DMZ Declared the Best University-Run Incubator in the World

Many in the Canadian tech sector knew that the country’s business incubator ecosystem is top-tier, and now one accelerator is receiving worldwide recognition.

The DMZ at Ryerson University in Toronto has been named as the number one university-managed business incubator in the world by UBI Global. They share the top spot with The SETsquared Partnership in the U.K.

DMZ has been incredibly active in all different kinds of sectors. Most recently, they announced a new accelerator for early-stage women-led startups. They also partnered with Facebook to reinvent the face of digital journalism in addition to launching a fintech accelerator in the middle of 2017. All of this—on top of opening a location in New York City in 2017 to further help Canadian startups—shows that the DMZ clearly deserves the number one spot. This is the first time a Canadian university has topped UBI Global’s rankings.

In the seven years the DMZ has been running, they have supported 317 startups that have raised $357 million and created almost 4,000 jobs. Companies including Borrowell and 500px are DMZ alums.

UBI Global is a Stockholm-based research firm that maps the world of business incubation and they unveiled the final list in Toronto at the DMZ. When looking at all of the participating incubation programs involved in the UBI Global study, they collectively accepted over 10,000 new client startups in 2016 and sport more than 72,000 employees.

“Our goal is to visualize the many great accomplishments achieved by the business incubation community,” said Ali Amin, UBI Global’s CEO and co-founder. “By highlighting the impact and performance of these programs, we are not only helping incubators and accelerators to become more efficient, but we are also assisting government officials in developing their respective innovation ecosystems.”

A total of 1,370 programs spread through more than 50 countries were assessed to come up with the overall rankings. The rankings were split up into the top business incubators managed by, affiliated with, collaborating with and linked to a university.

In terms of the incubators topping the other lists, 1871 at Chicago’s Technology & Entrepreneurship Center was the top business incubator affiliated with a university. The Guinness Enterprise Centre in Ireland was the top incubator collaborating with a university.

Canada dominated the top business accelerators linked to universities list. The York Entrepreneurship Development Institute was number one, followed by Entrepreneuriat Laval inc. and TEC Edmonton. The Accelerator Centre shared fourth with imec in Belgium.

For the full UBI Global rankings, head here. To read a bit more on what the incubator landscape looks like in Canada and how 2017 was a record-setting year, check this out.