DMZ Demo Day event to hand out $300,000 in prizes for startups

Entrepreneurs will get to pitch and network with hand-picked global investors.

The DMZ has announced its inaugural Demo Day, being held at Toronto Metropolitan University on June 26.

At the event, startups will pitch their business ventures to a global audience of investors selected by the DMZ, and will compete for over $300,000 in cash prizes. The DMZ has hosted previous demo days, however, DMZ Demo Day is the first event of its scale held by the incubator.

The DMZ claims to have helped more than 700 startups since its founding in 2010.

In what DMZ executive director Abdullah Snobar expects to be the incubator’s largest event to date, Demo Day will provide an opportunity for founders to showcase their startup to tech industry leaders.

Demo Day will host networking sessions, pitch competitions for founders who are Black, women, international or students, and keynote speakers. It looks to bring together up to 1,000 people from government, corporate entities, non-DMZ and DMZ startups, venture capitalists, and angel investors.

The DMZ claims to have helped more than 700 startups, which have raised a collective $1.85 billion, since its founding in 2010. Its programs place importance on inclusivity in tech by providing support, funding, and resources for underrepresented groups like Black and women-identifying founders and newcomers.

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Its programs focused on creating inclusivity include its Black Innovation Program, Women’s Founders Launchpad, and Newcomer Entrepreneurship Program.

Since March 2021, the DMZ has distributed nearly $2.9 million in grants to founders and expanded program streams to support ventures working in high-priority industries, such as supply chain and property tech.

The DMZ has partnerships with other innovation hubs in more than 10 countries worldwide, including India, Japan and Egypt, with two additional Canadian partnerships in Niagara Falls and Innisfil.

Ryan O'Connor

Ryan O'Connor

Ryan O'Connor is a journalism student at Toronto Metropolitan University and an intern staff writer for BetaKit. Follow him on Twitter @oconss2.

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