Hussam Ayyad, Director of Startup Services, DMZ

About HussamPhoto of Hussam Ayyad

Hussam Ayyad began his career as a software engineer at the Commercial Bank of Dubai, developing cutting-edge software applications for the banking industry. However, he always yearned for the adventure of entrepreneurship, so when the opportunity arose to spearhead a new investment of the family business in North Africa, he decided to take it.

Hussam spent the next seven years building a successful metal recycling company from the ground up, employing over 100 people. He learned firsthand the necessity of nurturing a strong network, so when he decided to return to Canada to launch a tech startup, he sought an educational program that would allow him to become deeply involved in the world-renowned Waterloo tech community.

 The MBET degree was custom-tailored to my needs. It helped me to get involved in the Waterloo tech ecosystem, meet the right individuals, and understand the resources I would need to build my business locally.

Hussam graduated from MBET with both a successful startup of his own and a job helping other startups with Communitech’s Startup Services Group. He now continues to propel tech startups to build world-class organizations as the Director of Startup Services at the DMZ at Ryerson University.

 Impact of MBET

Through the MBET program, Hussam gained access to a wealth of opportunities for involvement in the Canadian entrepreneurship community, such as the Entre Nous speaker series, sponsorships for conferences and pitch competitions, and frequent collaboration with local tech partners. Over the course of the 10-month program, Hussam developed an expansive network, which is key to his current role at Communitech.  

Hussam also made significant progress on his startup, Ozone, an e-commerce platform that enables online merchants in emerging markets to accept payments electronically and instantly using mobile networks while providing a new and highly valuable wave of revenue to Mobile network operators.

During MBET, Hussam was accepted into the Google for Entrepreneurs Startup NEXT pre-accelerator program.

 The MBET program is an opportunity by nature, and the more you give it, the more you get out of it.

Success to Date

  • Hussam secured his job at Communitech even before graduating from the MBET program. He provided business development support and mentorship to hundreds of startups, and organized and led major customer discovery programs for local tech startups.
  • Hussam is active in supporting and mentoring young entrepreneurs through initiatives such as the School for Social Entrepreneurs, Nspire Innovation Network, and the Kik Hackathon.
  • Hussam served as a mentor for the same program he attended while in MBET, the Google for Entrepreneurs Startup NEXT  pre-accelerator. 
  • At the DMZ, one of Canada's largest business incubators, Hussam is responsible for strategizing, planning, organizing, and overseeing the DMZ's programs, services, experiences, and resources available to their community of entrepreneurs.

> More about the MBET program.

About the DMZ at Ryerson University

DMZ at Ryerson University

The DMZ at Ryerson University is one of Canada’s largest business incubators for emerging tech startups.The top-ranked university incubator in North America and third in the world, it helps startups succeed by connecting them with customers, advisors, influencers and other entrepreneurs. It’s a space and community that encourages, supports and fosters new technologies that transform lives and businesses.