TORONTO, July 10, 2012 /CNW/ - A program designed for Canada's most outstanding young entrepreneurs has launched its annual search for the country's next great business builders. The Next 36, championed by Galen Weston, Paul Desmarais Sr., Jimmy Pattison and many others, is now accepting applications for its 2013 cohort. Interested undergraduates have until October 25th to submit their application and win a place in the country's most innovative, selective and demanding entrepreneurial leadership program.
The Next 36 is being described in the media as "the most intense, hot-house effort to force grow entrepreneurs ever attempted in Canada," and by students as "more impactful than university." In less than two years, the program has already won the backing of the presidents of five leading Canadian universities (University of Toronto, Western University, McGill University, University of Waterloo and The University of British Columbia), and by a long list of prominent Canadian business leaders and entrepreneurs.
Each year, 36 promising undergraduates are selected from a variety of academic disciplines, and from across Canada, through a rigorous national selection process. The young entrepreneurs build a business in the mobile or tablet space together in teams of three. For 8 months they are provided mentorship from some of Canada's top business leaders, up to $80,000 cash from top venture capitalists, and academic instruction from some of the world's top faculty.
This year's ventures have already had early success, earning recognition and rewards at a number of start-up competitions and conferences across North America. Last month, PenyoPal, a 2012 Next 36 venture that teaches children Mandarin through interactive mobile games, was selected the Best Overall 1.0 Startup after launching onstage at Microsoft in Mountain View. PenyoPal was one of eight stealth ventures, selected from over 300, and the only Canadian start-up given the opportunity to compete. Jane Wu, a Queen's University graduate and one of PenyoPal's co-founders credits The Next 36 with accelerating her development, saying, "I've grown so much in such a short amount of time. I've learned how to embrace risk and ambiguity and sharpen my eye for opportunities."
When asked what she would tell potential applicants, Jackie Cook, a commerce student from the University of Saskatchewan and candidate in this year's cohort said, "If you like to be challenged and want to be a part of something that will transform Canada's next generation, The Next 36 is an incredible opportunity." Cook, Wu and their fellow candidates from the second cohort will be pitching in front of investors from across North America at Venture Day on August 14.
Canadian undergraduate students who wish to be part of The Next 36 can submit their full application by the September 18th Early Application deadline for a chance to secure an advanced spot at the National Selection Weekend. Finalists are flown to Toronto for the weekend, which starts November 30, where the candidates will be chosen and ventures will be formed.
"We are seeking outstanding undergraduates from across Canada in their third, fourth and/or final year of study, in any academic program," says Claudia Hepburn, co-founder of The Next 36 and its executive director. "We want innovators and achievers from all backgrounds--individuals who have the desire and potential to build something great."
For more information, please visit: www.thenext36.ca
For further information:
Director, Marketing & Events. The Next 36