At The Next 36, 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 a program that accelerates the growth of Canada’s most talented young entreprneurs by providing mentorship, capital and unparalleled founder development.
Each year, we choose 36 young Canadian innovators and challenge them to build a new business venture or iterate and scale an existing idea with enormous potential.
For eight months, these young entrepreneurs are mentored by successful Canadian entrepreneurs and business leaders, taught by some of the world's top faculty, and seek funding from top investors to build their venture.
Learn from custom workshops delivered by successful entrepreneurs and award winning faculty. +
Receive personal advice and venture guidance from Canada’s top entrepreneurs. +
Join a group of like-minded innovators and build relationships with Canada’s brightest entrepreneurs. +
Earn up to $50,000 in seed capital for your venture from top Canadian VCs.
Connect to subject matter experts on anything your venture needs. +
Get the services your venture needs from our business and technology partners. +
We are looking for students and recent grads with an entrepreneurial track record and the potential to build something big.
Whether you've established your co-founders and an existing venture, or are still on the hunt for like-minded partners and a killer idea, our goal is to accelerate your individual growth so that you can become a high impact entrepreneur sooner and help grow Canada's prosperity. We provide you with a multitude of resources, surround you with talented peers, and put forth challenge after challenge, with the expectation that you will fail often, learn quickly and leave the program with dramatically increased expectations of what you can achieve.
Stephen's interest in entrepreneurship began early: he started his first company at the age of 13. In 2007 Stephen was chosen as one of Canada's Top 20 Under 20, and received the Loran Scholarship from the Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation, as he began studying Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo. While at Waterloo he worked for a diverse range of organizations, including the Canadian Space Agency to the Hospital for Sick Children.
Not all start-ups succeed – we know this. PlayFit, Stephen’s N36 venture did not continue post-program. So he teamed up with two friends from Waterloo to launch Thalmic Labs, where they developed the Myo, a gesture-controlled armband. Thalmic has received great support from the Waterloo and Toronto startup communities and participated in Y-Combinator in Silicon Valley. Thalmic has secured $15 million in Series A funding, pre-sold well over $2 million in devices and recently moved into a new 40,000 square foot office in Waterloo. They are one of the hottest wearable computing ventures on the planet.Meet another Alumni ▸
Saumya has a long track record of social entrepreneurship. She was the President of the student group Rebuilding Health in Rwanda, a Community Service Learning Leader responsible for coordinating large scale civic engagement opportunities on campus, and is a recipient of the Governor General's Academic Medal for the highest graduating average.
This entrepreneurial spirit served her well in the 2011 cohort of The Next 36 where she co-founded Playfit, a mobile app connecting fitness enthusiasts with rewards. After graduation, Saumya co-founded the Youth Social Innovation Capital Fund, which provides early stage financing to young social entrepreneurs. The fund was a finalist for the Most Promising New Financial Player in the Social Finance Awards 2012, and won a three-year grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. In 2014, Saumya was awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship and will be attending Oxford starting September 2014.Meet another Alumni ▸
Michael Cheng was a serial entrepreneur before his 20th birthday. He has founded more than 10 profitable business ventures across a number of industries, working with high profile clients including Deloitte, EY, Stanley, and more. His awards shelf is sagging from the weight of accolades including Top 25 Under 25 and Student Entrepreneur of the Year. Michael also started TEDxSFU, an independently organized TED conference that gathers hundreds of the brightest minds in Vancouver every year. Michael co-founded Needle as part of the 2013 cohort of The Next 36. At graduation, Michael took home the Satchu Prize for Top Entrepreneur and has since been named Top 30 Under 30 by BC Business.
Michael is a creative entrepreneur who applies design thinking to the business world to solve complex commercial problems. He believes that entrepreneurs play a huge role in shaping this world, and innovation is at the heart of what they do. If you ask him to describe entrepreneurship, Michael will tell you it is a way of life.Meet another Alumni ▸
The venture you start during The Next 36 is not an academic exercise - it's a real opportunity to create impact. If you are chosen as one of The Next 36, you become the Lead Founder of your venture – either an idea you have already been working on or something you build from ground zero. You choose your founders – from the other 36 or your own network. We will help you build a team, identifyand pursue an opportunity, design products, hire employees, makesales, raise capital, and a hundred other things that you'll realize you'll need to do to grow your company. The Next 36 brings together resources to help you build your venture sooner, smarter and faster.
