City of Toronto launches Digital Main Street Lab to advance retail tech startups

Last week, the DMZ at Ryerson University and the City of Toronto got together at the DMZ Industry Night event to highlight the future of retail tech. The event took place in light of the City of Toronto’s recent launch of the Digital Main Street (DMS) Lab, a new retail tech incubator that is focused on launching retail tech companies that can work with main street businesses in Toronto.

At the DMS Lab, startups can build partnerships with Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) to integrate innovative technologies into main street businesses. During the DMZ Industry Night event, the DMS Lab’s first group of startups presented their ideas and solutions to a panel of BIAs and professionals in the retail and ecommerce space.

The startups ranged from companies like Shoelace, which helps businesses recapture visitors who have stopped visiting a company’s website and ReUp, which helps retailers build their own mobile payment, marketing, and loyalty apps using different colours, images, and branding options.

Through the DMS Lab, the City of Toronto is hoping to make the city a leader in retail innovation by helping Toronto’s retail tech startups scale their businesses and integrate their ideas into main street businesses.

Digital Main Street will be announcing partnerships formed between startups and BIAs in the coming weeks.

Image courtesy Satish Kanwar

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi is a staff writer at BetaKit. As a fourth-year journalism student who has written primarily about entrepreneurship, Amira has developed a growing interest in Canadian startup, business, and tech news. In her free time, Amira enjoys reading, baking and watching legal shows.