The program is open to innovative, early-stage Insurtech startups with a service or solution for insurance in any market sector. This intensive four-month accelerator program is designed to help six startups de-risk their company, develop their product market fit and drive innovation in their respective industry.

“The future of our economy requires more than new products and services, but markets and systems that are capable of adopting and embracing innovation,” said Abdullah Snobar, executive director of the DMZ at Ryerson. “This program will provide opportunities for Canadian startups in fast-growing sectors to accelerate their development and facilitate introductions to key players in their market.”

Now in their second year of partnership, this initiative is connected to Aviva Canada and the DMZ’s ongoing commitment in supporting high-growth startups operating in complex and highly-regulated markets such as healthcare, real estate, financial services and autotech, just to name a few.

“Building on our partnership with the DMZ at Ryerson University, programs like the one we are launching today create real opportunity to accelerate needed innovation in our industry, and ultimately that’s good for insurance buying consumers,” said Ben Isotta-Riches, chief information officer at Aviva Canada. “We want to be at the forefront of a thriving Insurtech community in Canada. This is just the beginning for us.”

Based at the DMZ in Toronto, the four-month accelerator will provide:

  • mentorship and industry expertise from Aviva’s executives;
  • customized sales strategies for each startup;
  • connections to prospective customers and partners;
  • workshops hosted by industry leaders;
  • dedicated workspace, and more.

After four months, each of the six startups will present to Aviva Canada executives and managing director at Aviva Ventures for an investment opportunity.

In the past year, Aviva Canada and the DMZ have been able to support startups such as Casalova, healthSwapp and Zensurance grow and scale their startup. The second year of the Aviva Canada/DMZ partnership will be dedicated to helping startups reach customer validation and development through direct access to a network of best-in-class mentors, partners and investors.

Applications to the Insurtech Accelerator Program are due April 3rd, 2017. For more information, eligibility and to apply, visit


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.