Strong ventures often grow from complimentary skillsets and backgrounds. Kira Talent was founded in 2012 by four N36 entrepreneurs, including Emilie Cushman, a Commerce student from Windsor, and Konrad Listwan-Ciesielski, a Math & Computer Science student from Waterloo. The Next 36 will connect you to incredible peers with different perspectives but the same drive to create big impact.
Kira is currently disrupting the HR space by incorporating video into the hiring process. Over the past year, Kira Talent has sold its video interviewing platform to more than 20 world-leading organizations in over 8 countries, and secured two rounds of seed investment - both led by Relay Ventures (with offices in Toronto and Menlo California) - totalling more than $3.2 million. One of their N36 mentors not only joined their Board but also invested in the company.Meet another Venture ▸
Healthcare is a sector with incredible opportunities. Seamless MD was co-founded by Joshua Liu, a med student from University of Toronto, Philip Chen, an engineering science student from University of Toronto and Willie Kwok, a computer science student from UBC.
Seamless MD is a mobile platform that reduces hospital readmissions by monitoring and advising post-operative patients. Patients leave the hospital with an application they can load onto any mobile device. It reminds them to track early signs of complications and submit photos. Data is analyzed using a system designed by medical experts, which flags concerning symptoms and immediately notifies the patient and/or the hospital with a recommended next step. Seamless MD is currently piloting at various hospitals and health networks. They are solving a $27 billion problem.Meet another Venture ▸
Blynk has been described as Tinder for fashion. Launched in 2014 by Jaclyn Ling, a finance and entrepreneurship student from McGill and Shums Kassam, an engineering student from University of Toronto, Blynk was created partly out of Jaclyn’s love of fashion and partly from their desire to help the less fashionable.
Users swipe right or left on photos compiled from fashion bloggers to identify their ideal style. Blynk then recommends outfits to users and you can even buy directly from the app. Blynk is just getting started, winning the $100K Investment Prize at International Startup Fest in Montreal.Meet another Venture ▸
You can't build a great business without the support of a community of other entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and advisors. The Next 36 is backed by over 300 of Canada's top business leaders, who are committed to making Canada more prosperous by supporting promising entrepreneurs like you. Throughout the program, you will have opportunities to meet people who could become clients, investors and connectors for your venture.
The relationships you build during the program last a lifetime. The Next 36 alumni stay in touch with their mentors, start new ventures with their peers, raise new rounds from investors, and develop lasting friendships. Our alumni community will become an important place to go for advice, support and feedback for new ideas.
Rebecca MacDonald is one of the many visionary entrepreneurs who support The Next 36. Every year she speaks to N36ers about her successes and her failures as founder of Just Energy Group. She has tremendous insights into what it is like to be a female entrepreneur in a male dominated industry.
Rebecca has been engaged in the deregulation of natural gas for over 20 years. Before forming Just Energy in 1997 she was the President of EMI, another gas marketing company. She is a past director of the Canadian Arthritic Foundation and is actively involved in a number of other charities – recently opening the Rebecca MacDonald Centre for Arthritis research at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital. She was named Canada’s top woman CEO for 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 by Profit Magazine and was also named Ontario Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young in 2003.Meet another Supporter ▸
Satish is a long-standing mentor of The Next 36, having guided several N36ers as they built and launched some of our most successful ventures to date. As the Co-Founder of UX Design firm Jet Cooper (acquired by Shopify in August 2013), and current Director of Operations at Shopify Toronto, Satish is a true entrepreneur with a penchant for technology, design and large-scale strategy. He’s led teams of thinkers, artists and coders, working on countless products for startups, brands, and organizations across North America.
Satish is an active member of the technology, design and startup community. He is the Co-organizer of Lean Coffee Toronto, a peer group of over 900 entrepreneurs discussing lean startup methodologies. He is also an Advisor and previous Co-Chair of TEDxToronto, a leading ideas conference for the city’s foremost thought leaders.Meet another Supporter ▸
Perhaps the definition of “serial entrepreneur” (founding his first startup at the age of 16), LP is the co-founder and CEO of travel startup Busbud. His greatest passion is leading teams that create big impact, solve big problems and challenge the status-quo – a passion that drove him and the Busbud team to land a $9M Series A round in July 2014. Previously, he has worked in Silicon Valley, earned a degree from Harvard, and spoke at TedX.
