Today my colleagues and I visited Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone and to say I was impressed would be an understatement. The Ryerson Digital Media Zone or the DMZ as it is often referred to as, is one of Canada’s largest incubators and multi-disciplinary co-working spaces for entrepreneurs. Frankly, it’s a place where cool stuff is made by some pretty cool people. Set atop Yonge-Dundas Square, the DMZ takes up 5 floors of beautiful office space where Google Canada used to reside. In fact, when Google moved out, they left all the furniture which was pretty cool of them. If you have never been to the DMZ, you need to go. Gather your team and take a tour because what you will see will blow you away. This truly is a digital playground right in the heart of Toronto.
A Place Entrepreneurs Converge
I love entrepreneurs because of their heart, dedication and passion for their ability to create. Walking through the Ryerson Digital Media Zone inspired me as I saw the logos of numerous start-ups that were on a mission to change the world. Walking through the zone you see companies that make children educational apps, localized targeting transmitters, micro content brokerage services, interactive retail signage, virtual employment vetting services, and I can go on and on. This digital incubator is not just a space for entrepreneurs to work from but is also a place where connections are made and where collaboration occurs. I was fortunate to hear the story of an entrepreneur who was working from home and the DMZ allowed him to be in a space where he didn’t feel alone anymore. Iron sharpens iron and in the DMZ, surrounding yourself with entrepreneurs makes you stronger. For organizations, the Ryerson Digital Media Zone is an untapped resource.
An Opportunity for Organizations
With access to a university student body and numerous entrepreneurs, the DMZ offers organizations with an economical resource to help them with any problem they may have. If there is no start-up that currently offers a solution to your need, no problem, the DMZ will put together a team to work on your project. Agencies are great partners and I’m not saying that they can be replaced by the DMZ but why not test a small project with the Ryerson Digital Media Zone and support young talent hungry to work hard. If you are a small organization, the DMZ opens you up to have more economical resources and manpower. If you are a large organization, the DMZ allows you to gain access to fresh ideas in a nimble package.
As a double graduate from Ryerson (B.Comm ’04 and MBA ’09), I could not be more proud of Ryerson. In my opinion, the Digital Media Zone is the crown jewel of the school. I only wish I could have experienced this awesome environment while I was studying.