TORONTO, Jan. 20, 2015 /CNW/ -The Next 36, Canada's most selective program for young entrepreneurs has chosen its fifth cohort from a pool of over 630 impressive applicants from coast to coast. The 38 successful candidates competed for a spot at the annual National Selection Weekend.
Supported by more than 200 business leaders across Canada – including W. Galen Weston, Jimmy Pattison and the late Paul Desmarais Sr. as Founding Patrons – The Next 36 provides world class academic instruction, business mentorship and venture building to the country's most promising entrepreneurs.
"Each year the finalist pool seems to gets stronger," says Peter Carrescia, managing director of The Next 36. "Canada's brightest young people now see entrepreneurship as the path of greatest opportunity. So many of our finalists already bring extensive start-up experience and an impressive array of other accomplishments to the table."
Students applied to The Next 36 this year from 45 institutions across the country, and top U.S schools, including Harvard, Columbia and Yale. The Next 36 is open to Canadians from all academic backgrounds, and this year's finalists come from disciplines such as business, computer science, engineering, kinesiology, industrial design, philosophy and health sciences.
Reflecting on her experience, Janelle Hinds, a biomedical and electrical engineering student from McMaster University said "This weekend was one of the most intense experiences of my life. I was competing against the best in Canada for a spot in the program and access to the best mentors, professors, network and capital for entrepreneurial-minded students. We all got to learn important life lessons and reflect upon ourselves. Now the real hard work begins."
N36 entrepreneurs will spend the next seven months building their companies with the support of their mentors, a unique academic program and a pool of business advisors. This year's mentors have an impressive entrepreneurial and venture capital track record and include, Kirk Simpson – co-founder of Wave, Janet Bannister - general partner at Real Ventures and former head of Kijiji Canada, and Andy Yang – CEO of 500px. The ventures receive seed capital from a fund that includes Relay Ventures as an investment partner.
The Next 36 has contributed to the success of industry-changing start-ups including, Kira Talent, Bridgit, SeamlessMD, Thalmic Labs and Bionym in its first four years, as well as the creation of over 330 new jobs and over 34 million in funding raised by alumni since inception.
Introducing the 2015 Cohort of The Next 36
James Sun, Columbia University and Middlebury College
Taylor Quinn, Dalhousie University
Jeremy Tupper, Dalhousie University
Bryan Altman, McGill University
Ivelin Bratanov, McGill University
Zak Lefevre, McGill University
Christina Moro, McGill University
Kurtis Berg, McMaster University
Janelle Hinds, McMaster University
Joshua Segeren, McMaster University
Dimitry Galamiyev, OCAD University
Julie Topp, OCAD University
Erica Baker, Queen's University
Jake Dancyger, Queen's University
Raju Patel, Queen's University
Gursher Sidhu, Simon Fraser University
Lauren Watkins, Simon Fraser University
Michael Ip, The University of British Columbia
Sagar Malhi, The University of British Columbia
Weini Zhang, The University of British Columbia
David Bureau, Universite de Sherbrooke
Jill Cates, University of Toronto
Leila Chan Currie, University of Toronto
Adam Hueniken, University of Toronto
Katarina Neskovic, University of Toronto
Amin Ghafelehbashi, University of Waterloo
Mark Kryshtalskyj, University of Waterloo
Dezhen Li, University of Waterloo
Michael Reid, University of Waterloo
Farzana Yusufali, University of Waterloo
James Crocker, Western University
Evan Ferguson, Western University
Aishi Jiang, Western University
Nikita Zhitkevich, Western University
Maddie Shang, Wilfrid Laurier University and University of Waterloo
Manjeet Kaur, York University
Dhaman Rakhra, York University
Khady Seck, York University
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. It is supported by National Partners that include, EY, MaRS, MasterCard, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP and TD Canada Trust. 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.
SOURCE The Next 36
For further information: Jon French, Director, Marketing & Communications The Next 36, 647-259-8943 x101, [email protected]