Based in Montreal, LP has co-founded and championed several entrepreneurial initiatives including Entrepreneurs Anonymous, Startup Open House and GeoDonation. In addition to his active mentorship role with The Next 36, he is an avid writer, angel investor, serves as the co-director of Founder Institute Montreal, and mentors ventures at FounderFuel and Startup Weekend. Not surprisingly, LP has an endless list of awards and accolades celebrating his incredible entrepreneurial success.Meet another Supporter ▸
Answer a few questions about yourself in a short written application and video interview. You can also share information about your idea, current venture and any co-founders at this stage. Make sure they apply too!Application FAQ
After Selection Weekend, the 36 founders have different needs: some will choose their co-founders and ideate, while others will iterate on an existing idea or venture with co-founders. Various events and activities will help you get to know the other founders better and get feedback on your business.
While completing your academic year, you will work remotely with your co-founders and mentors to start building your venture. You participate in online classes and have a number of checkpoints where you can pitch for seed capital.
During Phase II, you work full-time on your venture while attending exclusive networking events and over 100 hours of founder development workshops and classes. There will also be pitch opportunities with top VCs and angel investors. By the end of the program you will have a larger and more diverse network — one that is committed to you and your business.
The Next 36 classes are delivered by top entrepreneurs and internationally acclaimed faculty and Canadian business leaders, directed by Ajay Agrawal, one of the University of Toronto's top-rated professors at the Rotman School of Management. The courses will provide you with a strong foundation in startup strategy and tactics, and expose you to new ways of thinking about problems and opportunities.
Although the program ends, you are forever part of The Next 36 alumni community. Every few months we hold special events for alumni, where you can network with your peers and entrepreneurs from other years.
Have questions about The Next 36? Want to learn how to strengthen your application? Have your questions answered by Next 36 alumni and staff.Watch the webinar
We'll be visiting campuses across Canada to give you a chance to ask us and our alumni questions. Stay tuned for the announcements of the 2015 Tour.
Finalists from across the country converge in Toronto for an intense weekend of interviews, workshops, speakers and idea generation. The Next 36 Selection Committee will choose 36 entrepreneurs to accept into the program. These 36 founderts are assigned alumni mentors and will ideat, iterate and finalize co-founder teams over the next 6 weeks.Watch What It's Like
You will present an update on your venture's progress and receive feedback from your mentors and advisors.
With everyone finally together, you will pitch your venture prototype and receive feedback from a network of peers, mentors and other members of The Next 36 community. You will also meet the entrepreneurs in the Next Founders program, who you will be learning with during the summer.
At Google Canada, you will pitch in front of investors and business leaders who get a sneak peek of your startup before Venture Day. This is a great chance to get feedback and start a relationship with select investors interested in helping grow your company.
The program culminates with a showcase of The Next 36 and The Next Founders ventures. Hundreds of investors and business leaders attend, and hundreds more watch online. You will graduate from the The Next 36 and high-performing participants will be recognized with awards including the Outstanding Venture Award.Watch last year's webcast
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2015 Residence accommodations will be confirmed in early 2015. As a reference point: in 2014, each venture shared a 4-bedroom suite at UofT's Grad House Residence. Each suite featured: private bedrooms, living room, 1.5 bathrooms, a shared kitchen equipped with fridge/freezer, stove/oven, microwave and access to the University’s Internet network. The cost for living in residence for the summer from early May 2014 to mid August 2014 was approximately $3,000 (including taxes). Individuals participating in The Next 36 are responsible for covering this cost.
Yes. Even if you live in Toronto or the surrounding area, you are still required to live in residence with your venture team for the summer. Much of the program´s learning will happen outside of the classroom, after hours. By living with your peers and co-founders, you will gain the most from your summer, devote more time to your new venture and form deeper bonds with The Next 36.
We encourage applications from individuals who aspire to build nationally or internationally significant organizations. The program is highly selective and designed primarily for outstanding individuals who are currently enrolled in their final 2 years of undergraduate study or have graduated in 2014 (winter/spring term only).
The program is for Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. We accept undergraduate students from any university or degree-granting institution, enrolled in any discipline. No discipline or university will receive special favour from the selection committee and applicants will be judged on the basis of merit, aptitude and potential as demonstrated through their application.
Applicants must have a B average or better.
Yes. Canadian citizens who are enrolled at international institutions are welcome to apply as long as they are able to commit to attending the full summer program from early May to mid-August 2015.
No. During the summer residency, you are not permitted to register in other classes, engage in salaried employment or work on other business ventures between May and August 2015. You are encouraged to devote as much time as possible to the program between January and April 2015. Entrepreneurs must attend all classes through the summer and participate fully during this period of time. Exceptions are only granted in extreme circumstances.
