The Next BIG Idea (NBI) started out in 2013 as an annual contest for Indian tech startups
to soft-land in Canada and explore business opportunities in the country. Interested startups would apply and
pitch for a 2-week market access program in Canada to explore the market and meet with key stakeholders
there. To see what we’ve achieved in the 7 years of the program - Click here
In 2021, we present the 8th edition of a new and improved avatar of NBI, keeping our key mission intact i.e.
helping Indian tech startups expand to Canada. We listened to the feedback from all stakeholders
regarding the prior editions and have re-architected it to make it more impactful.
This edition breaks up the process of setting up business in Canada into three carefully thought through stages – Awareness -> Preparation -> Immersion
The last 7 editions witnessed 3,600 applications, out of which 49 companies were selected for a market access program in Canada. As many as 17 startups have gone on to establish global offices. Out of the 17, 8 startups are now actively doing business from North America. We do have a very strict selection process, that not only includes interviews and pitches with the ZSI team, but also meetings with our partners in Canada. And because we have selected only those startups that have the right product-market fit and are ready to take the plunge into doing business in Canada, we have been able to create such a significant impact. The 8th edition has been thoughtfully designed to amplify that impact by helping you prepare for your soft-landing in Canada. So attend the NBI WebTalks and decide if you are ready for Canada and for the WORLD.
"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 this kind of resources in my 19 years as an entrepreneur. 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."
Satyen Kothari, Founder & Managing Director, CitrusPay
“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 startup.”
Jibin Jose, Co-founder & CEO, Flipmotion Technologies
"The Next Big Idea acts like a red carpet for companies entering into the Canadian market. As a Startup it is really difficult to find meetings with C-Level Executives in a new country. Through NBI we were able to meet the most relevant people and understand the North American Market better."
Jainam Mehta, Co-founder & Chief Communications Officer, Oizom
“NBI Program covered 3 key startup ecosystems/locations, connected us well to investors and government agencies, and introductions to other startups were well planned. It was very encouraging to see how numerous high quality grant/visa programs funded by Governments have been successfully utilized by worthy Indo-Canadian startups.”
Soubhagya Sahoo, Co-founder & CEO, Gray Routes
“Overall, it was an excellent experience. Firstly, interacting with the Zone Startups team in India during the contest process, various interviews and then obviously the 2 week market access program in Canada. I would like to tell startups that NBI is a great opportunity because not only will it give them access to investors, potential customers/partners, etc. in the North American Market but to also widen their horizons and understand the reach of their product and probably discover different dimensions that their products can extend to.”
Mandar Vaidya, Founder & CEO, Survelytics
“I think NBI is a fantastic opportunity for a startup with global ambitions.”
Pruthvi Rao, Founder & CEO, Element42
“If we had not gone through the NBI program, we would never have given a serious thought to looking at Canada as a potential gateway to the North American Market. It was an eye-opener in a lot of ways.”
Pankit Desai, Co-founder & CEO, Sequretek
"The Next Big Idea program was something we applied to because we were looking to launch into the North American market. The inputs we received as well as the government officials, venture networks and companies we met during the Canada visit were invaluable, and the NBI team provided us with great support. Would strongly recommend this as a wonderful bridge for Indian companies looking to springboard to the international space."
Devi Yesodharan, Co-founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Trendlyne
“The NBI Program is superb by Zone Startups India which helped our startup to explore opportunities overseas, especially in Canada where they set up all relevant meetings with Incubators, Government Organizations, Co-working Spaces, Legal, Company formation, established similar companies to explore, learn and understand the viability.”
Pratyush Halen, Founder & CEO, Fingpay
Explore the Next BIG Idea Pre-Landing Program to take your first steps towards expansion into the Canadian market.