By now, most of us have felt the impact a global pandemic can have on our everyday living. Individuals, small businesses and global economies alike are already feeling the amplitude of the repercussions that have come with the COVID-19 virus.

Despite the chaos this virus has created, several DMZ companies (current and alumni) are pushing their traditional boundaries and devoting additional time, money and resources to help those in need. Some startups are cutting platform subscription fees for small businesses, while some are forming charitable partnerships within the community. Others have staff working around the clock to build new functionality to save customers millions of dollars. 

Kudos to these DMZ companies who are placing values before profit during this time:

Clout Jam

Clout Jam is a business management platform that specifically serves independent influencers, equipping creators with the right tools to prosper in business and thrive in life. In response to the current COVID-19 crisis, co-founders Trevor Mengel and Samantha Cutler have jump-started a unique campaign, #CloutForGood. This new initiative is designed to connect all types of influencers with pro-bono opportunities to help raise awareness of many Canadian charities, particularly those on the front line of the fight against COVID-19. Already, #CloutForGood has received notable attention from the community! Several charities have jumped on board to partner with Clout Jam, including Food4Kids, Foodbanks Canada, and UNICEF Canada, with new non-profits joining daily. Canadian influencers participating in #CloutForGood include: @drea_wheeler, @sashaexeter, @caleighfit, @carlingliski, @haylesbeth, @bylaurenp, @alessiasculpt and (of course) @thefitfatale, run by co-founder Samantha.

Get involved! Influencers and registered non-profit organizations can participate in #CloutForGood by signing up at or contacting [email protected]


Crowdmark’s collaborative grading and analytics platform helps teachers more effectively evaluate student work. With the abundance of school closures taking place as a result of COVID-19, Crowdmark has recognized the impact this will have on their community of students and educators.

That’s why Crowdmark has decided to offer FREE access to its grading and analytics platform to any institution that needs to move exams and homework online – even if the institution is not currently a customer! The company has also created a web page of resources available to educators, which will help institutions move exams online with Crowdmark.


Crescendo is helping business leaders run remote teams of staff in a meaningful way. Crescendo’s goal is to make Diversity & Inclusion learning personalized, accessible, and measurable – and that doesn’t stop just because teams are working remotely! The tech startup empowers its customers to improve diversity and inclusion outcomes through scalable software and a personalized D&I learning Slack integration. Marginalized and vulnerable populations will inevitably be the hardest hit by effects of COVID-19, so Crescendo has made its D&I learning platform FREE for the next 6 weeks. This means businesses can be equipped with the right tools to scale their D&I strategy while enabling remote employees to practice inclusivity. Additionally, Crescendo has launched a comprehensive D&I guide for managers and employees.


As a company that has set out to improve the supercomputing experience for innovators globally, it’s no surprise that Drizti is ahead of the game in supporting researchers who need it most right now. The speed and legitimacy of COVID-19 research is high-priority right now, and Drizti is taking actionable measures to help organizations such as educate in order to end the outbreak. To show appreciation for the work that’s being done, Drizti has offered researchers their Supercomputing and High Performance Computing (HPC) expertise to help speed up the research and design of equipment. 


Embodia, Canada’s largest online education platform for Physiotherapists, has been a key leader during this global pandemic. With mass closures to physio clinics, Embodia’s tools are here to help practitioners continue serving their patients! The tech company has announced a FREE Telehab Solution, allowing Embodia members to keep their virtual office lights on and continue business as usual. This free solution pairs well with Embodia’s digital home exercise program software, giving patients an optimal at-home experience and path to recovery.


GrowthGenius helps small B2B companies source meaningful customer leads via a smart sales development technology and powerful database of over 200 million contacts. In light of COVID-19 self-isolation advisories, sales teams feel more challenged than ever – selling remotely is no easy feat. That’s why GrowthGenius is complementing its technology with additional support from its own expert team. The GrowthGenius team has created an Extrovert Support Line – the expert team is readily available to answer questions on how businesses can maintain relationships with customers and leads. GrowthGenius is helping customers put the ‘social’ back in ‘social distancing’! 