Candidates who are on co-op term during the National Phase (January – April) can be part of The Next 36 and complete their co-op at the same time. However, during the summer portion of the Entrepreneurship Institute (May – August), candidates must be focused exclusively on The Next 36. You may be able to work with your home university to have your Next 36 experience applied towards your co-op term, but this is at the discretion of your university and must be confirmed before you start the program.
Students on exchange are permitted to apply, however, previous entrepreneurs in the program have found it difficult to build their venture while abroad during this phase of the entrepreneurship institute and overseas exchanges are discouraged.
The program is open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are enrolled in an undergraduate degree program. However, if you are an international student looking to apply for Permanent Residence after university, we will accept a notarized statement to this effect. If you intend to provide a notarized statement, please email Melissa at email@example.com in advance of the first stage of the application.
There is no tuition charged to participate in The Next 36. Generous donations of the individuals and foundations supporting the program cover the $30,000 cost per student. Students will be expected to cover their own travel to Toronto for the summer, and cover their living expenses at The University of Toronto.
Finalists' meals and accommodation for National Selection Weekend are covered by The Next 36. Travel expenses (flight, train, bus) will be covered for those travelling from outside the province of Ontario. Other travel costs will be the responsibility of the individual finalists. If the cost of travel poses a financial hardship that would prevent your participation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Next 36 offers five bursaries, worth up to $5,000 each, to help candidates with financial need cover the costs associated with living in Toronto for the summer Entrepreneurship Institute.
Seed funding for the program has been donated by a committed group of entrepreneurs, business leaders and National Partners who recognize the value of developing entrepreneurial talent in the next generation of Canadians and want to help teach and mentor you. They are committed to building Canada’s most impactful program for promising young entrepreneurial leaders.
Entrepreneurial initiative is shown when ideas are developed into results-oriented, operational outcomes. You may have done this by starting a company, a student club, a social enterprise or a non-profit organization. Entrepreneurial initiative is not necessarily driven by a profit motive, but by identifying an opportunity, by doing something better or differently, and building that idea into a productive team and organization.
Applicants can request to work with specific founders on the application and again at Selection Weekend, however, The Next 36 makes final team formation decisions. You can only work on an existing venture in The Next 36 if all founders are selected as finalists, the Selection Committee forms you into a team and you all agree to be governed by The Next 36 shareholder agreements. You cannot pursue a business idea that belongs to anyone who is not a finalist of The Next 36. All ventures developed in The Next 36 will be governed by The Next 36 shareholder agreements and equity apportioned accordingly.
The Next 36 also offers The Next Founders program for young entrepreneurs who have founded early-stage tech companies and are seeking structured entrepreneurial education and access to networks. If you already have a venture with some traction, that’s the program for you.
Assuming you stay actively involved in your venture and are not diluted by future investors, you will own approximately 30.6% of your venture (assuming 3 co-founders). Approx. 92% of equity is shared equally among the three co-founders, depending on how much capital is invested by the equity investors. The co-founders’ equity is subject to reverse-vesting, which is designed to encourage co-founders to stay active with the venture beyond August 2015. The remaining equity is shared between the equity investors (4%) and The Next 36 (4%).
Ventures work with The Next 36 Director of Ventures to reach milestones and receive staged funding at various checkpoints throughout the program.
Your venture does. Upon incorporating, all ventures take ownership of the IP created by their venture. Full detail on IP ownership is provided to the entrepreneur in their participation agreement.
The investor group consists of Relay Ventures (formerly Blackberry Partners Fund) led by John Albright, and Slaight Communications, led by Gary Slaight.
Next 36 teams are formed in one of three ways:
Given that Next 36 entrepreneurs build ventures in the technology space, all ventures require one technical co-founder. You will want to identify co-founders with experience in sales & business development and design/user experience as well. Many teams also have a subject matter expert with experience in a particular industry, which can help solve an industry problem.
The Next 36 expands on the principles of a University of Toronto course – “The Economics of Entrepreneurship” – taught by Next 36 Co-founder and Founding Chair, Reza Satchu. The organization leverages the passion and resources of all four Next 36 co-founders, with the goal of turning the country’s top students into Canada’s most successful future business leaders and innovators.
Academic Partners are universities across Canada with a track record of innovation and a commitment to entrepreneurship. They pledge to identify and encourage top students to apply to The Next 36. This support begins in the Office of the President / Principal and extends through all faculty and administration on campus. In many cases, Academic Partners also provide financial support to their students who are accepted into The Next 36.
