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Photo-sharing community graduates from Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone

Since joining the Digital Media Zone this past spring, 500px has grown from three to 15 members. They have recently graduated and have their own office space in downtown Toronto.

DMZ startup 500px is ready to take on the world, one photo at a time. The online photo-sharing company has recently graduated from Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone, moving their team of 15 into their own office space in downtown Toronto. 

Founded by Ryerson alumni Evgeny Tchebotarev and Oleg Gutsol, 500px is a photographic community powered by creative people from all over the world that facilitates the sharing and discovery of inspiring photographs. For photographers, it’s a place to create a beautiful portfolio, join in the conversations, vote on photos and get reviewed in kind. The best works are promoted through a variety of social media bringing emerging photographers the coverage they need to advance in the industry.

500px began as a LiveJournal community for photographers in 2004, but re-launched as a website in 2009 and joined Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone in April 2011. During their time at the DMZ, 500px has seen their share of success. The team grew from three to 15 while at the DMZ and this past July they were named Toronto’s number one startup in the TechVibes Startup Index.  They launched their new iPad app earlier this fall and just last month hosted Pixel Hack Day, a weekend long app-development event, 500px solidified their Series A round of venture capital with an impressive $525,000 earlier this year. The company has grown exponentially over the last year, averaging 35% growth in users per month.

“The 500px team is a fantastic example of how important vision and drive is to the success of a startup. We’ve been able to support them through this tremendous period of growth and we’re proud to count them among our graduates,” said Valerie Fox, Director, Digital Media Zone.

With over 290,000 registered users, 500px generates 7 million monthly visits and 55 million page views, 500px is well poised for continued success as they make the move to their own space. The team was sent on their way in style with a goodbye salute at the Digital Media Zone late last month.

“The DMZ is an amazing place to start and promote your business,” said 500px Creative Director, Evgeny Tchebotarev. “We made lots of friends there, we worked and collaborated with fellow innovators and we shared our experiences and knowledge with others. I think for smaller teams who are trying to get a sense of direction, it's a great way to get tons of feedback, work with creative and inventive people and to get the most out of human interaction.”

500px is one of 38 startups incubated and accelerated in the DMZ and joins TeamSave, Burstn, Ready Chat (formerly 121 Live Agent), LeanIn, Kela Medical and ShapeCollage as DMZ graduates.

Opened in April 2010, Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ) is a multidisciplinary workspace for young entrepreneurs infused with the energy and resources of downtown Toronto. Set atop Yonge-Dundas Square, this hub of digital media innovation, collaboration and commercialization is home to both entrepreneurial startups and industry solution-providers. With access to overhead and business services, students and alumni can fast-track their product launches, stimulating Canada’s emerging digital economy through spending and job creation. Since its launch the DMZ has helped more than 194 innovators to incubate and accelerate 38 startups and to launch 61 projects. For more information on the DMZ, visit

Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative, career-oriented education and a university clearly on the move. With a mission to serve societal need, and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community, Ryerson offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. Distinctly urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to 28,000 students, including 2,000 master's and PhD students, nearly 2,700 faculty and staff, and more than 140,000 alumni worldwide. Research at Ryerson is on a trajectory of success and growth: externally funded research has doubled in the past four years. The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada's leading provider of university-based adult education. For more information, visit

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Johanna VanderMaas
Media Relations Officer
Ryerson University
416-979-5000 x 4630


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