This is part of the Canada's Future Tech Superstars feature. Click here for the original story.
Key ingredients that contribute to the success of DMZ companies, and what you can learn from them:
Diverse specialties and skills. The DMZ is an environment where computer science students can pair up with business folks, arts majors can team up with data analysts. This type of interaction doesn't happen in a classroom with only one type of student. Think of it as connecting with people who can balance your skills to help drive the company forward. When creating your own start up, find people who can think of company progress from a perspective other than your own, and add the skills you don't have.
Connections to clients and experienced professionals. The DMZ is constantly hosting demonstrations for companies. This attracts professionals who can either give you valuable business advice (e.g. the tips Bulzacki received on licensing technology out), or can even turn out to be a paying client (e.g. Indigo ended up buying into HitSend's online platform). When starting your own company, attend industry networking events and reach out to veterans in that field.
A strong spark. Without a good idea, all the connections and skills in the world won't help your start up. The companies profiled in this article came up with brilliant ideas. Bulzacki used his imagination to envision a technology no one else has began to work towards, leaving this niche market open to him. McEachran saw inefficiencies in a factor so important to today's society: communications. Shain used his knowledge and experience with financial institutions to come up with a concept that's very appealing to customers and has never been done before. When delving into entrepreneurship, think outside the box. A lot of successful technologies in the near future will be things society has never even dreamed of ' but maybe you've dreamed of.