The objective of this course is to accelerate your progress in the program from the early stages of ideation and team formation, to the formation of a consistent and robust business strategy. We will start by taking the perspective of your potential early-adopters: is their current behaviour consistent with your assumptions about how your product or service can deliver value to them? Will your offering be compelling enough for them to change their behaviour? We will learn how to formulate testable and precise hypotheses, and use qualitative and quantitative methods to test them. We will see how different types of experimentation (business, strategic, and ecosystem) can ultimately help you scale your venture.
This course focuses on the challenging and important economic issues associated with recognizing, growing and valuing new ventures. The course explores the analytical techniques needed to recognize emerging business opportunities; understand the various financing choices; apply valuation methodologies; develop a marketable business plan; manage growth in a rapidly evolving environment; and successfully monetize the value of a business. Students will develop a framework within which to analyze whether a business idea is worth pursuing and a methodology to enable them to apply financial economic principles in ways that add to the value of an entrepreneurial undertaking.
This course offers the building blocks necessary to maintain and facilitate an innovation culture in the new venture. Often new ventures lose focus on the need for continuous innovation after an initial idea is defined. However, truly successful organizations keep innovation at the center of their strategic focus. This course will first explore the importance of customer insight and understanding in building an innovative firm. Second, the opportunity to include the customer in the innovation process itself will be explored. Third, established methodologies that have been shown to meet innovation goals will be examined. Application in a new venture context will be debated and tested. Finally, case studies of successful ventures that have built an innovation culture are discussed. Best practices for cultivating innovation in an organization as it grows will be identified.
This course offers an introduction to the political economy of international business. The motivation for the course is to explore the nonmarket strategies employed by firms to compete in international trade. Nonmarket strategy involves political, legal and economic efforts by firms to reshape the rules of competition. With the 'visible hand' of governments very much evident in today's global economy, nonmarket strategy plays a key role in supporting a firm's market strategy. The course surveys topics in international trade with an eye to the nonmarket challenges that firms confront in 'going global.' The course looks at issues ranging from protectionism to obligations under the World Trade Organization and the growing number of preferential trade agreements that often extend more stringent rules than the multilateral system.
This class examines the elements of financing a start-up, focusing on technology-based start-up ventures, and the early stages of company development. It addresses key questions which challenge all entrepreneurs: how much money can and should be raised; when should it be raised and from whom; what is a reasonable valuation of the company; and how funding should be structured. The course is primarily aimed to prepare students for these decisions as entrepreneurs but also examines issues from the perspective of venture capitalists, so that students can learn to effectively pitch their financing strategy to VC and Angel investors.
This course will examine the elements of digital strategy for entrepreneurs. Its focus will be on how to understand your competition, how to build on network effects, what the differences between a platform, disruptive, competitive and collaborative strategy are and when they should be used. It will also present the economics of app pricing; how to price an app, pricing options and innovations, freemium and two-sided markets.
This course provides an introduction to applied economics in the context of innovation and strategy that is relevant to entrepreneurship and The Next 36 ventures. We workshop each venture and address questions such as: How can the 'lean' approach to start-ups be applied to Next 36 ventures? Why might markets that are subject to increasing returns be likely to exhibit 'extreme competition' and what are the implications for Next 36 ventures? How might Next 36 ventures employ 'judo strategy' to exploit the normally advantageous size of large competitors? How might Next 36 ventures be able to exploit the well-known 'innovator's dilemma' to compete with established competitors? To what extent are clever strategic tactics congruent with overall welfare for humankind? We will explore such questions through the lens of economic theory, apply the concepts in the context of case analyses, and discuss implications for corporate strategy.
Legal advice from Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP on topics including: intellectual property, term sheets, human resources and privacy law.
Professional services from EY, including help with accounting, finance, media and funding needs.
Market research from MaRS Discovery District, helping you identify market opportunities and find out who your competition is and what they are doing.
A cellular plan from Rogers Communications so you can stay connected to your co-founders, mentors and customers.
Cloud hosting from Rackspace (up to $25,000) and Amazon Web Services (up to $15,000).
Mobile crash reporting from Crashlytics (up to $25,000)
Work space during the summer for select ventures, from the Digital Media Zone.
Thank you for choosing to apply to The Next 36. First, we'd like to get your name and email. Next, you will continue on to the full form, but we will also send you an email with a link to it in case you prefer to complete it at another time.