Do you want success in North America? Are you India's most innovative tech startup with global capabilities? Apply now to enter The Next Big Idea Contest for a chance to win a rocket-powered launch in Toronto, Canada. To Qualify: You must have a globally scalable business with appropriate product market fit, and be incorporated and headquartered in India.
  • An all expenses paid trip to Toronto
  • Access to The Digital Media Zone (DMZ) at Ryerson University in downtown Toronto, #5 top University Business Incubator in the World
  • A 2-week bespoke program in Toronto (soft-landing, meeting with sector experts, mentoring, investors, innovation ecosystem,business development opportunities, networking)
  • Opportunity to explore and discover Toronto’s Discovery District – a hotbed of innovation responsible for more than $1 billion of R&D annually.
  • Special recognition at the Canadian Innovation Exchange and/or other startup forums in Toronto
Contest closes September 25, 2016

What is DMZ?

What i s the DIGITAL Media Zone ( DMZ )? The DMZ is based at Ryerson but it’s not just for students; this unique community is home to entrepreneurs & innovators of all ages from across Toronto, Canada and the world. Overlooking the heart of downtown Toronto at Yonge-Dundas Square, the DMZ is a hub of innovation, collaboration and experiential learning.


Jibin JoseCEO - Fliptech

"The program really helped us to reach the next level. The networking opportunities ,connections and mentoring sessions were super helpful in terms of getting to know the market as well as customer feedback and validation. I consider this as the biggest opportunity in terms of getting to know the North American market and the start up scenario in Ontario. I really appreciate the time and effort DMZ took to find the right partners and meetings for each start ups."

Pawan ThathaCEO - ShieldSquare

"2 weeks in the DMZ have helped us to initiate relevant customer conversations. Media publishers and Online Marketplaces that we spoke during these 2 weeks have shown interest in our Scraping Prevention Service and we look forward to work with them in coming weeks. I strongly recommend this program for any business looking to get a foot-hold in North American market."

krishna AGFounder, Lightmetrics

"At the time LightMetrics got an opportunity to spend two weeks at the DMZ, we were at a crucial juncture in our journey, trying to figure out which geographies we should focus on. The biggest benefit of visiting Toronto through the Next Big Idea contest was in finding an answer to this question.
There are great startups at the DMZ, and chances are you will find companies from whom you can learn a lot, or even have synergies."

Mandar VaidyaCEO - Survelytics
The 2 weeks introduction to the Toronto (Ontario) startup ecosystem was an excellent experience.

"To be specific we met the following goals for Survelytics - Met a number of stakeholders - mainly at Ryerson DMZ - which provided connects with Mentors - Sales and Marketing, Potential Investors, Collaborators - Who could potentially use Survelytics, had meeting with a number of potential customers and working on these threads for further conversion. The meeting with the Ontario government officials were helpful to understand the various measures taken to help startups from Tax, Immigration, Incubators & Innovation related funding."

Yash ShahFounder, Arey Sun
Yash has been the youngest winner of Google Summer of Code in India, and recently spent a month at DMZ; enroute to the Google I/O conference, where he was a Google-sponsored participant.

"Our experience at Zone startups India has been memorable, meaningful and intellectually stimulating of our life and helped to propel our nascent ideas for Areysun into a real product. There is some magic in this place. This environment is the perfect place to build startups. You are surrounded by people that want to give back and teach what they wish they knew before entering the market. We are learning first hand how really successful entrepreneurs process their startup. Long story short, I’m in process of becoming better entrepreneur. "

Satyen KothariChairman & Founder - CitrusPay
Citrus Pay, a leading m-payments solutions company has successfully raised $7.8 million. CitrusPay was a winner of the 1st edition Next BIG Idea contest, and was at the DMZ, last fall, as an international fellow.

"DMZ's commitment towards enabling the next generation of entrepreneurs is remarkable. Rarely have I seen this level of enthusiasm, this kind of friendly approachability, and these kind of resources in my 19 years as a the entrepre- neur. Combine these, and you have a potent mixture for success. Startups that get to be part of the DMZ family are a blessed lot - your probability of making it big just increased"

Application Form

Application Form Apply here!

