Written by Ahmed Saleh
TORONTO, November 23, 2016 – The Digital Finance Institute’s 2016 Fintech Awards announced the DMZ as the winner of its ‘Accelerator, Incubator or Entrepreneurial Network Award.’ The DMZ was selected among three finalists that included Communitech and the MaRS Discovery District. The Digital Finance Institute cited the DMZ as an incubator that has demonstrated success in feeding innovation and economic progress in the fintech ecosystem.
The Digital Finance Institute is a think tank that focuses on the next generation of financial services. The institute supports growth, diversity and research in fintech. Its annual Fintech Awards recognize companies and organizations that are leading the way in the financial technology sector.
“We are honoured to be the recipient of the 2016 Accelerator, Incubator or Entrepreneurial Network Award. The DMZ is supporting the development of fintech startups and fostering the ecosystem in which such companies flourish,” said Hussam Ayyad, startup services director at the DMZ at Ryerson. “By encouraging innovation in the community, we are pushing the boundaries of convergence and the use of fintech as a true collaboration platform for stakeholders in the financial services sector. We thank the Digital Finance Institute and the Canadian fintech community for recognizing the DMZ as a leading incubator in fintech.”
The DMZ is located in the heart of downtown Toronto. The 32,900 square feet incubator comprises as a technology hub and community space for startups. Since the DMZ opened its doors in 2010, it has incubated over 260 startups, including fintech companies Borrowell and Sensibill among others.
This year, the DMZ partnered with BMO to offer a fully connected community for fintech startups with its ‘Next Big Idea in Fintech’ program, the first of its kind in Canada. Announced in April 2016, the program identified six startups that received an exclusive opportunity to pilot their technology with the leading financial institution, and offered introductions to venture capital groups that may be willing to take their startup to the next level.
Ryerson’s Zone Startups was also a winner at the 2016 Fintech Awards as a recipient of the ‘Academic Institution Most Supportive of Fintech’ award. “By fostering emerging technologies from entrepreneurs, Ryerson University continues to be recognized for its robust and thriving hub for innovation in many verticals including fintech. Ryerson’s zone learning program has created a collaborative network for innovators, which has led to new opportunities in the global marketplace for our home-grown companies,” said Abdullah Snobar, executive director of the DMZ.
With the financial services sector accounting for seven per cent of Canada’s GDP and over 250,000 jobs, the DMZ understands that Canada is on pace to becoming a global fintech leader. This is why the DMZ will be announcing a fintech accelerator program in 2017, which will be the first of its kind in Canada.
The DMZ at Ryerson University:
The DMZ is one of Canada’s largest business incubators. The top-ranked university incubator in North America and third in the world, the DMZ is a hub of innovation, collaboration and commercialization. Since opening in April 2010, the DMZ and Ryerson Futures Inc. – its affiliated accelerator program- have incubated and accelerated 263 startups, which have collectively raised more than $213 million in funding and fostered 2,499 jobs.
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.