You are a builder. Maker. Innovator. Game Changer. Disruptor. You want to create impact. We want to help.

Applications for the 2017 Cohort are now open

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Do you have what it takes to join Canada’s next generation of high impact entrepreneurs?

Why The Next 36?

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Strategic Experimentation, Crowdfunding and the Blockchain

Christian Catalini
Assistant Professor of Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The objective of this course is to accelerate your progress in the program and expose you to the process of experimentation at the business, strategic and ecosystem level. 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 experiments to test them. Next, we will discuss how different types of experimentation can ultimately help you scale your venture, and how you can develop a robust entrepreneurial strategy to maximize learning. From the theory we will then turn to the phenomena, and focus on two technologies that lower the cost of experimentation in the economy, opening new opportunities and challenges for entrepreneurs: crowdfunding and the Bitcoin blockchain.

Economics of Entrepreneurship

Reza Satchu
Managing Partner, Alignvest Capital Management, Serial entrepreneur

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.

Business, Government and the Global Economy

Marc Busch
Karl F. Landegger Professor of International Business Diplomacy at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

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.

Entrepreneurial Finance

Ramana Nanda
Associate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

This class examines the elements of financing a startup, focusing on technology-based startup 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.

Digital Market Strategy

Joshua Gans
Professor of Strategic Management, Jeffrey S. Skoll Chair of Technical Innovation and Entrepreneurship, University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management

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.

Strategy and Innovation

Ajay Agrawal
Peter Munk Professor of Entrepreneurship, University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management

This course provides an introduction to applied economics in the context of innovation and strategy that is relevant to entrepreneurship and early stage ventures. We workshop each venture and address questions such as: How can the 'lean' approach to startups be applied to your venture? Why might markets that are subject to increasing returns be likely to exhibit 'extreme competition' and what are the implications for your venture? How might your venture employ 'judo strategy' to exploit the normally advantageous size of large competitors? How might your venture 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.

Market Research: Data Collection and Analysis

Avi Goldfarb
Professor of Marketing, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

This course explores how to collect, analyze, and present market intelligence.  The purpose of the course is to prepare you to conduct proof-of-concept studies and to undertake effective experiments. We will cover five topics: (1) study design, (2) segmentation, (3) experiments, (4) interpreting correlations, and (5) communicating data. The underlying objective is to understand your target customers and assess whether their interests and behaviour are consistent with assumptions behind your business model.

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The ultimate network.

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.

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​​Complimentary Services from Our Partners

Professional services from EY, including help with accounting, finance, media and funding needs.

Legal Advice from Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP on topics including: intellectual property, term sheets, human resources and privacy law.

Cloud Hosting from Amazon Web Services (up to $15,000).

Work Space during the summer for select ventures, provided by the DMZ.

Software from Mathworks.

Cloud computing from Microsoft BizSpark (up to $10,000 monthly for 12 months).

What We Do

The Next 36 is a program that accelerates the growth of Canada’s most talented young entrepreneurs 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.

Our Vision

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.

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​Academic Partners

Frequently asked questions about…

How was The Next 36 created?

The Next 36 expands on the principles of a University of Toronto course – “The Economics of Entrepreneurship” – taught by Next 36 Co-founder and Chairman Emeritus, 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.

What is an Academic Partner?

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.

Who are your Academic Partners?
  • - University of Toronto
  • - Dalhousie University
  • - McGill University
  • - Queen's University
  • - Ryerson University
  • - Simon Fraser University
  • - The University of British Columbia
  • - University of Waterloo
  • - Western University
What is the timeline for N36ers once they are accepted into the program and which parts will vary based on whether or not they already have co-founding teams and ventures?

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Who should apply to The Next 36?

The program is open to undergraduate and masters students under 30 years old in their final two years of study or who have graduated within the past year. We encourage applications from individuals who aspire to build globally significant businesses. If you already have a co-founder, you will have an opportunity to indicate this on your application. 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.

What grades do I need to get into the program?

There is no minimum GPA requirement. You will be asked for your GPA as part of the submission, however, it is only one data point we look at when reviewing your application. I am a Canadian student enrolled in an undergraduate program outside Canada.

I am a Canadian student enrolled in an undergraduate program outside Canada. May I apply?

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 2017.

Can I take other classes or be employed during the Entrepreneurship Institute?

