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Turn your vision into reality

Launch your startup today with DMZ Pre-Incubator

Please note that in applying now, turnaround time for results can be up to 3-4 weeks.

Not sure if you qualify for this program or want to learn more? Get in touch with our Manager, Startup Recruitment here.

Validate a business idea, enhance your minimum viable product and secure customers with the DMZ’s Pre-Incubator Program. Plus, get a chance to secure an exclusive spot in DMZ Incubator after graduation to receive up to $10K+ in entry grant funding, 18+ months of additional support and exciting perks

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Establish your business

  • Access to 12+ hours of curated on-demand content on 60+ topics
  • Hands-on support, including 1:1 meetings with Experts-in-Residence, curated workshops, progress check-ins, and founder meetups
  • $470K+ in perks from 80+ partners
  • Exclusive invites to industry networking events and workshops
  • Opportunity to gain accelerated acceptance into the DMZ Incubator to receive up to $10K+ in entry grant funding, 18+ months of additional support, funding, DMZ office space, and more!

*The DMZ Incubator takes a 2.5% equity stake in common shares from startups in exchange for programming.

Startups with at least one Black or woman-identifying Co-Founder can receive additional support.

At minimum applicants for the Bootcamp should:

  • Have an idea dedicated to solving a compelling problem using innovative technology
  • Have an early MVP
  • Have at least one dedicated (full-time) founder
  • Have an in-house tech lead
  • Have the potential to transition into the DMZ Incubator program at the end of the Bootcamp
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Questions? Get in touch with us

Am I eligible?

At a minimum, applicants must have:

  • An idea dedicated to solving a compelling problem using innovative technology
  • An early minimum-viable-product
  • At least one dedicated full-time founder
  • An in-house tech lead
  • Potential to transition into the DMZ Incubator after graduation

How does Pre-Incubator differ from Incubator?

The DMZ Pre-Incubator is a program to validate a business idea and secure first customers. At a minimum, founders should have an MVP. Startups have access to curated online learning material, a day-pass workspace at the DMZ’s head office in the heart of downtown Toronto, hands-on support, exclusive perks from 80+ partners valued at $470K+ and more. Startups in Pre-Incubator will have the opportunity to gain accelerated acceptance into Incubator.

The DMZ Incubator is for startups ready to scale — venture-backable pre-seed and seed-stage companies with a full-time founder, early traction and proven product-market fit. Startups receive up to $10K+ in entry grant funding, 18+ months of additional support and exciting perks. Startups do not need to participate in Pre-Incubator to be eligible.

Not sure what program is right for you? Check out our programming here.

How long is the program?

Startups need flexibility which is why Pre-Incubator is flexible in length. Applications are accepted, and program intake occurs on a rolling basis, with new startups joining the program at the beginning of each month. Program length for each startup varies based on progress but typically lasts 4 to 6 months (including the Execution Phase).

Startups that show commitment and growth may be offered a spot in Incubator, an 18-month program with intakes every 6 months. Eligibility is determined case by case.

What is the Execution Phase?

On average, startups spend 5 months in our Pre-Incubator program before the Execution Phase. The total time spent in the program is determined on a case-by-case basis.

The Execution Phase starts in December and June; it is the final 3-month period before the upcoming Incubator cohort, where startups have the chance to scale and prove their eligibility for Incubator.

The Execution Phase begins with a board meeting where startups develop clear goals for the remainder of the program with the help of industry-leading experts.

Am I guaranteed a spot in the Execution Phase?

Startups participating in Pre-Incubator are not guaranteed a spot in the Execution Phase. Eligibility is determined case-by-case based on success in the Pre-Incubator program; Startups must set and reach reasonable and achievable goals.

Am I guaranteed a spot in the Incubator program after graduation?

Startups participating in Pre-Incubator are not guaranteed a place in the Incubator program. Eligibility is determined case-by-case based on success in the Pre-Incubator program.

What am I required to commit?

Startups participating in Pre-Incubator can expect to commit between 10-12 hours per month. Breakdown per month may include

  • 6 hours for Friday Founder Meetups
  • 3 hours for on-demand content
  • 2 hours for 1:1 calls with Experts-in-Residences
  • 1 hour for 1:1 meetings with DMZ Program Leads.

Startups may also be invited to optional exclusive events and workshops.

Are there membership fees?

There are no membership fees to join Pre-Incubator, but in exchange for this support, the DMZ asks companies selected for the Execution Phase for 2.5% equity in the form of options. Pre-Incubator Execution Phase graduates that enter the DMZ Incubator program do not provide any additional equity for the Incubator’s 18 months of support.

Team

Emily Smiley

Director, Programs & Corporate Collaborations

Justine Clark

Programs Lead

Mohi Sanisel

Sr. Programs Lead

Sherif El Tawil

Senior Director, Programs & Partnerships

Tina Mbachu

Sr. Programs Lead

Experts-in-Residence

Take a look at the mentors that support our Bootcamp companies. To see all mentors, please visit our Experts in Residence page.

Anthony Lau

Product, Sales

Frank Erschen

Pitching

Hackim Farrell

Cybersecurity, Product

Jodi Echakowitz

Public Relations

Karen Hogg

Customer Success

Professionals-in-Residence

Through the Professional-in-Residence (PiR) program, DMZ founders have direct access to senior leadership at professional services organizations through pro-bono, one-on-one strategic consultation meetings. Any projects or work arising thereafter (at the founder's discretion) is offered at DMZ exclusive discounted rates.

Beyond our PiR network, startups can also access connections to DMZ's broader network of corporate partners.

Launch your startup today with DMZ Pre-Incubator.

APPLY HERE

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