TORONTO, Dec. 3, 2012 /CNW/ - The Next 36 - a ground breaking initiative to transform the country's most promising undergraduates into Canada's top entrepreneurs - has chosen its 2013 cohort. Selecting only 36 young innovators was made difficult by record applications from the country's best students - more than double last year.
The successful candidates were chosen from a group of 70 finalists representing 19 universities, who had flown from across Canada and from as far away as Singapore to compete for a spot in the program's National Selection Weekend in Toronto. In addition to a rigorous selection process, finalists heard from iconic Canadian business leaders and entrepreneurs such as Michael Lee-Chin, founder & chairman of Portland Holdings Inc. and Jordan Banks, managing director of Facebook Canada.
"Canada's top students apparently have a huge appetite for challenge and discomfort," says Claudia Hepburn, executive director and co-founder of The Next 36. "They are hungry for mentorship from great entrepreneurs and ambitious in their goals for innovation and impact. This intensely challenging weekend has laid the foundation for eight months of transformative growth."
Championed by founding patrons W. Galen Weston, Paul Desmarais Sr., Jimmy Pattison and a long list of prominent Canadian business leaders, The Next 36 is being described in the media as "the most intense, hot-house effort to force grow entrepreneurs ever attempted in Canada". It has partnerships with Ernst & Young, Rogers Communications, MaRS Discovery District, TD Bank Group and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.
Canadian students from 51 universities applied to the program and the selected candidates represent 15 schools. The Next 36 is open to students from all academic backgrounds, and this year's candidates come from disciplines including, commerce, engineering, health sciences, 3-D animation and interactive arts & technology. The group includes social and serial entrepreneurs, academic award winners, campus leaders, accomplished artists, scientists, engineers, and a former National Ballet dancer.
Reflecting on his experience, Sepand Norouzi, a software engineering student from McGill University said: "This was the most challenging and transformational weekend of my life. I am so humbled to be working with such an impressive peer group, and champions of the Canadian start-up community such as Reza Satchu, Sarah Prevette and John Albright. I am excited to build something big for Canada and deliver on the potential that me and my fellow entrepreneurs possess.
The 2013 cohort of The Next 36 includes students from:
Simon Fraser University
The University of Western Ontario
University of Alberta
University of British Columbia
University of Calgary
Universite du Quebec a Chicoutimi
University of Toronto
University of Waterloo
University of Windsor
About The Next 36
The goal of The Next 36 is to increase Canadian prosperity by developing Canada's next generation of high impact entrepreneurs. Started by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, The Next 36 provides a series of life changing experiences and relationships to young Canadians with the potential to build and lead great organizations. Each year, thirty-six 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 eight months they are provided mentorship from some of Canada's top business leaders, up to $80,000 cash from top venture capitalists, a comprehensive offering of in-kind resources and academic instruction from some of the world's top faculty.
For more information, please visit: www.thenext36.ca
SOURCE: The Next 36
For further information:
Director of Marketing & Events, The Next 36