In 2022, Zú became the first creative industries incubator in Canada to adopt the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Venture Mentoring Service (MIT VMS) methodology.

After a year-long pilot project, Zú launched its incubation program based on the VMS methodology last June. The incubation program provides structured, ethical and confidential support, establishing a rigorous framework of group mentoring over a minimum 12-month period. Designed for companies in the market validation and commercialization phase, each entrepreneur is paired with three mentors selected from our pool of experienced mentors. These mentors, who complement each other in their expertise and match the needs of the company, will meet with the entrepreneurs on a monthly basis to help them make strategic decisions and optimize the growth of their business.

First Year Review: Impressive Achievements

A Network of Extraordinary Mentors

Over 70 mentors have been recruited and trained using the MIT VMS methodology. These mentors are seasoned professionals with an average of 25 years of experience in a variety of fields including finance, technology, marketing, and more.

We are proud to say that 35% of the mentors involved were recommended by other mentors at Zú, demonstrating the strength of our network. We’re also pleased to say that 35% of these mentors are women, reflecting our ability to attract diverse talent and promote balanced representation.


Impact on startups: numbers that speak for themselves

Last year, 28 startups entered the Zú incubation program, receiving a total of more than 4,500 hours of services, including more than 750 hours of mentoring.

And we’re proud to say that these startups have reached new heights:
+$5 million in funding
+6.5 million in sales
+145 jobs saved or created


That being said, the figure we want to highlight today is that 6 out of 10 startups, after completing a full year of incubation, have chosen to renew their support with Zú for a second consecutive year!

These 6 startups are:

Heylist is democratizing the influencer marketing industry by creating opportunities within the creator economy. Operating on a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, it’s a marketplace that connects brands and agencies with nano-influencers, individuals with 10,000 followers or less who have a very high engagement rate.
Orangead provides privacy-protected smart screens and a transactional platform for digital signage, ad placement and business intelligence services, connecting advertisers with optimized ad placements for their campaigns.
Subséquent supports companies in the creative industries that are looking for solutions to increase productivity by automating team workflows through simple, visual and interactive software technology.
Tastet is a guide to the best restaurants, but for the real world. From bakeries to Michelin-starred restaurants, the trusted and personalized food recommendation platform guides users to the best local addresses based on taste, budget or occasion.
Tripura has developed the first AI-integrated real-time respiratory monitor for AI-powered digital biomarker extraction, providing feedback to optimize physical and cognitive performance.
Yiqqi is a platform that enables organizations to quickly launch video campaigns by integrating content from their communities in an ethical and secure way. Users can create personalized videos to extend the reach of their message.


Here are the 22 startups that have completed or are currently in the incubation program



Heading for a second successful year

Zú remains committed to supporting the innovation and growth of technology startups in the creative industries. We can’t wait to see what the future holds and to celebrate new successes with the entrepreneurs we support.

Thank you to all of our passionate volunteer mentors and partners for your dedication and support. We would especially like to thank the Guy Laliberté Foundation for their generous support of the Zú incubation program.