Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University Ranked as Canada’s Best University Business Incubator

The Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University (DMZ) was ranked fifth by the University Business Incubator (UBI) Index, a Swedish research initiative, up from 25th last year. UBI reviews more than 300 university-affiliated business incubators in 67 countries on an annual basis, using 60 key performance indexes. The DMZ was ranked the highest among Canadian universities.

“The Digital Media Zone is on the leading edge of Ryerson’s campus-wide efforts to foster a global ecosystem that supports innovation,” said Valerie Fox, executive director at the DMZ. “This ranking recognizes our efforts to cultivate a vibrant community and to foster strategic worldwide partnerships that support young entrepreneurs.”

The Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University is Canada’s largest incubator and multidisciplinary co-working space for young entrepreneurs. The DMZ helps emerging leaders to fast-track product launches, grow their companies and reach customers in a supportive community by connecting them with mentors, industry and one another. Since 2010, incubating teams and alumni have raised $24.5M in funding.

“The Digital Media Zone is an exceptional incubator. It generates outstanding economic impact and performs strongly against our global benchmark, especially on economic enhancement indicators,” said Dhruv Bhatli, co-founder, UBI Index. “This signifies that entrepreneurs at the DMZ perform much better than the global average, benefitting from higher growth and survival rates.”

The DMZ also strives to add value in global markets. BIL-Ryerson DMZ India, the first Canadian-led accelerator in India is built upon Ryerson’s model for its successful Digital Media Zone incubator in Toronto. Zone Startups India is a collaboration between the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute Ltd., Ryerson University, Ryerson Futures Inc., and Simon Fraser University.

Some DMZ success stories include:

  • SoapBox is a community crowdsourcing tool that is integrated into existing online communities for gathering, prioritizing, and executing ideas. SoapBox is used by Indigo Books and Music, Coca-Cola, Justin Trudeau, RBC, St-Hubert, and Canadian Digital Media Network. Ryerson University is also using SoapBox on its student portal to gather, prioritize and act on student suggestions.
  • Flybits was founded by Dr. Hossein Rahnama, along with a team of computer science students, graduates and professionals, to commercialize a cloud-based platform for creating applications that deliver the ultimate mobile user experience. The company is headquartered in Toronto, with an office in the United Kingdom located in London’s Tech City. In 2012, MIT’s Technology Review magazine listed Rahnama as among the world’s top innovators under the age of 35 for his work with Flybits.
  • 500px is one of the world’s hottest and fastest growing photography websites. It is a photographic community powered by creative people from around the world that lets users share, rate and discover inspiring photographs. The 500px iPad app is one of the top free photography apps on iTunes. The company received the PwC Top Up-and-coming Technology Company award in 2012, and was voted the number one startup in Canada by Techvibes in February 2013. 500px has 50 employees, and graduated from the DMZ in November 2011.

This content was delivered via the Techvibes NewsWire.