Changing the Insurance Industry – the DMZ and Aviva Canada Launch an Insurtech Accelerator Program

February 28, 2017 (Toronto, ON) – – In response to the rise of Insurtech in the insurance industry, Aviva Canada and the DMZ at Ryerson University have launched an accelerator program for Canadian startups that require rapid development. Applications are now being accepted.

The program is open to innovative, early-stage Insurtech startups with a service or solution for insurance in any market sector. This intensive four-month accelerator program is designed to help six startups de-risk their company, develop their product market fit and drive innovation in their respective industry.

“The future of our economy requires more than new products and services, but markets and systems that are capable of adopting and embracing innovation,” said Abdullah Snobar, executive director of the DMZ at Ryerson. “This program will provide opportunities for Canadian startups in fast-growing sectors to accelerate their development and facilitate introductions to key players in their market.”

Now in their second year of partnership, this initiative is connected to Aviva Canada and the DMZ’s ongoing commitment in supporting high-growth startups operating in complex and highly-regulated markets such as healthcare, real estate, financial services and autotech, just to name a few. 

“Building on our partnership with the DMZ at Ryerson University, programs like the one we are launching today create real opportunity to accelerate needed innovation in our industry, and ultimately that’s good for insurance buying consumers,” said Ben Isotta-Riches, chief information officer at Aviva Canada. “We want to be at the forefront of a thriving Insurtech community in Canada. This is just the beginning for us.”

Based at the DMZ in Toronto, the four-month accelerator will provide:

  • mentorship and industry expertise from Aviva’s executives;
  • customized sales strategies for each startup;
  • connections to prospective customers and partners;
  • workshops hosted by industry leaders;
  • dedicated workspace and more.

After four months, each of the six startups will present to Aviva Canada executives and managing director at Aviva Ventures for an investment opportunity.

In the past year, Aviva Canada and the DMZ have been able to support startups such as Casalova, healthSwapp and Zensurance grow and scale their startup. The second year of the Aviva Canada/DMZ partnership will be dedicated to helping startups reach customer validation and development through direct access to a network of best-in-class mentors, partners and investors.

Applications to the Insurtech Accelerator Program are due April 3rd, 2017. For more information, eligibility and to apply, visit


DMZ at Ryerson University:
The DMZ at Ryerson University is one of Canada’s largest business incubators for emerging tech startups. It is the top-ranked university incubator in North America and third in the world, and helps startups succeed by connecting them with customers, advisors, influencers and other entrepreneurs. Since launching in 2010 it has incubated over 266 startups, raised $280 million in seed funding, and has fostered the creation of more than 2,562 jobs.

Aviva Canada:
Aviva Canada is one of the leading property and casualty insurance groups in the country providing home, automobile, leisure/lifestyle and business insurance to more than three million customers. A wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Aviva plc, the company has more than 4,000 employees focused on creating a bright and sustainable future for their customers and communities.

Aviva Canada invests in positive change through the Aviva Community Fund, Canada’s longest running online community funding competition. Since its inception in 2009, the Aviva Community Fund has awarded $7.5 million to over 250 charities and community groups nationwide. Aviva Canada, bringing over 300 years of good thinking and insurance solutions to Canadians from coast to coast.

For more information visit, the company’s blog or Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

Media Contacts:

Ahmed Saleh
Public Relations Officer, DMZ at Ryerson
(647) 622-8674

Priscilla Wong
PR Specialist, Aviva Canada
Desk: 416-288-6780, Cell: 647-208-7523