The DMZ is giving international entrepreneurs a chance to experience Toronto’s growing tech ecosystem with the launch of our newest venture, DMZYYZ.

The two-week intensive soft-landing program aims to help growth stage startups integrate within the Canadian ecosystem.

Last week, we wrapped our first cohort comprised of nine companies from seven countries. Visiting entrepreneurs flew in from Lebanon, Hungary, Chile, Jamaica, Norway, Brazil and Uruguay.

A day within the first week of DMZYYZ consists of intensive-programming, back-to-back workshops and desk-time to debrief about the information you’ve consumed.

In the second week, participants get VIP access to a world-class tech conference. This cohort gained access to Collision, the largest and fastest-growing North American tech conference. Their participation resulted in locking in 20+ potential customers, hiring talent from Toronto, and pitching to global partners.

Here are the top takeaways from the startups’ time at the DMZ.

Challenging your assumptions

“A lot of my presumptions about product changed significantly after being a part of this program. Defining the right MVP is important to gain quality customer retention, and the entrepreneurs-in-residence at the DMZ helped refine that,” reflects Hussein Salman, Founder of FindANurse, a Lebanese startup aiming to change the face of caregiving within the MENA region. “As a reputable university-backed accelerator with a large community, being part of this program has given me the confidence to now build necessary relationships with potential investors.”

Make meaningful connections

The DMZ is a place that is filled with opportunity – be it from workshops to investor meetings and connections to serial entrepreneurs. “The calibre of network within the DMZ community is huge. The amount of knowledge transfer that happens within the conversations you have is close to none.” Zoltan Czikos, Co-Founder of Hungarian-based startup, Neticle says. The startup aims to boost business decisions with automated text-analysis.

Create global impact

Through worldwide perspectives during the DMZYYZ program, companies were able to learn more with a growth mindset and feel empowered. “We built something on a small island and were looking for the feedback that we got at the DMZ. The thing that stuck out to me the most is that you can make a global impact no matter where you’re from. The ability to bring a fresh perspective to highly regarded individuals within Canada, empowers me as an individual as well.” Conrad Mathison from It’s Pixel Perfect, a Jamaican based startup, aimed at helping brands stand out in the digital space through creative content.

Applications for our second cohort of DMZYYZ are now open. Apply here.

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.