All applications must be submitted no later than 11:45 p.m. IST, September 25, 2016.

Powerful Partners
Zone Startups is an international accelerator program, with its India office in partnership with, and based at, the Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai. It is built on the unique model developed at Ryerson University through the Digital Media Zone & Ryerson Futures that has attracted international attention.Since its launch in February 2014, Zone Startups /India has onboarded 82 startups, offering them state-of-art infrastructure, mentorship, business development support, industry contacts, funding & investor access, and a gateway to North America.
Ontario International Marketing Centre, India is a part of the Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade and carries the broad economic development mandate of the Province of Ontario in India. The Ontario IMC facilitates bi-lateral trade and investment between India and Ontario, promotes Ontario products and services, facilitates meetings between Ontario suppliers and Indian buyers, and helps Indian companies seize investment opportunities in Ontario and setting-up a presence to target the North American market. In India, the International Marketing Centre is located in the High Commission of Canada in New Delhi, with a satellite office within the Consulate General of Canada in Mumbai.
The Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited (HDFC) was amongst the first to receive an 'in principle' approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to set up a bank in the private sector, as part of RBI's liberalisation of the Indian Banking Industry in 1994. The bank was incorporated in August 1994 in the name of 'HDFC Bank Limited', with its registered office in Mumbai, India. HDFC Bank commenced operations as a Scheduled Commercial Bank in January 1995.
Google Cloud Platformlets you build and host applications and websites, store data, and analyze data on Google's scalable infrastructure.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)promotes an active and vibrant co-innovation ecosystem - TCS Co-Innovation Network (COINTM) , a global network of startups, venture capitalists, strategic alliance partners, academics, government and trade bodies, clients and TCS industry experts. Based around TCS Innovation Labs worldwide, COINTM provides TCS’ clients with access to emerging technologies for disruptive innovation across sectors and industries.
Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University is one of Canada’s largest business incubators and co-working spaces for entrepreneurs. The top-ranked university incubator in Canada and fifth in the world, it helps startups succeed by connecting them with customers, advisors, influencers and other entrepreneurs.The DMZ is based at Ryerson but it’s not just for students; this unique community is home to entrepreneurs and innovators of all ages from across Toronto, Canada and the world. Overlooking the heart of downtown Toronto at Yonge-Dundas Square, the DMZ is a hub of innovation, collaboration and experiential learning.
Ryerson futures inc is a “Founders First” Accelerator program that selects and assembles top technology based start ups, accelerating their go to market success with real customers, real investors, and actionable guidance.RFI is connected to the leading edge incubator Digital Media Zone (DMZ) at Ryerson University, which has incubated 125+ companies since launch in 2010, raising in excess of $25m in funding in 2013 alone. The DMZ is the evolution of learning and business success. The DMZ offers 40,000 square feet of innovate space and shared resources for companies, advisors, networking, events, education,and more for innovative hardware and software companies.
Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative, career-focused education and a university clearly on the move. It is a distinctly urban university with a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. Ryerson has a mission to serve societal need and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community.
Launch Partners
Chitkara Innovation Incubatorwas initiated in the year 2013 with a sprawling 15,000 sq ft facility next to Rajiv Gandhi Information Technology Park, Chandigarh which is the prime destination for major blue chip companies such as Infosys, Tech Mahindra and Airtel. Chitkara Innovation Incubator helps turn students’ business ideas into reality. Student ventures with scalable, commercial potential are given access to high-tech, collaborative office space, paired with industry mentors, subject matter experts, and community corporate partners to develop scalable business plans, and market-testable products and services.
