Electronic Products & Technology


Aviva Canada & Ryerson incubator partner to support tech startups

Consumer-friendly digital innovation is the driving force behind Aviva Canada‘s new partnership with the DMZ at Ryerson, the leading university-based incubator for emerging tech startups.

The partnership, which enhances Aviva’s ‘digital first’ strategy, will result in innovative exchanges with entrepreneurs to bring fresh ideas to insurance at a time of rapid change across the technology landscape. Working with the DMZ at Ryerson will help solidify Aviva’s position at the forefront of industry disruption.

“We are extremely excited partner with the DMZ at Ryerson and to show our support for the technology ecosystem by providing mentorship, connections and many other things that a startup needs to succeed,” said Ben Isotta-Riches, Chief Information Officer, Aviva Canada. “With insurance becoming an increasingly digital industry, I can’t wait to see what kind of fresh, innovative thinking these startups bring to the table for our customers.”

Technology has become a persuasive and a transformational element in many industries

“Technology has become a persuasive and a transformational element in many industries and verticals, including insurance. Collaborations between small and large businesses allow companies to grow, adopt new ideas and explore new challenges while exchanging invaluable experience,” says Abdullah Snobar, Executive Director at the DMZ at Ryerson University. “Partnering with Aviva gives us the opportunity to support our entrepreneurs and help them grow. In return, they will help Aviva succeed by bringing some creative ideas and solutions to the insurance industry.”

Aviva Canada team members and entrepreneurs from the DMZ will take part in innovation exchanges, where a committee from Aviva will evaluate new businesses ideas designed to solve gaps in the current insurance marketplace to benefit policy holders. Aviva is also investigating possible insurance solutions that will tailor to the unique and individual needs of the startup businesses.

In addition, Aviva Canada will invest in the success and growth of the startups by providing mentorship, shared spaces and social exchanges with entrepreneurs from the DMZ at Ryerson.

One of the new insurance solutions, being developed by DMZ startup ClientDesk, is a platform digitizing insurance by focusing on client engagement, self-service and claims support. “It’s critical to provide a consumer experience that is consistent with current technological advancements in other industries, making transactions and requests accessible at a tap of a button,” says Newton Asare, co-founder of ClientDesk. “As consumer behavior and expectation has evolved, insurance needs to embrace and adopt innovative solutions, leveraging digital tools to drive engagement and communication.”

About Aviva Canada

Aviva Canada is one of the leading property and casualty insurance groups in the country providing home, automobile, leisure/lifestyle and business insurance to more than three million customers. A wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Aviva plc, the company has more than 3,000 employees, 25 locations and approximately 1,500 independent broker partners.

Aviva Canada invests in positive change through the Aviva Community Fund, Canada’s longest running online community funding competition. Since its inception in 2009, the Aviva Community Fund has awarded $6.5 million to over 222 charities and community groups nationwide.


About the DMZ at Ryerson University

The DMZ is one of Canada’s largest business incubators. The top-ranked university incubator in North America and third in the world, the DMZ is a hub of innovation, collaboration and commercialization. Since opening in April 2010, the DMZ and Ryerson Futures Inc.—its affiliated accelerator program—have incubated and accelerated 236 startups, which have collectively raised more than $148 million in funding and fostered more than 2,128 jobs.