The tech-focused business incubator has played a role in the development of many successful companies.
Ryerson’s business incubator, the DMZ, hit $1 billion in total funding last week — $900 million of which was raised since 2016.
The DMZ was founded with the intention of helping startups connect with “customers, capital, experts and a community of entrepreneurs and influencers,” according to its site. It has worked with around 500 startups.
Some of the DMZ’s top startup partners include Mejuri, Ada, and Snapcommerce, whose recent $107 million in new growth funding helped the DMZ reach the $1 billion milestone.
The DMZ’s success would not be possible without the community and people from Ryerson and the rest of their professional network, said executive director Abdullah Snobar. “We pride ourselves on putting people first.”
What started as a “student coworking space,” per Snobar, has become the top ranked tech incubator in the world, according to UBI Global.
The DMZ primarily helps startups in the realms of financial, retail, enterprise and health tech, totalling over $700 million in these categories.
Equity has become an increasing focus for the DMZ, both the Black Innovation Programs and the Women Founders Fast Track were announced in recent years.
Snobar said the DMZ hopes to expand on these programs and to create new programs that help visible minorities who face increased barriers trying to break into the tech entrepreneurship space.