TORONTO, Dec. 8, 2015 /CNW/ - Canada's premiere program for the country's most promising entrepreneurs has chosen its 2016 cohort of 38 young innovators and despite their age, they are the most accomplished to date. Over 80 percent of finalists have already founded at least one business – many of them before they started university. The successful group was chosen after a grueling, national selection weekend of intense interviews as well as workshops led by the successful Canadian entrepreneurs, including Bruce Croxon, Dan Debow, Katherine Hague and Razor Suleman.
Supported by more than 300 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 and founder development, 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. "For our 2016 cohort, we sought applications from individuals who were already working on ideas and the response from the start-up community blew us away. We now allow all 38 of our successful finalists to choose their own co-founders and this additional flexibility has helped us attract more applicants with an existing track record of entrepreneurship than ever before."
Completed applications were up over 20 percent this year, with more than 1100 students and recent grads applying from 44 institutions across the country, plus top U.S schools, including Harvard, Wharton, Cornell, University of North Carolina and the Parsons New School for Design. The Next 36 is open to Canadians from all academic backgrounds, and this year's finalists came from disciplines including business, computer science, engineering, international development, political science, physics, design, psychology and medicine.
Reflecting on her experience, Elizabeth Wicks, an Engineering Physics student from The University of British Columbia said, "Selection Weekend was unlike anything I've ever experienced. I was inspired by conversations with Canadian entrepreneurs and like-minded finalists who are talented and driven. With the exceptional mentorship and resources that The Next 36 provides, I intend to make a meaningful impact in the healthcare industry in the months and years ahead."
N36 entrepreneurs will spend the next eight months building their companies with the support of their mentors, a unique academic program, a pool of business advisors and access to up to $50,000 in seed capital. The Next 36 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 and related programs have contributed to the success of industry-changing start-ups including, Kira Talent, Bridgit, SeamlessMD, Thalmic Labs and Nymi in its first five years, as well as the creation of over 478 new jobs and over 48 million in funding raised by alumni since inception.
Universities Represented in the 2016 Cohort of The Next 36
École Polytechnique de Montréal
Parsons The New School For Design
The University of British Columbia
University of Alberta
University of Pennsylvania (Wharton)
University of Saskatchewan
University of Toronto
University of Victoria
University of Waterloo
University of Windsor
Wilfrid Laurier University
About The Next 36
The Next 36 delivers world-class founder development, business mentorship and venture building programs to Canada's most promising young entrepreneurs. 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 36 is supported by National Partners that include, EY, MaRS, MasterCard, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP and TD Bank Group. 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.
SOURCE The Next 36
For further information: Jon French, Director, Marketing & Communications The Next 36, 647-259-8943 x101, [email protected]