TORONTO, Aug. 18, 2015 /CNW/ - A record number of entrepreneurs pitched their innovative businesses at Venture Day, the annual start-up showcase held by The Next 36. Venture Day marks the culmination of a gruelling summer program, designed not only to launch new businesses, but also to develop and transform a small group of Canada's most promising young entrepreneurs.
Over 250 investors, mentors, donors and partners, packed MaRS Discovery District to hear 30 venture pitches and demos addressing opportunities related to crypto currency, e-sports, wearable technology, online prescriptions and more. The companies pitching were participants in one of two programs delivered by Canada's premiere entrepreneurial initiative – either the flagship Next 36 for students and recent grads as well as The Next Founders for the creators of high growth ventures seeking founder development and access to investor and peer networks.
The day kicked off with a panel of entrepreneurial Canadian role models, including; Linda Hasenfratz - CEO of Linamar, Ray Muzyka - Co-founder of Bioware, Frank Pizzolato – Co-founder of Clarity Systems and Razor Suleman – Founder of Achievers. The discussion was moderated by Amanda Lang, Host of CBC's The Exchange, who pushed the panelists to share key insights for how to build a globally relevant business with roots in Canada.
After the audience had heard the panel and the pitches, the 2015 cohort was recognized through a graduation and awards ceremony. Top ventures and entrepreneurs were honoured with the following awards:
- Outstanding Venture (The Next 36): Revlo
- Outstanding Venture (The Next Founders): Spring Loaded Technology
- Satchu Prize: Adam Hueniken, Co-founder of Revlo
- The Hepburn Valedictorian Award: Bryan Altman, Co-Founder of Sales Ninja
- The Next Founders Valedictorian: Morgan Wyatt, Co-Founder of The Greenlid
- Alumni Achievement Award: Michael Murchison, Co-Founder of Volley (N36 Class of 2012)
Participants receive unparalleled support that includes mentorship from Canada's most successful entrepreneurs, up to $65,000 from top venture capitalists, and instruction from some of the world's top faculty and domain experts. "The Next 36 helped me develop as an entrepreneur in ways that a traditional academic experience simply can't replicate", states Madeleine Shang, a business and math double-degree graduate from Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo. When asked what she found so compelling about the program, Shang replied, "The network of world-class lecturers, mentors and advisors who are highly committed to ensuring that both myself and my venture have the best chance to succeed."
The Next 36 has had five cohorts and has played a key role in the development of a growing list of young Canadian entrepreneurs and innovators. Ventures created by graduates of Next 36 programs include; Thalmic Labs, Kira Talent, Nymi, OTI Lumionics, Voltera, Bridgit and Mass Fidelity. For a complete listing of ventures or to view the archived webcast, please visit www.thenext36.ca
The deadline for exceptional young entrepreneurs to apply online for the 2016 cohort is October 20.
About The Next 36
The Next 36 addresses Canada's deficit of high impact entrepreneurship by providing world-class founder development, business mentorship and venture building programs to promising young entrepreneurs. It was founded by a small group of business leaders and academics and is championed by Founding Patrons W. Galen Weston, Paul Desmarais, Sr. and Jimmy Pattison. We believe that by fast-tracking the development of Canada's most talented young innovators, we will help create industry-changing businesses and grow Canada's long-term prosperity. The Next Founders is the second program from The Next 36 and is designed for young founders of high growth start-ups looking to scale quickly. The Next 36 is supported through strong national partnerships with EY, MaRS, MasterCard, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP and TD Bank Group.
SOURCE The Next 36
For further information: Jon French, Director, Marketing & Communications, The Next 36, firstname.lastname@example.org