Investors and business elite from across North America flock to annual Venture Day
TORONTO, Aug. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - Many of Canada's biggest names in venture capital and angel investing met the young co-founders of 7 new ventures launched this year by The Next 36. These businesses pitched solutions to major challenges in healthcare, human resources, retail and education.
Supported by more than 50 Canadian business leaders - including Galen Weston, Paul Desmarais Sr. and Jim Pattison as founding patrons - The Next 36 aims to transform the country's most promising undergraduates into high-impact entrepreneurs and nation builders.
Venture Day also featured keynote remarks from high profile technology entrepreneurs including, Graham Weston, chairman & co-founder of Rackspace (a NYSE listed company with a $7.5B market cap), an in-kind sponsor of The Next 36 ventures, and Razor Suleman, chairman & founding CEO of Achievers. "Research shows that all net new jobs come from companies less than 5 years old, so a country's prosperity depends on its ability to generate high impact entrepreneurs." said Weston. "The Next 36 provides a magical combination of capital, mentorship and education to young Canadian entrepreneurs, unlike anything I have ever seen in the US or anywhere else."
Tuesday's graduation ceremony was capped by the presentation of three highly-coveted awards: The 2012 Valedictorian is Jane Wu, a commerce graduate from Queen's University. Wu's venture PenyoPal, teaches kids how to speak Mandarin through interactive mobile games. In June, it was selected the Best Overall 1.0 Startup at the Launch Conference in Mountain View, CA. It was one of eight stealth ventures, selected from over 300, and the only Canadian start-up given the opportunity to compete. "The Next 36 is transformational because of the people that support it." says Wu. "In 8 months, I have built a lifetime's worth of relationships with world class entrepreneurs, CEOs and like-minded young leaders." Rafal Dittwald, also a co-founder of PenyoPal and an engineering science graduate from The University of Toronto, was chosen by the program's co-founders as winner of the Satchu Prize, named in honour of Founding Chair, Reza Satchu. The recipient of the Outstanding Venture Award was Kira, an online platform that accelerates the interview process using video. Kira's co-founders come from the University of Waterloo and University of Windsor.
As the newest alumni of The Next 36 forge ahead with their businesses, the program is gearing up to welcome its next wave of students. The application process is open with early applications accepted until September 18, 2012.
About The Next 36
For more information, please visit: www.thenext36.ca
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, 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. For eight 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. The program is spearheaded by a founding group of 50 high-profile business leaders, entrepreneurs, and academics. Its Founding Patrons are Paul Desmarais, Sr., W. Galen Weston and Jimmy Pattison.
SOURCE: The Next 36
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The Next 36