NEXT Canada: Accelerating the Growth of Canada's Most Promising Entrepreneurs

NEXT Canada is a national non-profit organization that aims to develop exceptional talent to create world-class ventures and accelerate technology adoption. Established in 2010 as The Next 36 by a group of business leaders and academics, the organization has since evolved into a leader in providing innovative programming designed to foster lifelong entrepreneurship. NEXT Canada operates through three streams: NextAI, Next 36, and Next Founders, delivered through partnerships between the private sector and government to strengthen Canada’s economic health and future prosperity.

The organization is generously supported by various donors and partners, including BC, Scotiabank, EY, and Air Canada, among others. With over 700 alumni, NEXT Canada has directly impacted the creation of successful companies such as Kira Talent, Nymi, and Thalmic Labs, generating over 3,000 jobs and raising over USD 1 Billion in capital.

Programs Based on Stages

NEXT Canada offers three programs to accelerate growth and provide access to a powerful entrepreneurial network: Next 36, Next AI, and Next Founders.

Next 36 is designed for undergraduate students and recent graduates who possess an entrepreneurial mindset and big dreams. This program selects 36 of the most promising individuals from across Canada and provides them with access to tactical education, mentorship, and a network of strong entrepreneurs to help them launch their venture within eight months.

Next AI is a world-class program for AI-based ventures and technology commercialization. It identifies talented early-stage teams with ambitious solutions to solve global challenges and leverages Canada’s leadership position in AI to provide them with capital, mentorship, education, and network. Next AI is delivered on two campuses, Toronto and Montréal, in partnership with HEC Montréal.

Next Founders is a flexible program for growth-stage founders looking to scale their businesses into world-class ventures. It accepts seed and growth-stage founders and offers customized education from top minds in North America, based on individual needs and knowledge gaps.

Each program is designed to accelerate the growth of entrepreneurs and their ventures by providing them with access to a network of mentors, tactical education, and other valuable resources.

About 2022 Cohort: A Unique Initiative

The 2022 Cohort is a group of high-potential entrepreneurs selected from across Canada by NEXT Canada for their exceptional talent and entrepreneurial mindset. The program is designed to equip them with the tools they need to create innovative ventures with global potential. It is delivered over eight months and includes a blend of real-world education, mentorship, and workshops led by globally recognized faculty and top Canadian CEOs.

The program is being delivered in a hybrid environment this year, with virtual classes and workshops, as well as access to NEXT Canada’s co-working space. It is focused on helping these entrepreneurs move from ideation to launch and beyond, and NEXT Canada is committed to supporting them every step of the way. The company is excited to see what the 2022 Cohort will accomplish over the course of their program.

Over Two Decades of Not-For-Profit Leadership Experience

Kyle J Winters joined NEXT Canada in May 2019 as the Chief Advancement Officer, responsible for strengthening relationships with corporate partners, developing alumni engagement strategies, and cultivating new donors. He was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer in June 2021, taking over from Sheldon Levy. In his current role, Kyle is responsible for maintaining a strong, transparent, and productive relationship with the board of directors, emeritus board of advisors, and alumni advisory council.

Kyle brings more than 25 years of not-for-profit leadership experience to NEXT Canada. Prior to joining NEXT Canada, he served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research and as the National Vice President of Corporate Partnerships at the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. During his tenure in these organizations, Kyle secured gifts and negotiated partnerships at unprecedented levels of support and managed teams that received national and international recognition for their professional accomplishments.

Kyle holds a Global MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and has completed the EMBA certification program at the University of St. Gallen. He has also completed executive education courses in leadership and strategic negotiation at the Harvard Business School.

Kyle is described as an avid traveler, a collector of eclectic art, and a leader who takes great pride in the accomplishments of his team. He is committed to supporting NEXT Canada’s mission of increasing Canadian prosperity through entrepreneurship.

A Roster of Internationally Acclaimed Faculty Members

NEXT Canada has built a powerful network that offers its entrepreneurs a unique advantage in the world of entrepreneurship. The company has, business leaders, investors, and technical experts who provide tailored content for all NEXT Canada programs.

The NEXT Canada Faculty is made up of professors and experts from some of the world’s top universities, including Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and the University of Oxford. They provide education, feedback, and actionable insights to the entrepreneurs, helping them develop their ventures and grow their businesses.

In addition to the NEXT Canada Faculty, the company has also cultivated a strong network of entrepreneurs, C-suite executives, and investors who provide mentorship and guidance to the entrepreneurs. These individuals have a wealth of experience and knowledge that can be invaluable to the entrepreneurs as they navigate the complex world of entrepreneurship.

NEXT Canada’s network is a key part of its value proposition. By connecting its entrepreneurs with such a diverse and experienced group of mentors and advisors, the company is able to provide them with a unique advantage as they build and grow their businesses.

Prestigious Alumni Network 

NEXT Canada has a strong and vibrant alumni network consisting of over 1,000 promising entrepreneurs who have graduated from NEXT Canada’s programs since 2010. These entrepreneurs have gone on to launch over 450 ventures that seek to solve some of the biggest challenges facing our society, making a positive impact on the Canadian tech ecosystem and the world.

NEXT Canada alumni have been recognized for their achievements on various prestigious lists, including the Forbes 30 under 30 list, the CIX Top 20, and LinkedIn’s Top 25 Startups. The company provides ongoing support to its alumni through a range of programs and services tailored to their needs, helping them to navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship and grow their businesses. Once part of the NEXT family, alumni have access to a powerful network of fellow entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, and experts who can provide advice, feedback, and valuable connections to help them succeed.

Achievements and Ambitions

Since its inception, NEXT Canada has been dedicated to accelerating the growth of Canada’s most promising entrepreneurs. With a focus on providing real-world education, mentorship, and access to a powerful entrepreneurial network, NEXT Canada has helped launch over 450 ventures that are addressing some of the most significant challenges facing our population today.

The company’s alumni have gone on to achieve impressive milestones, including recognition on Forbes 30 under 30 list, the CIX Top 20, and LinkedIn’s Top 25 Startups. As the company looks towards the future, its goal is to continue to foster entrepreneurship and innovation in Canada by providing the next generation of entrepreneurs with the tools, resources, and network they need to succeed.

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