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Scale your Business and your Mindset

Applications for the next cohort open in January. Stay connected with our newsletter.

Why Next Founders?

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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

Next Founders is a program that accelerates the growth of Canada’s most promising entrepreneurs by providing mentorship, access to capital, and unparalleled founder development. We want to help scale both the founder and their business.

Over three months, we provide founder development - tailored education taught by some of the world's top faculty and entrepreneurs, in combination with access to an extraordinary community of investors, entrepreneurs and peers.

Our Vision

At Next Founders, we believe that by fast-tracking the development of Canada's most talented 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…

What is the cost of the program?

There is no cost to participate in Next Founders, which is delivered by The Next 36, a charity supported through the generosity of Canadian business leaders, entrepreneurs and government partners.

Is financial support available for founders travelling from a distance?

Financial support to assist with transportation to Toronto for classes and in some instances accommodation is available for eligible founders travelling from more than 3 hours outside of Toronto. Financial need will be assessed on a case-by-case basis – to learn more, contact Annick at info@thenextfounders.ca

Do you provide workspace for my ventures?

In many cases, Next Founders is able to provide you with workspace in Toronto for the duration of the program through one of our community partners.

Do you take equity in my venture?

No. Next Founders takes no equity in your venture.

How is the program structured?

The program runs from early May to mid-August and consists of 16 hours of required foundational courses tailored to your business, plus events and optional workshops. Classes are clustered so that required programming is scheduled over blocks of 1-2 days. Next Founders charges no tuition and takes no equity in your venture.

Is there any formalized mentorship provided?

While no formal mentorship is provided, you will have plenty of opportunities to build relationships with the business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors you meet at Next Founders events. You will also be provided direct access to dozens of subject matter experts in areas ranging from branding to intellectual property to venture finance.

Can I complete any of the academic components remotely?

No. These courses are not designed for remote participation. Direct contact with faculty, guest speakers and interaction with other participants is a key part of the program.

Do I apply as an individual or as a venture?

As an individual. We want your venture to succeed but our focus is on accelerating the entrepreneur. Multiple co-founders from the same venture may apply if they will benefit from the program and can add value. All applicants will be evaluated individually.

I am an ambitious entrepreneur but I don't come from a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) background. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes. You will have to demonstrate in your application that you are an entrepreneur with a high growth / high margin venture who will be a valuable addition to Next Founders community.

I already have a business degree. Am I eligible?

Yes. While Next Founders is designed for those without formal business education, the right founder with a business degree will find the tailored curriculum invaluable.

I am not a Canadian citizen. Am I eligible?

The program is open to Canadian citizens, permanent residents and those in the process of immigrating to Canada. If you are in the process of applying for Permanent Resident status, we will accept a notarized statement to this effect. If you intend to provide a notarized statement, please email Annick at info@thenextfounders.ca in advance of completing the first stage of the application.

Are there any investment or revenue thresholds for my venture in order to be eligible?

No. All applicants will be assessed based on the potential of the applicant and his or her venture. In previous years, many of the participants had raised a significant seed round, crowdfunding campaign or were earning revenue.

Next Founders Timeline

January 2017
Applications Open

Answer a few short questions about yourself, your venture and what makes you tick. The application also includes a short video interview. Sign up for newsletter

Winter 2017 in Waterloo, Montreal and Toronto.
Application Info Meetups

Introduce your startup and learn about Next Founders from alumni entrepreneurs and Next 36 staff.

Early March 2017
Application Deadline

Late March
Final Interviews and Selection

Finalists may be invited to an interview (online, or in-person in Toronto).

Mid-April, Toronto
Welcome and Onboarding Event

Meet the Next Founders leadership and the other entrepreneurs in the cohort. Make connections that will last a lifetime with peers facing similar challenges.

May 2017
Entrepreneurship Institute Begins

The summer schedule includes required and optional programming and events that are critical to you and your venture. Guest faculty and entrepreneurs come in from across North America.

Starting May 2017, throughout the summer
Courses

You will attend masters-level classes from our award winning faculty and entrepreneurs. To help you manage your calendar, a foundation of 16 hours of class will be scheduled in blocks with valuable workshops and events planned in close proximity to minimize the amount of time spent away from your venture. Classes will be held at the University of Toronto campus, and typically run Thursdays and Fridays.

Throughout the summer
Exclusive Events

You'll be invited to multiple networking events, where you will have the opportunity to meet investors, entrepreneurs and business leaders with the potential to make a big impact on your venture.

Mid-July @ Google
Venture Preview Night

You will pitch in front of investors and business leaders who get a sneak peak of your startup before Venture Day. This is a great chance to get feedback and start a relationship with investors interested in helping grow your company.

