The Next 36 Selects Canada’s Best Young Innovators

The Next 36, a year-old initiative to “transform the country’s most promising undergraduates into Canada’s top entrepreneurs,” has selected its second cohort of 36 young innovators. The winning candidates were chosen from a group of 72 finalists.

Championed by such Canadian business leaders as Galen Weston and Jimmy Pattison, The Next 36 is an “intense, hot-house effort to force grow entrepreneurs ever attempted in Canada.” The organization has partnerships with companies like Ernst & Young and Rogers, as well as post-secondary institutions such as McGill University and the University of Waterloo.

“Canada’s top students apparently have a huge appetite for challenge and discomfort,” says Claudia Hepburn, executive director and co-founder of The Next 36. “They are hungry for mentorship from great entrepreneurs and ambitious in their goals for innovation and impact. This intensely challenging weekend has laid the foundation for nine months of transformative growth.”

The 2012 cohort includes students from Bishop’s University, McGill University, Queen’s University, Saint Mary’s University, Simon Fraser University, The University of Western Ontario, University of Calgary, University of Prince Edward Island, University of Saskatchewan, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, University of Windsor, University of Winnipeg, and Wilfrid Laurier University.

How does The Next 36 work? It “provides key resources to young Canadians with the potential to build and lead great organizations.” Undergraduates are selected across Canada from a variety of academic disciplines. The young entrepreneurs selected are then placed in teams of four and tasked with building a business in the mobile or tablet space. They are provided mentorship, cash, and academic instruction.

The winning students have already returned home to begin work on their new businesses. All candidates will return to Toronto in May for the Entrepreneurship Institute, an innovation boot camp, where they will converge build their venture with guidance from “the world’s top faculty and support from Canada’s top business leaders and entrepreneurs.”