Business Expanding Canadian tech incubator, the DMZ, launches program in Japan with Landing Pad TOKYO

Apr 11, 2022

The DMZExternal site: a new window will open. is a tech incubator for startups based in Toronto, Canada. Over the past 11 years, they have supported nearly 700 tech startups.

Through their highly-customized hands-on programming for startups, the DMZ provides connections to potential customers, coaching, access to capital, and a community of entrepreneurs, investors and influencers. Today, the DMZ has over 10 DMZ-powered hubs around the world, creating a thriving global ecosystem.


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In April 2020, Landing Pad Tokyo powered by DMZExternal site: a new window will open ("LPT") was launched in Japan as a project of the Japan Industrial Promotion Association ("JIPA") with the DMZ. LPT leverages the DMZ’s core programming, expertise and structure to support Japanese SMEs and is designed to spark international collaboration and market connections. A visit to the DMZ by the Sagamihara City Mission in 2019, as part of the JETRO’s RIT project, triggered the launch of LPT.

As an accelerator, LPT’s mission is to promote innovation for local SMEs, particularly in the manufacturing industry.

LPT’s programs include seminars, workshops, virtual meetings conducted three times a week, company matching events called “Mini Collisions”, collaborative opportunities with universities and technical colleges, and "BasecampExternal site: a new window will open”, which is based on the DMZ’s student incubation program.

LPT aims to develop new capabilities and implement innovation in SMEs. SME business owners and their teams have a chance to learn about the latest trends in technology, markets, business strategies and human resources.

Mr. Kato, the Executive Director of LPT, and Ms. Bond, the Director of LPT, have designed LPT to allow companies to share knowledge and experience and conduct new experiments.

The DMZ's Incubator is an 18-month program that supports tech startups. The Incubator program provides hands-on customized support and mentoring.

Since its launch, LPT has led to joint projects between Canadian and Japanese companies, collaborative partnerships between Japanese SMEs, new hires for participating teams, and partnerships with universities and technical colleges.

The LPT community has expanded well beyond SMEs, and includes members from industry, academia, and government. This includes the Canadian Federal Government, the Ontario Provincial Government, Ryerson University, the University of Waterloo, the Waterloo Nanotechnology Institute, as well as local Japanese governments, research institutions, universities, technical colleges, and students. The LPT intends to continue to expand its network both domestically and internationally to broaden the scope of its activities.

The DMZ strongly believes that Canadian startups need to look beyond their own borders and leverage global markets in order to succeed. They see Japan as a major industrial powerhouse and are eager to work with Japan’s globally recognized manufacturing innovation ecosystem.

With talent acquisition being a key pillar of innovation in the SME community, the DMZ plans to explore new programs that will offer entrepreneurship development to young Japanese communities, such as universities.

Together, the DMZ and LPT will work collaboratively to foster a new culture of innovation in Japan.

When the DMZ expanded in Japan, JETRO's Investment and Business Support Center in Japan (IBSC) provided public relations support.

Mr. Kiyotaka Kato, Executive Director, Landing Pad TOKYO powered by DMZ / Secretary General, Japan Industrial Promotion Association (JIPA)

Ms. Chieko Bond, Director, Landing Pad TOKYO powered by DMZ

Mr. Sherif El Tawil, Senior Director. Programs and Partnerships, The DMZ

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