August 16th
Venture Day

The program culminates with a showcase of Next Founders and The Next 36 ventures. Hundreds of investors and business leaders attend, and hundreds more watch online. Watch last year's webcast

Post-program
Alumni Events

Although the program has finished, you are forever part of the alumni community. We hold special events for alumni, where you can network with your peers and entrepreneurs from other years.

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News

  • Alumni
  • Jason Greenspan

  • Co-founder and CEO, WHOOSH!

Jason Greenspan is the co-founder and CEO of WHOOSH!, the next generation specific purpose cleaning product brand. It leverages the latest advancements in formula development with great design to create innovative, superior, powerful and less toxic cleaning products. WHOOSH! Screen Shine not only cleans all your screens & devices, but makes them shine like new while resisting fingerprints.

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  • Alumni
  • Karl Martin

  • Co-founder and CTO, Nymi

Karl Martin and Foteini Agrafioti joined Next Founders as co-founders of Nymi (formerly Bionym), an early-stage startup that was developing a new biometric authentication solution based on Foteini's research. They planned to embed the technology into devices such as cellphones, but securing hardware partners was a challenge.

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  • Alumni
  • Michael Helander

  • President and CEO, OTI Lumionics

Michael Helander spent 10 years at The University of Toronto, completing his PhD in 2012. While writing his thesis he realized that the innovations that took years of his life to research would amount to little more than a stack of paper if he didn’t do something. So in the hardest decision of his life; he abandoned the academic career he sacrificed so much for to run a startup that was supposed to be just a check mark on a CV.

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  • Alumni
  • Jessica Ching

  • Co-Founder and CEO, Eve Medical

Jessica and her co-founder Evan Moses are the innovators behind Eve Medical, a medical device company that is dedicated to improving women's health. Their first product HerSwab is a device that helps women to self-collect samples at home to screen for HPV (the virus that causes cervical cancer) and other sexually transmitted infections. They aim to cost-effectively improve health outcomes by making products that are accessible and patient-friendly.

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  • Alumni
  • Calvin Chu

  • Founder and CEO, Palette

While studying Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Calvin Chu took a special interest in the field of human computer interaction, specifically when it came to the digital creative class. Holding onto the belief that users deserve interfaces that complement – rather than inhibit – their creative workflow, Palette was born. A modular system made up of knobs, dials, buttons and sliders that snap together like Lego, Palette aims to transform creators’ capacity for productivity and precision.

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  • Alumni
  • Marie Chevrier

  • Founder and CEO, Sampler

After working at top advertising and venture capital firms across North America, Marie Chevrier decided to dive into the world of entrepreneurship when she founded Sampler. Sampler combines Marie’s love for both marketing and technology into a fully customizable product-sampling platform that helps CPG brands distribute digital offers in a more targeted way. Sampler has been featured in Marketing Magazine, TechCrunch, and TrendHunter and has been cheekily compared to “those people at Costco who serve you warm cheeseballs, but on the Internet.

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  • Alumni
  • Morgan Wyatt

  • Co-founder and CEO, The Greenlid

Morgan grew up in Brockville, Ontario and pursued a PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, leading him to found a company with a disruptive eco-technology product: The Greenlid. The first “compostable compost bin”, The Greenlid is a 100% recycled eco-friendly container that is made in Canada and features a proprietary no-leak formula to make composting a clean and seamless experience.

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Jason Greenspan
Co-founder and CEO, WHOOSH!

Jason Greenspan is the co-founder and CEO of WHOOSH!, the next generation specific purpose cleaning product brand. It leverages the latest advancements in formula development with great design to create innovative, superior, powerful and less toxic cleaning products. WHOOSH! Screen Shine not only cleans all your screens & devices, but makes them shine like new while resisting fingerprints.

With over $2MM annual sales and a who's-who of customers that include: Apple, Walmart, Canadian Tire, Shoppers Drug Mart and Staples Canada, the sky is the limit for this venture with over 500,000 screens cleaned to date.

" A year ago, we were two people in an office taking our first inventory. Now, a year later, with Apple, Walmart, and Canadian Tire, and $1.5M in sales, we're in a different class. How we think about the business and scaling it, has changed dramatically."

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Karl Martin
Co-founder and CTO, Nymi

Karl Martin and Foteini Agrafioti joined Next Founders as co-founders of Nymi (formerly Bionym), an early-stage startup that was developing a new biometric authentication solution based on Foteini's research. They planned to embed the technology into devices such as cellphones, but securing hardware partners was a challenge.

While participating in Rotman's Creative Destruction Labs (CDL), and later, Next Founders, they pivoted and started exploring manufacturing their own wearable technology. Advisors from both The Next 36 and CDL suggested they validate the market demand, which they did successfully through a crowdfunding campaign for their new product, the Nymi wristband. The campaign led to sales of over 5,900 devices and media features in the Economist, Wired, TechCrunch and The Verge.