Layla Care

It’s common for people to have heightened feelings of stress or anxiety during a pandemic. As a mental health service, Layla Care wanted to do their part to help the community manage the negative emotional impacts of isolation. 

Over the next two weeks, Layla’s Supportive Counselling for COVID-19 Stress program offers a one-time, FREE of charge counseling service to support Ontario residents struggling with stress. Through phone or video chat, licensed therapists will consult with Ontarians in need on various topics ranging from anxieties driven by uncertainty around daily life and financials to worries about health or the health of loved ones.


Education management company, Off2Class, offers an extensive ESL Teacher Toolkit for schools and individuals who want to teach ESL online. With the need to find virtual options for in-person classes and tutoring sessions, Off2Class gives teachers and students a place to interact for mobile learning while maintaining social distance. With the current state of COVID-19 in mind, Off2Class has announced they are re-activating FREE trials for anyone who has ever signed up for an account – within their 6-year history! ESL educators should feel more empowered than ever to build their online business.


OnCall Health helps healthcare organizations launch and scale their own virtual care programs, and has demonstrated its commitment to helping the community during the COVID-19 outbreak. In response to the ongoing healthcare crisis, OnCall has released a FREE COVID-19 Self Assessment tool for all providers to use with patients. By utilizing the Self Assessment tool, providers can ensure that they are taking the necessary precautions to keep patients and their communities safe during this time.


Peekapak’s e-learning platform primarily helps elementary students practice social-emotional skills. Through interactive gaming and personalized learning experiences, Peekapak’s leading curriculum teaches kids key social-emotional skills such as self-regulation, teamwork, and empathy. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak and the closure of schools globally, Peekpak wants families to feel supported during this time of uncertainty. Now, the company is offering FREE three-month access to their entire platform of resources to schools and districts impacted by closures. Additionally, the company has compiled a list of educational resources that will help students and families during this particularly difficult time. 


COVID-19 has shaken the events industry – conferences, trade shows, and social gatherings worldwide have virtually come to a halt. PheedLoop, a company offering next-generation event management software, is acting fast to help event organizers power through the current crisis. Working in urgency to save the events industry, the company took on a challenge to accelerate the release of their new integrated live streaming platform, which is built into their robust event app, speaker portals and admin tools.

This newly launched live streaming functionality is now ready to be used by event organizers! In additional efforts to show commitment to the industry, Pheedloop is offering discounts to planners whose events have been directly affected by the COVID-19 spread.


REMITR is a fintech startup that offers small businesses a better alternative to wire transfers: a cost-effective, secure and non-stop global payment system. 

During these particularly challenging times, REMITR feels it is more important than ever to fight for the survival of small businesses. Not only is REMITR providing businesses with FREE transfers to any destination, they are also working with banking partners to negotiate the best possible exchange rates for their customers.


It is inevitable that the restaurant industry will take a huge hit as operations are significantly scaled back to adhere to social distancing protocols. Spiffy’s modern e-learning platform helps small businesses in hospitality build more profitable operations via custom staff training modules, an engaging content library and robust reporting analytics. Spiffy recognizes that many of its customers will have difficulty weathering the COVID-19 storm. The tech company has made the decision to make their remote training platform FREE for the time being, encouraging restaurants to maintain productivity while still meeting health and safety guidelines.


For all types of organizations, measuring the health and well-being of employees can be challenging during a time like this. Ulula’s stakeholder management product connects businesses, workers, communities, and governments to de-risk operations and create value across global supply chains. To help organizations measure and mitigate the implications of COVID-19 on employees, Uula has designed a tailored solution: the employee and worker impact assessment. This digital assessment tool will allow employers to take a rapid pulse on the workforce through indicators like worker mental health, perception of job protection, and more! Best of all, they’re offering the first assessment for FREE!

The DMZ wants to thank these startups who are stepping up to support others during uneasy times in the world. What is your business doing to support your customers or community? Let us know at [email protected]


The post Stepping up during COVID-19: How DMZ startups are finding tangible ways to support those affected by the pandemic appeared first on The DMZ.

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.