joins DMS Lab to Help Main Street Business Attract More Customers

by Digital Main Street   |   February 11, 2021   |   Share this:  

Digital Main Street, in partnership with the DMZ, is pleased to announce that has been selected to pilot DNA, their digital advertising platform to select businesses in the Corso Italia BIA and the Danforth BIA this winter. This pilot initiative will see, a local technology startup, help select small businesses improve their digital advertising efforts. Funding for this pilot is made available through the Digital Main Street Future Proof program, with support in part from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). DNA uses artificial intelligence to optimize results of digital advertising, ensuring that ads perform better and increase audience engagement. This allows businesses to reach their existing customers as well as find new customers, faster. As part of this pilot, independent businesses will have access to DNA for three months and will receive complimentary ad credits. This pilot also leverages the Digital Main Street Digital Service Squad through support in creating ads.  

“The Government of Canada is pleased to support the Digital Main Street platform and see innovative technology pilot studies, like this one with, to help main street businesses better reach customers,” says the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario. “We are proud to work with Digital Main Street partners including the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA), Communitech, Invest Ottawa and the Regional Innovation Centres to help our innovation ecosystem grow stronger.”   

“We’re proud to be a part of this Digital Main Street initiative. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, so to see local tech startups like help brick and mortar stores digitize their operations in the face of pandemic closures is a huge win for both main street and the local economy,” explains Abdullah Snobar, Executive Director of the DMZ. 

“Digital advertising is a vital for many main street businesses due to the increasing challenges they’re facing due to COVID-19. We're excited to see the results of this pilot with and their ability to assist small businesses advertise more effectively online,” said John Kiru, Executive Director of the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas. 

“COVID-19 has sped up the digital economy and we can't afford to leave main street behind. I love being part of a program that helps the little guy win, too!” says Zeze Peters, Founder and CEO of Beam.City. 

The intention of this pilot is to remove technical barriers that may be preventing small businesses from advertising online. The Digital Main Street Lab seeks to pilot projects that help main street businesses find innovative ways to connect with their customers. The pilot runs until March 2021. 

About Digital Main Street 

Digital Main Street is a program that helps main street businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, and our Digital Service Squad, a team of street-level team members who help main street businesses grow and manage their operations through technology.  

Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association on Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, and Yellow Pages. A $42.5investment from FedDev Ontario and an additional $7.45 million from the Government of Ontario brought together the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Communitech, Invest Ottawa, and the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association to expand the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses to go digital as a response to the impacts of COVID-19. 

About the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) 

The Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) is a not-for-profit umbrella organization working with the 85 Business Improvement Areas within the City of Toronto, who in turn represent more than 90,000 business and property owners. 

About FedDev Ontario  

For more than 10 years, FedDev Ontario has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation and growth in Canada’s most populous region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects 

About DMZ 

We help companies grow their business. That means when founders want a high-impact and highly customized tech incubator program, they come to the DMZ. Ranked as the top university-based tech incubator in the world, the DMZ provides a launchpad for founders to build and scale fast. Bigger and bolder than any other program of its kind, the DMZ has been creating the next gen of game-changing, global businesses since 2010. To date, the DMZ has helped more than 400 startups raise over $934million in capital and create over 4,000 jobs. With its headquarters in Toronto, Canada, the DMZ has a widely recognized international presence with offices in Vietnam and India, and 70 partnerships around the world. Learn more at 


Digital advertising does not need to be hard. (a Toronto startup) has built DNA, an AI platform that helps businesses set-up ads on top ad networks from one tool. The AI then actively optimizes their ad results in real-time, and helps them scale their success, fast and without human intervention. This cuts nine of 10 hours spent on campaign management, reduces wasted ad budgets and helps businesses get great ad results. 


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