Nymi has since closed a $14MM Series A round of funding from investors that include Relay Ventures, Export Development Canada and MasterCard. They have pre-sold over 10,000 Nymis, moved into an 8,500 square foot office in downtown Toronto and has a rapidly growing team of 40+ employees. Soon, with their help, we will finally be able to say goodbye to passwords, pins and keys.

"Next Founders gave me the tools to think more strategically. When faced with complex issues and decisions, I can now assess the situation and chart a course that maximizes opportunities for my business."

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Michael Helander
President and CEO, OTI Lumionics

Michael Helander spent 10 years at The University of Toronto, completing his PhD in 2012. While writing his thesis he realized that the innovations that took years of his life to research would amount to little more than a stack of paper if he didn’t do something. So in the hardest decision of his life; he abandoned the academic career he sacrificed so much for to run a startup that was supposed to be just a check mark on a CV.

Now, three years later OTI Lumionics is developing an entirely new platform for simplified low-cost manufacturing of organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), with the goal of making this technology accessible to new applications and markets. After completing Rotman’s Creative Destruction Lab, OTI has launched Aerelight, the world's first consumer-ready OLED lamp. It is the recipient of $5.7MM in funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada, has a team of 15 and a new 3,300 sq. ft. production space in Toronto.

" Canada doesn’t need more innovation. What it needs is for more innovators to step-up, start companies and break their research out of the lab."

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Jessica Ching
Co-Founder and CEO, Eve Medical

Jessica and her co-founder Evan Moses are the innovators behind Eve Medical, a medical device company that is dedicated to improving women's health. Their first product HerSwab is a device that helps women to self-collect samples at home to screen for HPV (the virus that causes cervical cancer) and other sexually transmitted infections. They aim to cost-effectively improve health outcomes by making products that are accessible and patient-friendly.

Eve Medical is running a pilot with the Slovenian National Cancer Screening Agency, and is CE (European Conformity) marked in Europe; with Health Canada approval expected 2015. They closed a $750K financing round in November 2014.

" As a first time entrepreneur, Next Founders provided me with an opportunity to connect with business leaders in a personal setting, as well as the hard skills to position our company as a global player when we raised funding."

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Calvin Chu
Founder and CEO, Palette

While studying Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Calvin Chu took a special interest in the field of human computer interaction, specifically when it came to the digital creative class. Holding onto the belief that users deserve interfaces that complement – rather than inhibit – their creative workflow, Palette was born. A modular system made up of knobs, dials, buttons and sliders that snap together like Lego, Palette aims to transform creators’ capacity for productivity and precision.

After graduating from Shenzhen’s HAXLR8R in 2013, Calvin and the Palette team set up manufacturing in China and ran a successful crowdfunding campaign where they surpassed their goal of $150K with less than 1,000 backers. They went on to raise a round of VC financing before taking part in Rotman’s Creative Destruction Lab and ultimately Next Founders. After receiving the Gold UX Design Award from IFA Berlin this past fall, Palette is gaining global recognition for thinking about creative tools differently.

" Given my background in engineering and technology, something I wanted to gain was a business perspective. Next Founders was great at providing and solidifying a business foundation for me and my co-founders to implement in our company."

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Marie Chevrier
Founder and CEO, Sampler

After working at top advertising and venture capital firms across North America, Marie Chevrier decided to dive into the world of entrepreneurship when she founded Sampler. Sampler combines Marie’s love for both marketing and technology into a fully customizable product-sampling platform that helps CPG brands distribute digital offers in a more targeted way. Sampler has been featured in Marketing Magazine, TechCrunch, and TrendHunter and has been cheekily compared to “those people at Costco who serve you warm cheeseballs, but on the Internet.

Sampler has 13 employees spread across offices on Broadway in New York and in Toronto’s King East neighbourhood. To date, the company has raised over $1MM in funding with 2015 revenue surpassing $275K. Their major customers include The Body Shop, Ritz, and Albertsons, and with 70 new clients secured in 2015, they show no sign of slowing down.

" As a sole founder, this program gave me an incredible opportunity to connect with founders from across Canada who are dealing with similar challenges."

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Morgan Wyatt
Co-founder and CEO, The Greenlid

Morgan grew up in Brockville, Ontario and pursued a PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, leading him to found a company with a disruptive eco-technology product: The Greenlid. The first “compostable compost bin”, The Greenlid is a 100% recycled eco-friendly container that is made in Canada and features a proprietary no-leak formula to make composting a clean and seamless experience.

After a successful crowd funding campaign, The Greenlid successfully closed a deal with Arlene Dickinson and David Chilton of Dragon’s Den and is on track for $1MM of sales in 2015. Currently sold at your local Rona, Home Hardware, Canadian Tire, and Whole Foods, The Greenlid is bringing organic waste management into the 21st century.

" There is nothing in Canada that compares to the quality of the entrepreneurial education and network that Next Founders provides. I can guarantee coming out of the program that my trajectory has changed dramatically."

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."