Ryerson University’s DMZ and Landing Pad Tokyo (LPT) announced today that they have formed a new partnership together to foster collaboration across the Canadian and Japanese tech industries and bring a new culture of innovation to Japan.

Based in Toronto, Canada and recognized as a world-leading tech accelerator, DMZ will help transform LPT into a state-of-the-art program through the provision of advisory services related to startup program development, structure and curricula. This support will allow LPT to accelerate management, R&D and operational capabilities for Japanese SMEs in the manufacturing sector.   

The partnership will also give DMZ and Canadian startups access to customers, market knowledge and business connections, making this a mutually-beneficial relationship for both Japanese and Canadian partners. DMZ’s startups will be strategically matched with Japanese companies to accelerate innovation in Japan and facilitate joint collaboration. LPT’s members are positioned well to work with Canadian startups and will help them further develop their technology and increase their exposure to high-potential Japanese customers, as LPT’s reach goes beyond just the Tokyo region. The organization is expanding its membership in other parts of Japan and developing cooperative relationships with local hubs and partners located nation-wide.

Dr. Kiyotaka Kato, PhD in electrical engineering specializing in plasma technology, leads LPT as Executive Director. “I have started up a few companies and operated in Silicon Valley. I recognize a notable difference in the Silicon Valley culture and the culture of DMZ and Canada, which respects and values diversity. I am particularly impressed with DMZ’s values of “Founders First”.  I hope LPT can build an equally great culture and community to revitalize the quality-oriented Japanese manufacturing SMEs and help them digitize their operations and create innovation. I am looking forward to building a great relationship with DMZ and Ryerson University.”

Sherif El Tawil is DMZ’s Senior Director of Programs and Partnerships where he leads the strategic direction of DMZ’s international operations. “It’s not always easy for Canadian startups to get direct access to Japanese connections such as industry leaders, small and mid-size businesses and potential customers. Japan is the world’s third-largest economy, which presents endless possibilities for Canadian startups to explore,” Sherif explains. “We look forward to expanding DMZ’s global presence and helping Landing Pad Tokyo create a program where Japanese SMEs can succeed. It’s a phenomenal opportunity for both sides of the partnership.”

Canadian and Japanese startups can learn more and apply now at dmz.to/LPT.

The DMZ is a leading business incubator for tech startups in Canada. They help startups build great businesses by connecting them with customers, capital, experts and a community of entrepreneurs and influencers.

The DMZ is a partner in StartUp Here Toronto.