TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - August 16, 2016) - An impressive group of entrepreneurs unveiled their innovative businesses at Venture Day, the annual start-up showcase held by The Next 36. Venture Day marks the culmination of a gruelling summer program, designed not only to launch new businesses, but also to develop and transform a small group of high potential Canadian entrepreneurs.
Over 250 investors, mentors, donors and partners, packed MaRS Discovery District to hear 25 venture presentations and demos addressing opportunities in areas as diverse as agriculture, artificial intelligence, health care, wearables and fin-tech. The companies presenting were participants in one of two programs delivered by Canada's premiere entrepreneurial initiative -- either the flagship The Next 36 for students and recent grads as well as The Next Founders for the creators of high growth ventures seeking founder development and access to investor and peer networks.
After the presentations, the 2016 cohort was recognized through a graduation and awards ceremony. Top ventures and entrepreneurs were honoured with the following awards:
- Outstanding Venture (The Next 36): Awake Labs
- Outstanding Venture (The Next Founders): Blue J Legal
- Satchu Prize: Andrea Palmer, Co-Founder of Awake Labs
- The Hepburn Valedictorian Award: Tom Grainger, Co-Founder of Cultivate Compliance
- The Next Founders Valedictorian: Xavier Peich, Co-Founder of SmartHalo
- Alumni Achievement Award: Jessica Ching, Co-Founder of Eve Medical (Next Founders Class of 2014)
Participants receive unparalleled support that includes mentorship from Canada's most successful entrepreneurs and instruction from some of the world's top faculty and domain experts. They also have access to the Young Founders Fund, backed by investment partners including BDC Capital and Globalive Capital, which provides up to $50,000 in seed capital for each venture.
"The Next 36 opened my eyes to the life that an entrepreneur leads and shown me how to create my own path for success," says Elizabeth Wicks, co-founder of Tandem and an Engineering Physics student at the University of British Columbia. "The mentors, business leaders and professors who deliver the program have inspired us all to raise our expectations of ourselves and constantly pushed the entire cohort to relentlessly pursue opportunities wherever they may be."
The Next 36 has contributed to the success of industry-changing start-ups including, Atomwise, Bridgit, Kira Talent, Nymi, Revlo, SeamlessMD and Thalmic Labs in its first five years. For a complete listing of ventures, please visit www.thenext36.ca
Applications are now open online for next year's cohort of exceptional young entrepreneurs. The deadline to apply is October 18.
About The Next 36
The Next 36 addresses Canada's deficit of high impact entrepreneurship by providing world-class founder development, business mentorship and venture building programs to promising young entrepreneurs. It was founded by a small group of business leaders and academics and is championed by Founding Patrons W. Galen Weston, Paul Desmarais, Sr. and Jimmy Pattison. 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. The Next Founders is the second program from The Next 36 and is designed for young founders of high growth start-ups looking to scale quickly. The Next 36 is supported through strong national partnerships with EY, MaRS, MasterCard, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP and TD Bank Group.