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 2017. You are encouraged to devote as much time as possible to the program between December 2016 and April 2017. Entrepreneurs are considered lead founders and must attend all classes through the summer and participate fully during this period of time. Exceptions are only granted in extreme circumstances. Other co-founders external to the program will receive invitation to select classes and events.

I am a co-op student. Can I still participate in The Next 36?

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.

I will be on an international exchange during the National Phase of the program (January to April). Am I still eligible?

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.

I am an international student - can I still apply to the program?

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 Alexandra at alexandra@thenext36.ca in advance of starting your application.

The Application Process

The Next 36 is looking for students who have displayed "entrepreneurial initiative" in the past. What is meant by entrepreneurial initiative? We want you to show us that you have built something. 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.

Can I apply with an existing venture?

Yes. You can apply with an existing early stage venture and co-founders. Typically, this venture may have small amounts of funding through grants, university programs or competitions but has not taken any significant private investment. You and your co-founders must agree to be governed by The Next 36 shareholder agreements. Only your co-founders who are successful at National Selection Weekend will officially be admitted into The Next 36 as Lead Founders. We highly recommend that all eligible founders apply.

What if the venture already has equity investors?

Ventures with existing equity investors are not eligible and should consider The Next Founders, a program for entrepreneurs who have founded early-stage tech companies and are seeking founder development and access to networks to scale their business. If you already have a venture with some traction, that’s the program for you.

How do I create a stronger application?
  1. Apply early. Starting the application process early will allow you enough time to complete the full application. It shows us you are enthusiastic about the program. Exceptional applicants will also be given invitations to National Selection Weekend on a rolling basis.
  2. Broaden your definition of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship can mean starting your own venture, but it can also mean founding a campus club or non-profit initiative, conceiving a new event or solving a big problem in a creative way. Be sure to elaborate on this experience in the relevant sections of the application.
  3. Do your research. Find out about the program, its components, who is involved, and what is expected of you – The Next 36 is an intense experience and the more you know, the better your answers will be.
  4. Highlight all of your skills, including any technical, programming or design skills you might have.
  5. Talk to alumni or people at your university familiar with the program. They are a great source of information and can help you through the application process.
  6. Highlight strengths, passions and subject matter expertise in areas where other applicants don’t have any. Explain how this domain expertise can help you identify and solve big problems.
What costs will I have to cover?

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 summer living expenses including accommodations and food.

Do I pay for my trip to Selection Weekend?

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 Toronto – KW corridor. 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 Alexandra McGregor, our Program Officer, at alexandra@thenext36.ca.

Is there any financial assistance available?

The Next 36 offers selected bursaries to candidates with financial need to assist in covering costs associated with living in Toronto for the summer Entrepreneurship Institute.

Where does funding for the program come from?

Funding for the operational costs of 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. Equity funding for the ventures is provided through a fund backed by leading venture capital firms and entrepreneurs.

How are teams formed?

Each entrepreneur in the 2017 Cohort of The Next 36 will choose his/her co-founders. The co-founders may be members of the 2017 Cohort, or, they could also be external to the program – someone you have worked with in the past or are working with now. The Next 36 will be working with university partners on campus meet-ups to help you identify potential founders. After National Selection Weekend in December, you will have until mid-January to finalize your team and venture idea.

What should I consider when identifying co-founders?

Based on the type of business you are considering pursuing, you should find complementary skills in co-founders that can assist in your business goals. If you are considering building a technology business, technical co-founders would be very valuable.

Also very important is culture and personality fit with the co-founders you are considering. You will be working very closely with your co-founders through the program and likely afterwards.

How many founders are required per N36 venture?

There are no minimum or maximum limits, although an analysis of successful ventures suggests an optimal size of two or three founders.

Who owns the Intellectual Property?

The venture. 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.

What if the applicant already has a venture with an existing shareholders agreement?

It is highly recommended that ventures incorporate after being accepted into the program. Where this is not possible, all co-founder teams must agree to be governed by The Next 36 shareholder agreements. The venture must own all of their intellectual property.

How much of the venture’s equity will I own?

Founders will own approximately 96% of their venture, split amongst the co-founders. Equity does not need to be split evenly, although anyone considered a co-founder must have a reasonable stake. The other approximate 4% is owned by The Next 36, which is a non-profit charity. In addition, Young Founders Fund, the equity investor supporting all ventures, can provide up to $50K in equity funding during the program to purchase up to 6% equity in the business.

How is my venture funded?

Ventures will be provided up to $50K in seed capital over the course of the program. There will be several funding windows throughout the program. The amount of funding available increases at each window while the number of ventures receiving funding will decrease. As is the case in venture capital, stronger teams will receive more funding.

Who are the equity investors in The Next 36?

The investor group includes leading Canadian VCs such as BDC Capital, Globalive Capital Inc. as well as a number of successful Canadian business entrepreneurs.

Where will I stay during the summer?

The 36 successful entrepreneurs (lead founders) in the 2017 cohort must live in residence at the University of Toronto for the summer phase of the program - from May 1 until August 18, 2017. It is highly recommended that any of your venture’s co-founders who are not in the core program, also live in Toronto. There may be additional spots to rent in residence for your co-founders who are not in the core program. 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 others in The Next 36.

Program Timeline

7/14/2016
Program Timeline

Check out this infographic to see the timeline for N36ers once they are accepted into the program and which parts will vary based on whether or not they already have co-founding teams and ventures.  View it here.

7/14/2016
Applications Open

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! Start Your Application 

7/14/2016
Summer Events

We'll be dropping by various startup events throughout the summer. Come say hello!

7/14/2016
Application Webinar

Why should you apply to The Next 36? Tune in to our Application Webinar to get your questions answered by N36 staff and alumni. Watch Last Year's Webinar

7/14/2016
National Campus Tour

We'll be visiting campuses across Canada to give you a chance to ask us and our alumni questions. Join us at your campus - full details coming soon!

December 2016, Toronto
National Selection Weekend

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 founders are assigned alumni mentors and will ideate, iterate and finalize co-founder teams over the next 6 weeks.

December to mid-January
Venture Formation Phase

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.

January until May, remotely
Entrepreneurship Institute, Phase I (National)

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.

February 2017
February Showcase

You will present an update on your venture's progress and receive feedback from your mentors and advisors.

May to August, in Toronto
Entrepreneurship Institute, Phase II (Summer)

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.

Early May
Summer Kickoff and Prototype Day

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.

Mid-July
Venture Preview Night

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.

Mid-August
Venture Day

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 the Venture Day 2015 Webcast

Post-program
Alumni Events

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.

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News

  • Alumni
  • Sameer Dhar

  • Co-Founder, Sensassure

Sameer did not always know he was going to become an entrepreneur – he was on the path to become an investment banker before The Next 36 changed his trajectory. Motivated to create impact, Sameer has been named one of Canada’s 2011 Top 20 Under 20, Edmonton’s 2012 Sizzling 20 Under 30, and Edmonton’s 2013 Top 40 Under 40 Young Leaders.

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  • Alumni
  • Stephen Lake

  • CEO & Co-founder, Thalmic Labs

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.

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  • Alumni
  • Cathy Han

  • Co-Founder, 42 Technologies

Cathy credits The Next 36 for helping her develop an entrepreneurial mindset and drive to build her own company. While she was in university, Cathy served as President of Enterprize Canada, Western Canada’s largest student-organized conference and business plan competition dedicated to helping young entrepreneurs...

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Sameer Dhar
Co-Founder, Sensassure

Sameer did not always know he was going to become an entrepreneur – he was on the path to become an investment banker before The Next 36 changed his trajectory. Motivated to create impact, Sameer has been named one of Canada’s 2011 Top 20 Under 20, Edmonton’s 2012 Sizzling 20 Under 30, and Edmonton’s 2013 Top 40 Under 40 Young Leaders.

Sameer co-founded Sensassure as part of the 2013 cohort of The Next 36. Sensassure has created a diaper sensor solution for incontinent seniors that tracks if they have soiled themselves, and instantly alerts nursing staff when changes are required. Their mission is to restore dignity to those who suffer from incontinence by automating existing manual care processes. Sensassure was the $100,000 winner of TEC Edmonton’s Grand Venture Prize, and has raised a seed round of $500,000. Since graduating, Sameer continues to give back to The Next 36 community as an alumni mentor, application judge and speaker. Currently, he lives in a Maryland nursing home while developing Sensassure to become one of the most disruptive wearable tech healthcare startups in North America.

"The most important thing I've learned from The Next 36 is to raise my expectations by swinging for the fences early. Entrepreneurship is the only avenue that makes sense to achieve something of large-scale impact."

