This summer Ryerson's Digital Media Zone welcomes its first-ever international fellows into its downtown Toronto hub.
The Indian fellows, nine individual entrepreneurs in seven teams, have been selected for four-month terms in Toronto. They join the DMZ from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, and the Indian School of Business.
During their tenure at the DMZ, the entrepreneurs will focus on developing forward-thinking and innovative digital products and services for launch in India while learning with and alongside the DMZ's other 39 teams. Although this is a first for the DMZ, Ryerson has an extensive history of international collaboration with more than 100 partner institutions in over 30 countries.
"I have always believed that great things come from innovation and the sharing of ideas," said Ryerson University President Sheldon Levy during a speech at the IIT Delhi in August 2011. "These fellowships are a wonderful opportunity to bring some of the best, brightest and most entrepreneurial students from India together with Canadian entrepreneurs and innovators to learn, to innovate and to explore new digital business opportunities together."
"Ryerson is attracting some of the world's leading international academic partners, in part, because of our growing reputation in experiential learning, innovation and entrepreneurship," said Wendy Cukier, vice president of research and innovation at Ryerson. "Our international collaborations are mutually beneficial and provide learning opportunities for faculty and students in advancing research which has real impact."
Sharanya Haridas, one of the DMZ fellows, said that "it can be daunting to create an online voice for young women in India, especially because this sort of thing has never been attempted before. The culture of the Digital Media Zone has been wonderful. I've received so much assistance and support not only from my new mentors, but also from the other teams of Ryerson entrepreneurs. I feel as if the sky's the limit for me and my company."
"Technological innovation knows no borders," explained Valerie Fox, executive director of the Digital Media Zone. "IIT Madras, IIT Delhi, ISB Hyderabad and the Digital Media Zone have much in common: exceptional ideas and driven entrepreneurs. We're pleased to host our first international fellows, expanding the DMZ's scope and reach while learning from one another."
Ryerson's strategic international partnerships continue to develop. In the "coming months," additional visiting international entrepreneurs from China and Israel will join the DMZ.