Will deliver its world-leading NextAI venture accelerator program in Quebec
TORONTO, Feb. 15, 2018 /CNW/ - NEXT Canada, the national nonprofit focused on developing entrepreneurial talent and facilitating the adoption of homegrown technology, will join the Montreal-based SCALE.AI AI-Powered Supply Chain Supercluster as one of its first Ontario-based partners. The partnership also provides a launching point for the expansion of the organization's globally recognized NextAI venture accelerator program to Montreal.
"NEXT Canada is a critical partner in the SCALE.AI supercluster initiative," said Hélène Desmarais, Chairman of the Board and CEO, CEIM and Co-Chair SCALE.AI. "They have a terrific model and a proven track record of supporting high potential entrepreneurs. The NextAI accelerator program is a shining example of how to connect talent to the marketplace, increasing the adoption of built-in-Canada technology."
SCALE.AI is an industry-led consortium whose mission is to shape a new global supply chain platform, bolster Canada's leadership in artificial intelligence (AI), and accelerate industry adoption of enabling technologies through collaborative and incremental projects. The federal government launched the supercluster initiative on May 24, 2017 to strengthen Canadian competitiveness in key areas of the innovation economy. SCALE.AI joins other strategic supercluster initiatives across Canada that were announced in Ottawa on February 15 by Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
"I want to congratulate Hélène and her colleagues at SCALE.AI for building a consortium of incredible partners," said Sheldon Levy, CEO of NEXT Canada. "By harnessing Canada's preeminent research capabilities and sizeable talent pool, SCALE.AI and NEXT Canada will work together to fuel economic growth and increase the health and vitality of communities across the country. NEXT Canada is thrilled to strengthen our footprint in Quebec and deliver our programming in Montreal, one of the global hotbeds for artificial intelligence."
The expansion to Quebec gives NEXT Canada its first physical presence outside Ontario, and also with support from the Government of Ontario allows NEXT to further strengthen interprovincial cooperation on AI initiatives. NEXT Canada is also exploring opportunities to expand westward to other hubs of AI activity, including Edmonton, Alberta and other potential locations. NEXT Canada is already collaborating with groups in all three provinces, including the Institute for Data Valorization (IVADO), the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA) in Quebec, Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Ontario and the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) in Alberta on the Canada.ai digital platform.
NEXT Canada will announce the timing and other details of its NextAI - Montreal program in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, programming for the 2018 cohort of NextAI - Toronto begins next week with an immersive itinerary of classes, workshops, networking and introductions to key players in the Canadian AI ecosystem. The cohort consists of 46 entrepreneurs building 18 ventures in sectors including healthcare, agriculture and financial services. NextAI attracts highly trained and sought after global talent, with more than one-third of participants moving to Canada from abroad and two-thirds of the founders possessing graduate level degrees.
About NEXT Canada
NEXT Canada is a national non-profit organization, focused on increasing national prosperity by developing exceptional talent, creating industry-changing ventures and serving as the catalyst for business technology adoption across Canada. NEXT Canada is a pioneer at delivering innovative programming that ultimately will improve the lives of all Canadians. It grew out of The Next 36, a program founded in 2010 by a group of business leaders and academics. NEXT Canada delivers three programs, Next Founders, NextAI and Next 36.
NEXT Canada is supported by generous National Partners including, EY, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt, and Power Corporation of Canada, as well as Founding Partners in NextAI, BDC Capital, Magna, RBC and Scotiabank. NEXT Canada also receives operational funding from government partners.
For more information, please visit: www.nextcanada.com
NextAI is a NEXT Canada program launched to create a world-leading AI ecosystem in Canada by funding, supporting, and mentoring entrepreneurs working on AI technology. The program is open to both Canadian and international students, professionals and entrepreneurs, who are interested in developing and building commercially viable ideas underpinned by artificial intelligence.
For more information, please visit: www.nextai.com
SCALE.AI is an industry-led consortium that will shape a new global supply chain platform, bolster Canada's leadership in artificial intelligence (AI), and accelerate industry adoption of enabling technologies through collaborative and incremental projects.
For more information, please visit: https://aisupplychain.ca/
SOURCE NEXT Canada
For further information: Jamie Gillingham, Account Manager, Eighty-Eight, [email protected], 1 416 944 2722