On March 8th, International Women's Day, the Ryerson Digital Media Zone (
DMZ), in partnership with MasterCard's YES: Youth in Entrepreneurial Success initiative, started accepting applications to its new Women in Entrepreneurship program. The program will see six female-led startups admitted into the DMZ where they will be able to work on their company.
Each startup will also receive $5,000 in cash, as well as $5,000 to go toward their stay at the DMZ. According to Valerie Fox, the Digital Media Zone's executive director, the six startups that enter the DMZ through the program will receive all of the services the accelerator has to offer, including the ability to take part in the events and workshops that are held there, as well as access to its network of mentors and investors.
As for the criteria the DMZ will use to select the startups, Fox says its the same one the accelerator already has in place for other companies. “We’re looking for people that are highly innovative, passionate and that are going to push the envelope," she says. "But we’re also looking for people that are collaborative and that are going to give back to the community as much as they receive from it.”
Additionally, according to the press release the DMZ sent out to announce the program, the accelerator is particularly interested in startups that specialize in the areas of electronic payments, e-commerce, loyalty points, cyber security or financial security.
The initiative is, of course, aimed at helping address tech longstanding gender issue. "We live in a diverse world. You need women, as well as men," says Fox. "Does it have to be 50/50? I don’t believe so, but I do believe that getting more women involved is important; giving women the opportunity to be entrepreneurial is beneficial to everyone."
Startups that are interested in the program—and meet its requirements—can apply on the Digital Media Zone's website
. The deadline to apply is April 6.
Source: Digital Media Zone
Photo: Mark Blinch