91SpringBoard is an affordable workspace in a flexible plug and play format so you can focus on your business. It is a community of like minded entrepreneurs and access to service providers, mentors, and investors.
NUMA brings together under one umbrella synergetic activities: coworking, start-up acceleration, community outreach and open innovation programs. Formerly known as Silicon Sentier, NUMA’s story began with the opening of La Cantine, the 1st coworking space in France in 2008. Followed in 2011 by Le Camping - rebranded NUMA Sprint -, the 1st start-up accelerator in France. By expanding internationally, we ambition to share this vision of innovation as a vector for change throughout society. A society where innovation is above all an opportunity for collective growth, for building bridges between people, and (re)doing society.
Karya Space , CoWorking Spaces Help you Grow, Karya is Work. KaryaSpace provide start-ups/SMEs/freelancers a contemporary office in the heart of the city.
Nasscom 10,000 Starup Warehouse Kochi has been launched in support with the Kerala Govt. to build entrepreneurial capabilities in the state of Kerala, create a vibrant community to connect investors, mentors and start-up entrepreneurs, and building tech-entrepreneurship as a preferred career option.
Startup Oasis is a Jaipur based incubation centre that is developing an ecosystem in Rajasthan to inspire and support students, aspiring entrepreneurs and start-ups to solve persistent problems, develop breakthrough innovations and create world class enterprises. Startup Oasis has been set-up at the joint initiative of RIICO (http://www.riico.co.in/), Rajasthan’s premiere industrial promotion organization, and the Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) (http://www.ciieindia.org/) at IIM Ahmedabad, India’s leading incubation and entrepreneurship centre. RIICO and CIIE felt the need to tap into the pool of traditional Rajasthani entrepreneurship and use the joint expertise of RIICO and CIIE to channelize the entrepreneurial energies to foster creativity and innovations in order to solve some of the most obstinate problems of the state and the country.
The Venture Center is a technology business incubator specializing in technology startups offering products and services exploiting scientific expertise in the areas of materials, chemicals and biological sciences & engineering. Venture Center strives to nucleate and nurture technology and knowledge-based enterprises by leveraging the scientific and engineering competencies of the institutions in the "Pune region" in India. The Venture Center aims to empower and enable scientists and engineers in pursuing technology, innovation and entrepreneurship objectives.
T-Hub is a unique public/private partnership between the government of Telangana, 3 of India’s premier academic institutes (IIIT-H, ISB & NALSAR) and key private sector leaders. It stands at the intersection of the start-up, academic, corporate, research and government sectors. T-Hub is designed for technology-related start-ups, and its mission is to catalyse the creation of one of the tightest and most vibrant entrepreneur communities in the world in order to encourage and fuel more start-up success stories in India.
CIBA ,Centre for Incubation and Business Acceleration is a technology business incubator established with support from Department of Science and Technology, Government of India and Department of Science, Technology and Environment, Government of Goa. The centre is registered as a not for profit company with a mission to identify and support innovative startup companies and to promote techno-entrepreneurship in the state of Goa.
CIIE Ahemdabad,Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship was setup at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) with support from Gujarat Government and Department of Science and Technology (Government of India) to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in India. Experience and expertise at IIMA in the areas of management, innovation, technology networks along with entrepreneurship provide the necessary impetus and intellectual basis for this initiative.
