After receiving a record number of applications, NEXT Canada, a national, non-profit organization that develops exceptional talent to create industry-changing ventures and propel business technology adoption, announced that 22 ventures have been accepted into the 2018 cohort of Next Founders. Building on a proven founder development model, Next Founders provides a select group of entrepreneurs with tailored education, access to funding and a network of influential Canadian entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders that will enable them to further scale their businesses. The impressive entrepreneurs were introduced to the NEXT Canada network at Scotiabank in Toronto during Prototype Day, the annual kickoff to an intense summer of programming for participants of all three NEXT offerings, including Next 36 and NextAI.
Nearly 200 applications were received, with only one in 10 accepted. Applications were received from entrepreneurs all across Canada with ventures representing industries such as healthcare, fashion and retail, consumer packaged goods, manufacturing and urban agriculture. The accepted founders represent ventures including:
“The growth of the Next Founders program shows that Canada’s innovation ecosystem is gaining strength fast,” said Sheldon Levy, CEO of NEXT Canada. “NEXT Canada is part of a network of leading organizations that support entrepreneurship, including Communitech, the DMZ, the Creative Destruction Lab, the Founder Institute and Velocity--and our work is bearing fruit. By helping high-potential entrepreneurs scale their businesses quickly, the Next Founders program helps ensure Canada’s relevance and prosperity in the global innovation economy.”