You are now in the main content area

Get Started

Members of the Social Ventures Zone work together

Zone Learning is the side hustle to your degree

At Zone Learning, we understand that everyone’s journey is unique, and there’s no single “right” way to begin. We’re here to support you every step of the way by offering community-building events, skill-building workshops and paid work opportunities that make the crucial first step accessible, no matter where you are in your journey.

How do you want to get started?

The best way to meet people is to join our community

When it comes to innovation, nobody can do it alone. That’s why community is at the centre of what we do at Zone Learning. We know that trying something new can be intimidating, but our events are designed to give you a seat at the table where you can learn from the experiences of others in a laid-back setting. 

We also host networking mixers throughout the year, fostering connections with like-minded students and industry professionals. See our events page for what’s happening right now.

Caffeinated Innovators

Every Friday morning, our community gathers for an impactful conversation on various topics related to entrepreneurship, social impact, and current events.

Innovation Boost Community

Our thriving community offers workshops, industry insights, and networking opportunities designed to help you learn and grow.

Student Innovation Challenge

Build workplace skills, be part of a team that solves problems that matter, and meet people who can connect you to your next opportunity.

Startup School 

Startup School provides fundamental entrepreneurial education to aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs alike.

Student League

Be the first to know about job opportunities and get insider info from those leading the next wave of the entertainment industry.

You can gain experience by trying something new

Looking to add experience and skills to your resume? Zone Learning offers a number of ways for you to test, try, tinker, team up, or hack. We pair students with startups and projects so you can learn how to tackle real-world problems, equipping you with a competitive edge in interviews or your portfolio. The best part? Many of our opportunities pay you to participate!


An eight-week accelerator program for high-school and university students that helps you develop innovative ideas and gain market and customer validation.

B-Ready Talent Platform

A virtual marketplace connecting talent from underrepresented groups with employers hiring for full-time technology and business roles in Brampton.


Explore problems and test out creative ways to solve them in a lab environment. Get hands-on experience with real-world issues and be exposed to different career pathways.

Black Innovation Launchpad

Launchpad is a free virtual skills development platform and year-round program geared at building the next generation of successful Black entrepreneurs.

Business Acceleration & Clinical Engagement BACE Discovery

Learn the business and clinical knowledge you need to create change in healthcare. This 4-month program includes access to online modules, expert-led webinars and workshops, mentorship from Biomedical Zone staff & advisors, and showcase events.

Creative in Residence Program

A 3-month self-directed residency opportunity for ‘making-based creatives’ practicing at all stages of their career.

Design Community Events

A series covering everything from creative coding and DIY bioplastics to software skill building and climate action.

Fashion Associate Program

The associate gets matched with a Fashion Zone startup to develop their skills, prepare them for the job market, and/or give them the confidence to start their own venture. Associates are eligible for internship hours and are compensated.

Innovation Boost Apprentice Program

Join a 4-month paid program where students and startups are matched as apprentices to work on a project.

Launchpad (external link) 

As an on-demand, self-paced learning platform, Launchpad is built to help take the guesswork out of starting your own business.

Legal Concept Framework

An interactive, online, 6-week part-time program that will help you explore what it takes to build a legal tech company.

Legal Innovation Bootcamp

Get introduced to tech and innovation in the legal sector through exclusive opportunities to network with diverse mindsets, explore innovation concepts, and develop potential solutions.


Pro-guided workshops helping you build and master your business skills.

MedTech Talent Accelerator

A graduate student training program designed to launch the next generation of industry-ready talent for the Canadian Medical Technology sector.

Paid 2 Innovate

Guiding students through the process of exploring social issues they are passionate about and coming up with innovative solutions.

PowerUp Program

This paid program equips young innovators with leadership experience, business savvy, and communication skills to succeed in the clean energy industry. Participants receive guidance in developing a minimum viable product and gain valuable business and energy sector support.

Professional Skills Development

Recently graduated or in your final year? Increase your marketability to potential employers by gaining skills important to the 21st-century workplace.

Science Discovery Student-In-Residence Program

This is a paid opportunity where students can exercise their skills and increase their employability, connect with entrepreneurs, and get exposure to new potential career pathways.

Social Venture Business Analysis Challenge

A mini business case challenge for students where they will get to work on real-world challenges startups are experiencing.

Startup Certified

A one-semester program designed for TMU students looking to launch their business or work for a startup.

Tech Talent Accelerator

A graduate student training program designed to launch the next generation of industry-ready talent for the Canadian Technology sector.

Women Founder Launchpad

For women starting to think about entrepreneurship or who have an early-stage business idea.

Zero Experience

A three week program of interactive workshops that will allow students to strengthen their problem-solving skills by working on real-world issues.

Discover yourself in an elective

We get it, trying to fit in a project or a side hustle between classes, commuting, working and your personal life is really hard. But if it’s something you’re passionate about, you should do it – and we can help! Our elective courses allow you to get course credit towards your degree. Plus, you’ll get one-on-one mentorship and the opportunity to connect with a community of like-minded students.

DG8116 Graduate Passion Project

A version of ZON100 built for graduate students to bring their experience and insight to a new project or venture in any field.

Minor in Innovation & Zone Learning

No matter what your next steps are after graduation, we know that the Minor in Innovation and Zone Learning will equip you with the necessary knowledge, skills and confidence to translate ideas into real impact in the arts, sciences, social, business and creative sectors.