IIM Calcuttahas established a not for profit (Section 8) company called IIM Calcutta Innovation Park (IIMCIP) to promote entrepreneurship and Innovation. The objectives of IIMCIP are to promote entrepreneurship and create a nurturing ecosystem where fledgling enterprises with innovative ideas and solutions can flourish & To promote Innovation in research and business through industry-academia partnership. IIMCIP aims at creating a complete and comprehensive ecosystem to promote and nurture innovative enterprises.
Outreach and Media Partners
SINE, Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, hosted by Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay is an umbrella for promotion of entrepreneurship at IIT Bombay. SINE administers a business incubator that provides support for technology – based entrepreneurship.
TiE Mumbaiis a non-profit, global community welcoming entrepreneurs from all over the world. We believe in the power of ideas to change the face of entrepreneurship and growing business through our five pillars; mentoring, networking, education, incubating and funding. TiE was founded in 1992 by a group of successful entrepreneurs and is currently the world’s largest entrepreneurial organization out there. Tie Mumbai is the chapter of TiE in Mumbai.
TiE PuneTiE is a non-profit, global community welcoming entrepreneurs from all over the world. We believe in the power of ideas to change the face of entrepreneurship and growing business through our five pillars; mentoring, networking, education, incubating and funding. TiE was founded in 1992 by a group of successful entrepreneurs and is currently the world’s largest entrepreneurial organization out there. Tie Pune is the chapter of TiE in Pune.
ah! Venturesah! Ventures is a growth catalyst that brings together promising businesses and investors by creating wealth creation opportunities for both.
Google Business Group (GBG) – Mumbai strives to be a single ‘go to’ point for startups and entrepreneurs of Mumbai. We are a team of 10 passionate people committed to create a vibrant ecosystem for small and medium businesses. Since our inception in March of 2013, we have grown to have built a community of over 2400 like minded people.
Headstartis India's largest grass root level organization that supports entrepreneurship and startups. Headstart Network Foundation was established in the year 2008 with the vision to ‘Change the World through Entrepreneurship’. It has been among the first few, to have driven informal and formal meets of aspiring and inspiring entrepreneurs in India – as early as 2005 -06. Today, Headstart Network Foundation is the largest network of early stage startups in India. It facilitates entrepreneurial learning, hiring, marketing insights and peer mentoring amongst the Startups and addresses their issues.
IvyCap Ventures is guided by an entrepreneur-centric investment approach. IvyCap has been set up as a Venture Capital (VC) Fund Management Company with an approach to focus on high-quality professional entrepreneurs from the premier education institutions of the country. IvyCap focuses on investing in early and growth stage companies across sectors such as Healthcare, Education, Food based businesses, Technology, e/m-Commerce and other innovation oriented businesses. We believe that in the case of early/growth stage companies, a strong collaborative approach is critical for success.
CNBC-TV18is India's No.1 Business medium and the undisputed leader in business news. The channel's benchmark coverage extends from corporate news, financial markets coverage, expert perspective on investing and management to industry verticals and beyond. CNBC-TV18 has been constantly innovating with new genres of programming that helps make business more relevant to different constituencies across India. India's most able business audience consumes CNBC-TV18 for their information & investing needs. This audience is highly diversified at one level comprising of key groups such as business leaders, professionals, retail investors, brokers and traders, intermediaries, self employed professionals, High Net Worth individuals, students and even homemakers but shares a distinct commonality in terms of their spirit of enterprise.
One of CNBC-TV18's longest running shows;Young Turks puts the spotlight on young entrepreneurs poised to be tomorrow's leaders. The show traces their journey from who they were to who they have become. For the last 14 years this 4 time award winning show has put the spotlight on the achievements of over 2000 young dynamic men and women who have pushed the envelope to achieve the impossible!

