN MORE



DMZ’s Women Founders Summit in partnership with The Firehood awards $100K in funding to women-led tech startups

LEARN MORE

Frequently asked questions

What does the Women Innovation Summit entail?

DMZ’s Women Innovation Summit is taking place on Thursday, March 7, 2024, and will incorporate several events throughout the day, including the Women of the Year Breakfast, founder and industry roundtable sessions and the Women Founders Pitch event.

How are DMZ’s Women of the Year selected?

Nominations for 2024 Women of the Year award were open from December 2023 to January 2024. Nominees were reviewed by DMZ and an external Steering Committee. Nominations are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Impact through tech:
    • Has the individual made a significant impact in a community, group, or sector using technology?
    • Have they shown leadership and been a driving force in creating this impact?
  • Innovation & creativity:
    • Is their success a result of innovative and out-of-the-box thinking?
    • Is their solution or impact unique and different from others in the field?
  • Inspiring role model:
    • Does their story inspire upcoming leaders in tech?
    • Can their journey change the lives of others and serve as a role model for women and underrepresented individuals in tech?
  • Continued success:
    • Are they likely to achieve more milestones and bring about significant change?
    • Can an award like this propel them to further success in their journey?

Who can apply to pitch at the Women Innovation Summit? How are pitch finalists selected?

The pitch competition is for women tech founders with a functional MVP and business dedicated to solving a compelling problem using innovative technology. A call for applications was held from December 2023 - January 2024. Applications were evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Product stage
  • Scalability
  • Leadership proficiency
  • Market assessment
  • Technological capabilities
How can investors get involved?

Investors or partners who are interested in participating in the Women Innovation Summit should reach out to Annie Long at annie.long@torontomu.ca.

What is the Steering Committee’s role for the Women Innovation Summit?

The Women Innovation Summit Steering Committee is comprised of industry leaders from a variety of verticals within business and technology. Their role is to ensure a wide range of perspectives, experiences and ideas are considered to reduce bias and facilitate an equitable review process of women-founder pitch finalists and Women of the Year award recipients. The Committee’s feedback and insights are shared with The Firehood and DMZ for their consideration. For any additional information, please reach out to dmz@torontomu.ca.

How does DMZ support women entrepreneurs all year round?

Women entrepreneurs drive innovation and the global economy. However, they often encounter disproportionate barriers to business growth. That’s why women-identifying entrepreneurs at DMZ receive additional opportunities and boosted support to propel their growth – on top of the standard programming that all entrepreneurs receive. Whether you’re just getting started or have an established startup, you can tap into specialized support through our Women Innovation Programs. Learn more here.

Investment partner


The Firehood logo

Corporate partners


AWS logo
DLA logo
EQ Bank logo
HUMI logo
DLA logo

Community partners


NACCA logo
AIO logo
Forum logo
Onside logo

Media partner


The Peak logo


Steering Committee

It takes a village to support the next generation of women innovators. The Steering Committee is dedicated to ensuring the Women Innovation Summit reflects the diversity of women that fuels Canada’s innovation economy.

headshot image of Janet Lin

Janet Lin

Vice President, Lending and Payments Technology at Equitable Bank
headshot image of Magnolia Perron

Magnolia Perron

Indigenous Women and Youth Program Manager at the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association
headshot image of Peter Bowie

Peter Bowie

Independent Director, Former CEO of Deloitte
headshot image of Megan Munro

Megan Munro

Digital Commerce Strategic Initiatives Lead at Scotiabank
headshot image of Jennifer Chiang

Jennifer Chiang

Business Development: Canada Lead for Accelerators, Incubators & Seed VCs at Amazon Web Services
headshot image of Moshe Mikanovsky

Moshe Mikanovsky

Product Director at RootQuotient

Questions?

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