Sensassure
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Stephen Lake
CEO & Co-founder, Thalmic Labs

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 startups 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.

"The Next 36 is a great program for developing as an individual and as a leader and learning the skills you need to found a business."

Thalmic Labs
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Cathy Han
Co-Founder, 42 Technologies

Cathy credits The Next 36 for helping her develop an entrepreneurial mindset and drive to build her own company. While she was in university, Cathy served as President of Enterprize Canada, Western Canada’s largest student-organized conference and business plan competition dedicated to helping young entrepreneurs. She held a variety of positions prior to joining The Next 36, including being a member of the Calgary Mayoral Council, and an intern at Procter & Gamble. While she was in the 2011 cohort of The Next 36 Cathy co-founded Playfit, a fitness rewards app.

Cathy has since moved on to build 42 Technologies Inc. - a B2B platform that uses point-of-sale data to provide brands with a better way to connect and personalize their interactions with customers. After launching at New York Fashion Week 2013 and TechCrunch Disrupt NYC, 42 was accepted into Y-Combinator's 2014 cohort and is now headquartered in San Francisco. Cathy has a passion for contributing to growing people and communities, and is a keynote speaker at Montreal’s International Start-up Festival.

"The Next 36 taught me what it truly means to be an entrepreneur. It taught me what it means to lead, and to feel a sense to personal responsibility for the future prosperity of our nation. The only people who’ve taught me more in my life are my parents."

42 Technologies
  • Next 36 Ventures
  • ​Meet Kira Talent

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 and academic screening 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 funding - led by Relay Ventures (with offices in Toronto and Menlo California) - totalling over $8 million. One of their N36 mentors not only joined their Board but also invested in the company.

Konrad Listwan Ciesielski

Co-Founder

Emilie Cushman

Co-Founder

  • Next 36 Ventures
  • ​Meet SeamlessMD

Healthcare is a sector with incredible opportunities. SeamlessMD 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.

SeamlessMD 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. SeamlessMD is currently piloting at various hospitals and health networks. They are solving a $27 billion problem.

Joshua Liu

Co-founder of SeamlessMD

Philip Chen

Co-founder of SeamlessMD

Willie Kwok

Co-founder of SeamlessMD

  • Next 36 Ventures
  • ​Meet Blynk

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 won the 100K Investment Prize at StartupFest 2015 in Montreal. Blynk was acquired by Waterloo-based Kik in 2015.

Jaclyn Ling

Co-founder of Blynk

Shums Kassam

Co-founder of Blynk

The Network

Christian Catalini

Assistant Professor TIES Group, MIT's Sloan School of Management

Peter Carrescia

Managing Director, The Next 36

Ben Zifkin

Founder and CEO, Hubba

Rebecca MacDonald

Founder and Executive Chair, Just Energy Group

Satish Kanwar

Director of Operations, Shopify Toronto

Kirk Simpson

Co-Founder and CEO, Wave

Janet Bannister

General Partner, Real Ventures

LP Maurice

CEO and Co-Founder, Busbud

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Christian Catalini
Assistant Professor TIES Group, MIT's Sloan School of Management

Christian Catalini is the Fred Kayne (1960) Career Development Professor of Entrepreneurship, Assistant Professor TIES Group, at MIT's Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Christian’s main areas of interest are in the economics of innovation, entrepreneurship and scientific productivity.

In the Next Founders program, Christian teaches a course called Strategic Experimentation – Crowdfunding & the Blockchain. The objective is to accelerate your progress in the program from the early stages of ideation and team formation, to the implementation of a consistent and robust business strategy. We will start by taking the perception of your early adopters: is their current behaviour consistent with your assumptions about how your product or service can deliver value to them? We will see how different types of experimentation (business, strategic, and ecosystem) can ultimately help you scale your venture.

Christian holds a PhD from the University of Toronto (Rotman School of Management), and MSc (summa cum laude) in Economics and Management of New Technologies from Bocconi University, Milan. In 2009-10 he was a visiting student at Harvard University. He has presented research at a variety of institutions including Harvard University, MIT, Yale University, London Business School, UC Berkeley, the US Treasury. In May 2014 he organized the first US roundtable on equity crowdfunding at MIT, which included representatives from the US Treasury, the US Office of Science and Technology Policy as well as numerous angel investors and VCs at the White House.

"Having been involved with the Next 36 since its inception, I've seen over time its deep impact on the trajectories of the young, ambitious and talented. The peers, content and experience is unique."

