TORONTO, Aug. 13, 2014 /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 and intense eight month 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 supporters, packed MaRS Discovery District to capacity to hear 23 venture pitches from the flagship program of The Next 36 and also The Next Founders - the organization's second initiative for the founders of rapidly growing technology ventures seeking entrepreneurial education and access to networks. This year's cohort created businesses that solve problems in sectors ranging from healthcare to energy to retail.
The day featured a keynote address by Anthony Lacavera, Chairman and CEO of Globalive Holdings and Wind Mobile, who discussed his entrepreneurial journey and shared advice for "taking on the large incumbents".
Top ventures and entrepreneurs were honoured with the following awards:
- The Next 36 Valedictorian: Tagg Jefferson, Co-Founder of GridCure
- The Next Founders Valedictorian: Jason Greenspan, CEO of Whoosh
- Mentor Service Award: Sarah Prevette, Ryan Poissant, Brad Ross
- Outstanding Alumni Award: Karl Martin, Co-Founder of Bionym
- Satchu Prize: Sameer Dhar, Co-Founder of Sensassure
- Outstanding Venture (The Next Founders): OTI Lumionics
- Outstanding Venture (The Next 36): GridCure
N36 entrepreneurs receive unparalleled support that includes mentorship from Canada's top business leaders, up to $65,000 from top venture capitalists, and academic instruction from some of the world's top faculty. "There is nothing else out there that gives a young founder the calibre of resources that The Next 36 provides", states Jefferson, an Integrated Engineering graduate from the University of British Columbia Jefferson. When asked what he found so compelling about the program, he replied "I'm here because I'm sitting with 35 people who have a pretty good chance at changing the world and I want the opportunity to be part of that."
The Next 36 has had four cohorts and has spurred the development of a growing list of young Canadian entrepreneurs and innovators. These include Stephen Lake and Scott Greenberg of Thalmic Labs, Emilie Cushman and Konrad Listwan-Ciesielski of Kira Talent, Cathy Han of 42, Cheryl Cui, a Harvard-MIT PhD candidate, and Saumya Krishna, a Rhodes Scholar.
Applications are open for young entrepreneurs who wish to be part of the 2015 cohort of The Next 36. This year's early application deadline is September 30, 2014.
For a complete listing of ventures or to view the archived webcast, please visit www.thenext36.ca
About The Next 36
The Next 36 addresses Canada's deficit of high impact entrepreneurship by providing resource-rich education 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 tech start-ups looking to scale quickly.
For more information, please visit: www.thenext36.ca
SOURCE: The Next 36
For further information:
Director, Marketing & Events. The Next 36