Our model is carefully crafted to maximize the output of multidisciplinary, highly skilled innovators, successful companies and intellectual property. We believe the considerable success of our model hinges on our flexible and inclusive process and what we call our key ingredients. These include a potent mix of passionate smart management, carefully selected teams and supportive resources all operating within a fertile, creative and collaborative community.
It is essential to have a solid understanding of business, entrepreneurial and digital media basics before embarking on your entrepreneurial journey and possibly entering the Digital Media Zone.
Digital Specialization (DS) Program
First of its kind in Canada’s, the DS Program provides the opportunity to acquire digital skills and achieve academic credit for pursuit of students’ entrepreneurial ideas in the areas of business and social innovation.
Ideation is the process by which you come up with and document a viable business idea. The DMZ accepts businesses who have completed an ideation phase.
DMZ Incubation Program
Companies at this stage may be accommodated within the DMZ if they meet DMZ Eligibility Criteria listed on the apply page. Our priority is to seek out entrepreneurs that are passionate, innovative, driven, smart, focused, open to collaboration and demonstrate a willingness to learn. We also like to see a well thought out business plan along with a working prototype.
This where the stress-testing begins as mentoring, milestone setting and progress monitoring helps teams further solidify their ideas. You’ll have significant perks to help you perfect your detailed business models and prototypes, and successfully launch and grow your venture.
The DMZ Incubation Program is a semi-structured 4-month program with an optional additional 8 months where fees may apply. Payment details are determined primarily by team size, with possible options for equity exchanges or in kind contributions.
Startups participating in the DMZ’s Incubation Program will be laser focused on validating their business model, on R&D, iterating on their prototype, seeking out pilot customers and isolating the market for their product.
Incubated companies are unfunded, and there are no equity demands within the first 4 month program. Companies will participate in regular mandatory peer-to-peer check-ins and assist in the evolution of the DMZ community.
Companies who are able to demonstrate rapid advancement of their business during incubation may be selected to progress to the DMZ Acceleration Program.
DMZ Acceleration Program
Companies who have progressed to this level or entered directly into the DMZ Acceleration Program are on track to be viable commercial enterprises. The goal of the program is to assist in the acceleration of each startup by assisting in designing and executing on each businesses path to success. There are many perks to participating in the DMZ community.
The Acceleration Program consists of a three phased structured program ranging from 6 to 18 months. This program offers funding for participants that will be tied to jointly agreed upon milestones. Below is a high-level overview of the accelerator program:
- 4 months of intense process observation, education, networking, development and finessing
- 8 to 12 month rapid growth phase (fees may apply)
- Equity funding will be available for each company selected to participate in the acceleration program
- Specialized events attract key industry partners
- Introductions to a network of successful entrepreneurs advise you on the development of your business.
Stay, Scale or Exit
The Digital Media Zone is a flexible facility. It may be possible to extend your stay or scale your business at any stage. Requests are handled on a case-by-case basis and may involve paying rent or providing in-kind community services.