Viafoura claims top spot in Road to Banff Venture Forum Pitch-Off Competition
In another addition to a string of recent wins, Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ) is proud to congratulate new DMZ company Viafoura on placing first in the Road to Banff Venture Forum Pitch-Off Competition at the recently held Canada 3.0 digital media forum.
A key event on the three-day innovation conference agenda was the Road to Banff Venture Forum Pitch-Off Competition, a pitching-makes-perfect event for early stage companies. Competing against 50 other startups, it was user engagement platform Viafoura’s creative pitch to the panel of judges that took home first prize. Co-Founders Jesse Moeinifar and Ali Ghafour presented their innovative concept of increasing the level of engagement between news organizations or publications and their users by creating dialogue and open forums for meaningful debates. For their efforts, the Viafoura execs receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Banff Venture Forum, a company financing event, plus an exclusive day of workshops and networking opportunities with top venture capitalists from Canada and the United States.
Viafoura attributes their win to help from their advisors at MaRS and from the DMZ, a creative environment that allows individuals to develop their ideas in collaboration and make them a success story: “Leading up to the Canada 3.0 conference, the DMZ gave us the opportunity to run our business plan, pitch our key concepts and really hone in on the right messages. So when we got in front of the judges at the competition, our ideas were streamlined and cohesive,” said Moeinifar. “The DMZ was instrumental in getting us started and getting us networking.”
“The Canada 3.0 conference is the embodiment of what we are trying to achieve at the DMZ: uniting academia, government and industry to promote innovation,” said Valerie Fox, DMZ Director. “To see one of our teams perform at the top of an event that is so germane to our mission demonstrates to us that we are really on to something here. We are proud to see Viafoura recognized among this much esteemed group.”
Orchestrated by the Canadian Digital Media Network, Canada 3.0 is Canada’s premier digital media event, uniting industry, government and academia to spark creativity, foster innovation and drive productivity.
Opened in April 2010, Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ) is a multidisciplinary workspace for young entrepreneurs infused with the energy and resources of downtown Toronto. Set atop Yonge-Dundas Square, this hub of digital media innovation, collaboration and commercialization is home to both entrepreneurial startups and industry solution-providers. With access to overhead and business services, students and alumni can fast-track their product launches, stimulating Canada’s emerging digital economy through spending and job creation. In its first year of operations, the DMZ helped more than 126 innovators to incubate and accelerate 27 startups and to launch 55 projects. For more information on the DMZ, visit www.ryerson.ca/dmz.
Ryerson University is Canada’s leader in innovative, career-oriented education and a university clearly on the move. With a mission to serve societal need, and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community, Ryerson offers close to 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. Distinctly urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to 28,000 students, including 2,000 master’s and PhD students, nearly 2,700 tenured and tenure-track faculty and staff, and more than 130,000 alumni worldwide. Research at Ryerson is on a trajectory of success and growth: externally funded research has doubled in the past four years. The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada’s leading provider of university-based adult education. For more information, visit www.ryerson.ca.
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Media Relations Officer
Digital Media Zone
416-979-5000 x 4282