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Peter Carrescia
Managing Director, The Next 36

Peter Carrescia joined The Next 36 as Managing Director in January 2015. Combining over 20 years as both a technology executive and venture capitalist, Peter has helped build and scale high growth companies by drawing on the experience he gained while in leadership roles at leading technology and venture capital firms. Peter has held senior roles at leading Canadian venture capital firms VenGrowth and OMERS Ventures, where he led investment activity in high growth technology companies. Prior to that, he held progressively senior roles at Microsoft and IBM.

Peter leads an exclusive Next Founders workshop focused on when and how to raise venture capital. This complements other programming, including Harvard Business School Professor Ramana Nanda’s class on Entrepreneurial Finance, which takes a customized, hands-on approach to sensible startup fundraising. Peter brings the experience of someone who’s been-there, done-that for founders ready to their venture to the next level.

"Raising venture capital is a means to an end - not the final destination. Next Founders forces you to think hard about how much you need, what you need it for and then works with you to figure out the smartest way to get it."

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Ben Zifkin
Founder and CEO, Hubba

Ben Zifkin is the Founder and CEO of Hubba, a B2B product information network that enables brands to efficiently share product content with their retail and eCommerce partners. Hubba has been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 3 Best New Startups, Top 25 Up and Coming ICT Companies, Top 20 Most Innovative Companies, and Fast 50 Companies to Watch. Between living and working in North America, Europe and Asia, Ben has established himself as a trusted advisor to retail and brand executives. 

Before Hubba, Ben co-founded Axsium Group, the world's largest workforce management consulting practice. Axsium was recognized as one of Canada’s Fastest Growing Companies for two consecutive years, before being acquired in 2008. Ben is a board member of The Upside Foundation of Canada, Ladies Learning Code, and HackerYou.

"Programs like the Next 36 play a critical role in helping us unlock the potential that resides within our borders. By pulling together great talent, mentors and resources, we can drive Canada to the forefront of the world's leading knowledge economies."

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Rebecca MacDonald
Founder and Executive Chair, Just Energy Group

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.

"The Next 36 is creating a new generation of young talent, focused on entrepreneurship from the start."

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Satish Kanwar
Director of Operations, Shopify Toronto

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.

"The Next 36 has cultivated a high-calibre group of startups to take on a massive new level of scale and opportunity. These aren’t just startups, but also founders, teams, and technologies that are prime to disrupt."

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Kirk Simpson
Co-Founder and CEO, Wave

Kirk Simpson is the co-founder and CEO of Wave, a provider of cloud-based, integrated software and tools for small businesses. He has spent his career working in digital media with some of Canada’s largest media companies. Prior to Wave, Kirk started two other companies and through this, realized the pain of handling back-office tasks first-hand, which led him to create Wave. Since founding Wave, Kirk has helped the company grow to over 2 million total users, with over $25 million raised in capital.

"The main difference between my first failed startup and Wave is access to a network of people who could help us on our journey. I am a supporter of the Next36 because it gets young entrepreneurs the help they need when they need it most. This is a massive advantage."

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Janet Bannister
General Partner, Real Ventures

As a successful online entrepreneur, Janet Bannister is passionate about using her expertise to mentor entrepreneurs and help their businesses reach their full potential. One of Janet’s many great accomplishments was taking Kijiji, a business that faced many strong competitors in the US, and launching it in Canada; today it has become Canada’s leading online classified destination, and one of the most visited sites in the country.

Further, Janet led the Kijiji Global business, launching the website in North America, Europe, and Asia and tripling global revenue year-over-year. Janet also worked at eBay in Silicon Valley, where she helped transform the company from a collectibles to a mainstream marketplace. To add to her repertoire, she was CEO of The Coveteur, helping it become a leading online fashion destination, worked as an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company, and served as a Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble. Presently, Janet is a General Partner of Real Ventures, Canada's largest and most active early-stage venture fund.

"It has been wonderful to be part of The Next 36. The students involved in the program are extremely talented and hard working. Mentoring them has been a real privilege."

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LP Maurice
CEO and Co-Founder, Busbud

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.

"It's impressive to see how The Next 36 and its extraordinary group of mentors are able to accelerate young entrepreneurs and their ventures. Having been a student entrepreneur in the past myself, I know first-hand the immense value of such support and mentorship."