Ryerson DMZ Signs Friendship Agreement with One of Europe’s Largest Tech Accelerators

Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ) has signed a “friendship agreement” with Canary Wharf Group plc’s technology accelerator space, Level39, Europe’s largest in the finance, retail and future cities sectors.

The new partnership “opens new opportunities for collaboration, improved access into Canadian and European markets and provides soft-landings for globally-minded entrepreneurs.” Members of Level39, based in Canary Wharf, London, UK, and members of the DMZ will have access to the space and startup support at each other’s facility.

“In order for young innovators to reach their potential, we need to connect the best and most passionate among them to each other, to businesses and to likeminded organizations such as Level39,” said Sheldon Levy, president of Ryerson University. “This agreement with Level39 will create a bridge between Canada and the United Kingdom offering a range of exciting new opportunities for students, entrepreneurs and innovators.”

Level39 works with early-stage businesses that have potential for high-growth. The accelerator space helps members create, test, market and deliver scalable world-class financial, retail and future cities technology, products, and services. Ironically, its located at “One Canada Square” in London.

“Collaboration between the technology sector and leading entrepreneurial academic establishments is key to the continuation of a thriving innovation ecosystem,” said Eric Van der Kleij, head of Level39. “Ryerson’s smart technologists and professionals are the individuals that will help drive forward the already booming entrepreneurial community. We are very pleased to be collaborating with one of Canada’s finest Universities.”

“This is an exciting moment for Ryerson University as it represents the first major accord between a Canadian academic institution and Level39,” added Henry Long, UKTI Canada investment officer. “This agreement illustrates the forward thinking of both organizations and UKTI is eager to continue working with them to pursue their mutual endeavours.”

The Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University is Canada’s largest incubator and multidisciplinary co-working spaces for young entrepreneurs, home to both startups and industry solution-providers. It was recently recognized by the UBI Index as the best university incubator in Canada, and the fifth best university incubator in the world in their annual international benchmark study.

Since opening in April 2010, the DMZ has incubated and accelerated 133 startups, which has lead to the creation of almost 1,200 jobs.

Level39 is Europe’s largest technology accelerator space for finance, retail and future cities technology companies. Members of the incubator are put in the same room as experienced entrepreneurs, technology investors and industry experts in order to accelerate their traction and access to markets. Level39 is a space for early-stage businesses that have potential for high-growth. Set in the middle of one of the world’s premier business and shopping districts, Space39 is a 220 seat event space that hosts regular industry events and boasts some of London’s best views.

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