Scale your business
and your mindset

Education for Entrepreneurs

Watch the video
The Next 36

At The Next 36, 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

We created The Next Founders to support high potential founders who want to scale their venture and grow both personally and professionally. The Next Founders is designed to deliver relevant education and to help you quickly build relationships with an extraordinary community of investors and entrepreneurs.

Invest your time and money better

We recognize that a founder's time is his/her most precious resource and have designed a program with you in mind. We've brought together the best of the academic and business worlds in a focused program that will improve your strategic decision-making and increase your capacity for success.

The Next Founders provides 50-65 hours of masters-level education taught by award winning faculty from schools including Harvard Business School, MIT and Ivey. The courses will provide you with a strong foundation in startup strategy and tactics, and expose you to new ways of thinking about problems and opportunities.

I have learned more in the 3 months with The Next Founders than in the 3 years I was at university.
Max Teitelbaum, Founder, WhatRunsWhere

You'll be learning...

Download the full faculty and course listing

Surround yourself with people who can help you grow quickly

You have a great idea and some early traction. Now you need people who can refine your model, fund your business and be your customers. The Next 36 is supported by over 250 of Canada's top business leaders who are committed to making Canada more prosperous by supporting promising entrepreneurs like you.

You will be invited to a number of intimate events to meet potential clients, investors, and like-minded entrepreneurs. There will also be pitch opportunities with top VCs and angel investors. By the end of the program you will have a larger and more diverse network — one that is committed to you and your business. As part of the Next 36 alumni community you will have many opportunities to engage, learn and mentor other young entrepreneurs.

This program has connected me to Canada's business elite and provided strategic insights into entrepreneurial success. It has created opportunities that were previously unimaginable to me.
Clifton van der Linden, Founder, VoteCompass
Alumnus, Rotman Creative Destruction Lab

What entrepreneurs are saying...

Grow your company faster

Karl Martin and Foteini Agrafioti joined The Next Founders as co-founders of Bionym, an early-stage start-up 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, The Next Founders, they pivoted and started exploring manufacturing their own wearable technology. Advisors from both N36 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.

Bionym has since raised $1.4M, including investors from The Next Founders network and is currently fundraising for a Series A. They are working on delivering their product and building a platform with their partners and growing community of developers. Soon, with their help, we will finally be able to say goodbye to passwords, pins and keys.

The Next Founders changed my mindset from one of a scientist to one of an entrepreneur. I believe we can build Bionym to be the next billion dollar company in Canada.
Foteini Agrafioti, Co-founder and CTO, Bionym
Alumna, Rotman Creative Destruction Lab

The Next Founders Timeline


Deadline March 11

Apply online before March 11th. You will need to answer a few short questions about yourself, your co-founders and your venture in a short written application and video interview.

Start Your Application

Offers Made

April 4


Starting May 5, weekly throughout the summer

You will attend over 50 to 65 hours of masters-level classes from our award winning faculty. Classes will be held at the University of Toronto campus, and typically run in the evening or weekends. Yes, there will be homework, but it will be all about your venture.

Exclusive Events

Evenings throughout the summer

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.

Alumni Events


Although the program's done, 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.

Drop-In Session

February 20, 11-2pm at the Ryerson DMZ

Introduce your startup and learn about The Next Founders from Next 36 staff and entrepreneurs who piloted The Next Founders in 2013.


Week of March 31

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

Pre-readings Assigned

April 11

Program Starts

May 5

Venture Preview Night


You will pitch in front of investors and business leaders who get a sneak peek 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.

Venture Day

August 12

The program culminates with a showcase of The Next Founders and The Next 36 ventures. Hundreds of investors and business leaders attend, and hundreds more watch online.

A few other things you should know:

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 potential venture who will be a valuable addition to The Next Founders community.
I already have a business degree. Am I eligible?
Yes. While The Next Founders is designed for those without formal business education, the right founder with a business degree will find the tailored curriculum invaluable. Exemptions from certain courses may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
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 Melissa [email protected] in advance of completing the first stage of the application.
Is there any revenue threshold 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.
What is the cost of the program?
There is no cost to participate in The Next Founders, which is delivered by The Next 36, a charity supported through the generosity of Canadian business leaders, entrepreneurs and government partners. Alumni will be encouraged to give back to the community through their time, expertise and financial support as they are able.
Do you take equity in my venture?
No. The Next Founders takes no equity in your venture.
Is there any formalized mentorship provided?
While no formal mentorship is provided, you will have many opportunities to build relationships with the business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors you meet at The Next Founders events. The Next Founders alumni have found the peer-to-peer mentorship and collegiality of The Next Founders and The Next 36 entrepreneurs particularly valuable.
Can I complete any of the academic components remotely?
No. These courses are not designed for remote participation. Direct contact with faculty and integration with The Next 36 entrepreneurs are key tenets of The Next Founders program.
Do I apply as an individual, or as a venture?
As an individual. However, 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.

Have a question? Email me:
[email protected]

The Next Founders