The search for Canada’s “Next 36” most talented young innovators culminates at U of T

N36 picEvery year, the best and the brightest students from across Canada apply to become one of “The Next 36”, but only 36 high-impact innovators and entrepreneurs will make the cut.

Over the past month, The Next 36 team has been visiting university campuses across Canada in search of the highest quality of students, culminating their whirlwind tour this past week at the University of Toronto.

“After visiting over a dozen universities from coast to coast, it was special to end our National Campus Tour in Toronto with U of T, our founding academic partner,” said Jon French, Director of Marketing and Communications for The Next 36. “The calibre of young entrepreneurs coming out of U of T is very impressive and we have had more students in the program from U of T in our first five years than any other school.”

The prestigious Next 36 program puts its students on the fast track to success by providing them the opportunity to develop their business ideas and accelerate their growth. Over an eight month period, The Next 36 receive mentorship, founder development, investment and a suite of services that put them in the best position to become Canada’s next generation of leaders in innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Next 36 reception, hosted in Hart House’s picturesque East Common Room, attracted students from various faculties ranging from computer science, to engineering, to dentistry.

“The event was truly amazing,” said Cory Blumenfeld, U of T student and The Next 36 applicant. “Having the chance to speak with everyone and hear so many innovative ideas, you start to understand why U of T is such a great place to study.”

“I am applying to The Next 36 because it’s an opportunity for me to learn and grow as an entrepreneur. Being part of a network of likeminded individuals with similar goals who want to help you succeed and reach your true potential – that’s something I need to be a part of,” said Blumenfeld.

A history of excellence

Since its inception in 2010, 41 students from the University of Toronto have been accepted to the program, accounting for the largest institutional representation in the program to date. Stemming from the principles of a U of T course, “The Economics of Entrepreneurship”, taught by The Next 36’s Co-Founder and Founding Chair, Reza Satchu, The Next 36 was created as a solution to address Canada’s shortage of high-impact entrepreneurs.

“It is now a well-worn observation that such world-leading innovation and entrepreneurship are critical to ensuring the prosperity of future generations of Canadians,” said Vivek Goel, Vice President of Research and Innovation at the University of Toronto. “But realizing such innovation and entrepreneurship requires both exceptional talent and extraordinary leadership. Providing the tools that individuals need to acquire the necessary talents and leadership ability is what The Next 36 is all about.”

A number of U of T alumni from The Next 36 program also came out to the event to speak to their experience within the program and encourage the potential applicants to reach their full potential through the program. Alumni included Marissa Wu, Co-Founder of Onyx Motion, and Karl Martin, Co-Founder of Nymi (previously Bionym), among others.

Applications for the 2016 cohort of The Next 36 are open until Tuesday October 20th. So, ask yourself, will you be one of The Next 36?

Apply today: