The Digital Media Zone (DMZ) is the top-ranked university incubator in Canada and fifth in the world. Since 2010 it has been helping startups by connecting them with customers, advisors, influencers and other entrepreneurs. It overlooks the heart of downtown Toronto at Yonge-Dundas Square.
The DMZ struggled with a way to help entrepreneurs connect with their 100 highly experienced business advisors. The support of mentors and advisors is one of their most valuable resources and it was underperforming.
Entrepreneurs were hardly leveraging advisors. Advisors felt unengaged and expressed their concerns. Plus potential DMZ clients were unable to quickly see the areas of knowledge they could have access to.
It was a daunting task for staff to read through so many biographies and Linkedin profiles before finding the right advisor to connect an entrepreneur with.
Each advisor has a unique set of skills, or are experienced and connected in different industries. While each entrepreneur has demands that are constantly evolving. The DMZ needed a way to bridge these two worlds without adding more staff.
Entrepreneurs connect with more advisors. Advisors are more engaged. The DMZ provides better service to clients.
With an advisors directory powered by Expertise Finder startup entrepreneurs no longer need to ask DMZ staff to recommend advisors with specific expertise. It is now possible to immediately search for an advisor by industry, by expertise or by name and connect with them.
As well, SEO optimized profile pages bring increased Google traffic to the DMZ and more publicity to advisors.
"Integrating with Expertise Finder was simple and intuitive, we were able to roll out the product quickly"
- Sherif El Tawil, Information System and Infrastructure
Password integration was added so only those with DMZ credentials can access contact information. The ability to search immediately before having to worry about logging in has increased usage. Keeping the advisors directory open to the internet is what entrepreneurs want and is a key to strong SEO.
By saving entrepreneurs having to read through irrelevant profiles to find a match they are connecting with more advisors. Entrepreneurs are often under time pressure and relish the ability to search in real time, be it 2pm or 2am.
DMZ advisors are now more engaged than ever, which is essential to the ongoing success of the DMZ.
DMZ staff save time as they make far fewer introductions or forwarding of contact information.
A new web first approach to solve underperforming advisor-entrepreneur connections. No I.T. needed and built to grow with DMZ’s needs.