SCI888 Evidence-based Innovation

In today's professional ecosystem, transferable skills make the difference between a good hire and a great hire. SCI888 focuses on the development of key 21st-century skills that help set you up for your next opportunity.

ZON100 Pursuing a Passion Project

Set your own goals and define your own success as you start or grow a project that could be or might not be related to your degree.

ZON200 Growing a Passion Project

Continue working on the same project or start fresh having gained the experience of trying to build something before. Continue to develop your skills as part of a team and/or a Zone-community.

Build your project or venture in a Zone

Already working on an idea, project, venture, side hustle or startup and ready to take it to the next level? Apply directly to one of our Zone programs. Each Zone has a specialized network of resources to best support your development, including their own application process. To learn more about what each Zone has to offer, visit our Zones page.

Black Innovation Incubator

An equity-based program that helps venture-backable startups grow over the course of 18 months.

Black Innovation Pre-Incubator

Our Pre-Incubator helps early-stage founders validate a business idea/market opportunity, and build a roadmap for implementation.

Brampton Venture Entrepreneurship Fund

Secure non-dilutive, non-repayable funding for your early-stage startup.

Brampton Venture Launch Incubator

For MVP-ready startups to get overall market validation and work towards securing potential pilot opportunities.

Business Acceleration & Clinical Engagement BACE Discovery

Designed for early to mid-stage companies that are in the process of developing or finalizing an MVP. This stream offers opportunities to delve deeper into business planning and clinical validation, and to receive one-on-one coaching from a variety of advisors and experts.

Clean Energy Incubator

Gain access to a network of industry experts, mentors, and resources that can help you refine your business model, access funding, and connect with potential customers and partners.

DMZ Incubator

An equity-based program that helps venture-backable tech startups grow their business over the course of 18 months.


Located in the heart of downtown Manhattan, our NYC office provides startups around the world with free workspace, exclusive amenities, and access to a network of potential partners, customers, and investors, allowing them to anchor and grow their businesses in the U.S.

DMZ Pre-Incubator

Establish your minimum viable product, validate your idea, and secure customers with the DMZ’s Pre-Incubator program.


A customized two-week intensive soft landing program in Toronto, Canada, that helps international growth-stage startups explore, launch, and grow their business in the North American market.

Fashion Startup Incubator

A four-month incubator program for those bringing something new and unexpected to the fashion industry. Membership is always free for Toronto Metropolitan University current student founders.

Innovation Boost Incubator (external link) 

Supports ambitious tech founders from idea to commercialization who use their innovations to solve real-world problems.

Lab2Market (external link) 

Funds and equips graduate students and their faculty supervisors with the entrepreneurial skills needed to assess the commercial viability of their university-based research innovations.

Legal Innovation Incubator

Supports companies that have a developed product and are already in the market with early sales. This program puts a focus on helping startups find their product-market fit and building an effective growth plan.

Legal Sprint Studio

An interactive online, 12-week intensive program that helps future entrepreneurs develop their proof of concept into a market-ready product.

Raise Accelerator

A 9-week hybrid program dedicated to helping founders become investor-ready.

Social Venture Incubator

An eight-week cohort program where those wanting to create real-world change will deepen their understanding of their problem and improve the elements of their venture.

Startup Visa Program (external link) 

The Startup Visa Program of Canada provides an opportunity for foreign entrepreneurs to establish their innovative and scalable businesses in Canada and obtain permanent residency for up to five co-founders and their families.

Transmedia Selects Incubator

We support innovative entertainment projects that challenge audiences or make life better for creatives.

Women Founder Incubator

For high-potential pre-seed and seed-stage startups who are fundraising and growing their teams.

Women Founder Pre-Incubator

A program helping tech startups refine their business model and secure their first customers.


Zone Learning is a new model of experiential learning built to allow students to apply their degree coursework to real world startups, causes, companies, projects or ventures. Zone Learning is about more than passing on knowledge, it’s about gaining experience that will prepare you for the 21st-century workplace.

Our 10 zones are incubators or spaces where people come together to brainstorm, kickstart projects, and build startups. Zone Learning members have the opportunity to: Grow their network, gain experience, build their resume and even access funding.

As higher education and the job market in Canada shifts focus to creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship, Toronto Metropolitan University is dedicated to equipping its students for success. By getting involved with Zone Learning, you'll work on real world projects and gain real world skills that will prepare you for the 21st-century workplace. Zone Learning can bridge the gap between the classroom and industry.

Graduating from university with tangible experience with a company or team in Zone Learning, shows employers that you’re ambitious, creative, willing to take risks, and able to build bridges to people with different kinds of expertise.

Zone Learning at Toronto Metropolitan University is intended to engage students from all disciplines. You don’t need to be an entrepreneur to get involved, you don’t need a plan for a startup and you don’t even need to be a student. If you’ve ever wanted to try out a new idea, create social change, help grow a company or just work with creative people in a cool environment, this is the place for you.

Entrepreneurial skills and experiences are beneficial to everyone, not just those who identify as entrepreneurs or would like to start their own business. Zone Learning offers multiple entry points. If you're not looking to start your own project or company consider joining Zone Learning at the Contributor and Community level, which will allow you to gain valuable skills and experiences.

Yes. You are initially admitted to one zone, which serves as your home, but because TMU's zones are connected to each other, your “home zone” director and staff will help you find opportunities to participate in other zones and benefit from their resources and communities. Our community thrives on collaboration, so zone-to-zone interaction is encouraged.