Program Guidlines

1. Contest Period :
The Next Big Idea Contest begins at July 1, 2016 and ends on September 15, 2016.
2. Eligibility Requirements The Contest is open only to legal residents of India who have reached the age of majority at the time of entry and who meet the following conditions: Represent an Indian business involved in :
  • Any Technology Innovation
  • Have a unique, innovative, digitally-based business idea that brings social and/or commercial value.
  • Have a business plan and prototype for their company's idea.
  • Have an idea and a working style that fits into the collaborative nature of the DMZ (brings and receives value).
  • Be willing to communicate their accomplishments and experience to others such as media and stake-holders.
  • Be willing to communicate their experience and stay in touch with the DMZ when they return home.
3. You are not eligible to enter The Next Big Idea Contest if you are : A) An employee, officer, director, representative or agent of either Ryerson University, the BSE Institute Limited or the Government of Ontario (the “Contest Sponsors”), its parent, subsidiary or related companies or, if applicable, any of their respective advertising or promotion agencies, or any other company or individual engaged in the provision of goods or services related to this Contest (collectively, the “Contest Parties”), or B) A member of the immediate family (parent, child, sibling, or spouse) or household (whether related or not), of any of the above individuals.
4. Evaluating Criteria
Odds of winning depend upon the skill of the entrants at meeting the judging criteria outlined in the rules.
5. Prize :
Five (5) prizes available to be awarded. Each prize includes return economy air transportation from the major airport closest to the winner’s place of residence in India to Toronto, transportation to and from the airport in Toronto, two (2) weeks double occupancy hotel accommodation in Toronto (selection of airline carrier, seat and class, and hotel accommodations to be made at the Contest Sponsors’ sole discretion), travel medical insurance, Canadian Innovation Exchange registration fee, and participation in the program. Any and all meals and expenses not expressly included, including expenses such as telephone calls, in-room movies, mini-bar expenses, room service, gratuities, excess baggage costs, optional tours, airport departure taxes, duties and all personal expenses are the sole responsibility of the winner. Total Prize Value: approximately $8,780 CAD. The actual value of the prize may vary depending on point of departure and time of booking. The winner is not entitled to the difference, if any, between the actual and stated value of the prize. The winners must be available to travel to Toronto and participate in the program between July 1, 2016 to September 15, 2016. The winners must have valid passports and other documentation required to travel, including applicable visas or travel permissions, and must have no restrictions on their ability to travel to Toronto for the dates specified above. Should a winner be unable to attend and participate in the program between those dates, he or she may, at the Contest Sponsors’ sole and absolute discretion, be disqualified and forfeit the prize.
6. Notification :
Selected entrants will be notified by telephone and/or email at the telephone number and/or email provided at the time of application by October 14, 2016 and must respond within two (2) business days of notification. Results of the Contest will be officially announced on October 15, 2016.
Limitations of Liability and Release : No liability or responsibility is assumed by the Contest Sponsor or the Contest Parties resulting from entrant's participation in or attempt to participate in the Contest or ability or inability to upload or download any information in connection with the Contest. No responsibility or liability is assumed by the Contest Sponsor or the Contest Parties for technical problems or technical malfunction arising in connection with any of the following occurrences which may affect the operation of the Contest: hardware or software errors; faulty computer, cable, satellite, network, Electronic, Internet connectivity or other online or network communication problems; errors or limitations of any Internet service providers, servers, hosts or other providers; garbled, jumbled or faulty data transmissions; failure of any online transmissions to be sent or received; lost, late, delayed or intercepted transmissions; inaccessibility of the Contest Website or Sponsor Website in whole or in part for any reason; traffic congestion on the Internet or the Contest Website or Sponsor Website; unauthorized human or non-human intervention of the operation of the Contest, including without limitation, unauthorized tampering, hacking, theft, virus, bugs, or worms; or destruction of any aspect of the Contest, or loss, miscount, misdirection, inaccessibility or unavailability of an email account used in connection with the Contest. The Contest Sponsor and the Contest Parties are not responsible for any printing, typographical, technical, computer, network or human error which may occur in the administration of the Contest, the uploading, The processing of votes or Entries, the judging of Entries, the announcement of the prizes or in any Contest-related materials. Use of the Contest Website and Sponsor Website is at user’s own risk. The Contest Sponsor and the Contest Parties are not responsible for any personal injury or property damage or losses of any kind which may be sustained to user's or any other person's computer or video equipment resulting from participation in the Contest.
Privacy and Publicity Release:

The Contest Sponsor and its authorized agents will collect, use, and disclose the personal information provided upon registration and entry into the Contest for the purposes of administering the Contest and Prize fulfillment, in accordance with the Contest Sponsor’s privacy policy, available at http://www.ryerson.ca/privacy.

By accepting a prize, winners consent to the publication and use of their name, address (city, province), voice, statements, photographs, image and/or likeness in any form, manner or media whether now known or hereafter devised, including, without limitation, in print, radio, television and on the Internet for any purpose in connection with the Contest including, without limitation, for the purposes of advertising and trade, and promoting the Contest Sponsor and /or Contest, without further notice or compensation.


Contact Us

Contact us: Mail Your queries to following address: E-mail:contest@zonestartups.com Visit us at Zone Startups | India 18th Floor, Bombay Stock Exchange Building P.J.Towers, Dalal Street Mumbai 400 001