Media Releases

New program aims to launch next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders

September 21, 2010

TORONTO, ON – The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to announced today the launch of a unique nation­al pro­gram that aims to trans­form Canada’s most promis­ing under­grad­u­ates into high impact entre­pre­neurs.

The Next 36 takes aim at Canada’s pros­per­i­ty chal­lenge by focus­ing resources on a small num­ber of excep­tion­al­ly tal­ent­ed stu­dents. The goal is to give them the tools to be among our country’s next gen­er­a­tion of entre­pre­neurs, inno­va­tors and nation builders.

“Inno­va­tion and entre­pre­neur­ial lead­er­ship are the lifeblood of the Cana­di­an econ­o­my,” says David Nay­lor, Pres­i­dent of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to. “The elite men­tor­ship and world-class instruc­tion offered to The Next 36 make this unique pro­gram a dream oppor­tu­ni­ty for Canada’s most ambi­tious stu­dents. I expect that top recruiters and grad­u­ate schools will view it as a hall­mark of super­star under­grad­u­ates.”

The Next 36 is based on the top ranked Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to course cre­at­ed and taught for the past six years by ser­i­al entre­pre­neur and “Canada’s Top 40 Under 40” win­ner Reza Satchu. The Next 36 expands the key ele­ments of Mr. Satchu’s course into a unique series of life-chang­ing rela­tion­ships and expe­ri­ences.

The pro­gram has two parts. The first is an eight-month, mobile appli­ca­tion devel­op­ment chal­lenge in which nine, four-per­son teams each receive $50,000 of sup­port, guid­ance from indus­try men­tors, and project lead­er­ship from Antho­ny Lacav­era, founder, Chair­man and CEO, Glob­alive Com­mu­ni­ca­tions. The sec­ond part is a four-month sum­mer res­i­den­cy at Massey Col­lege dur­ing which stu­dents study with inter­na­tion­al­ly acclaimed fac­ul­ty and promi­nent Cana­di­an busi­ness lead­ers, while con­tin­u­ing to work on their app projects.

“To increase our glob­al com­pet­i­tive­ness, Cana­da needs more nation builders equipped not only with aspi­ra­tion and integri­ty, but also with an entre­pre­neur­ial mind­set and toolk­it,” says Mr. Satchu.  “The Next 36 will push Canada’s top stu­dents to expand their expec­ta­tions and will pro­vide them with essen­tial role mod­els, a pow­er­ful peer net­work, start-up expe­ri­ence, and aca­d­e­m­ic the­o­ry to ful­fil their promise. It’s clear to me that Canada’s most tal­ent­ed stu­dents crave this kind of lead­er­ship from our gen­er­a­tion, and The Next 36 will deliv­er it.”

The pro­gram is spear­head­ed by a found­ing group of high-pro­file busi­ness lead­ers, entre­pre­neurs, and aca­d­e­mics.  Tim Hodg­son, Spe­cial Advi­sor to the Bank of Cana­da and pre­vi­ous­ly CEO of Gold­man Sachs Cana­da, co-found­ed the pro­gram with Reza Satchu. Ajay Agraw­al, the Peter Munk Pro­fes­sor of Entre­pre­neur­ship at the Rot­man School and win­ner of “Pro­fes­sor of the Year” for the past four years, is the found­ing Aca­d­e­m­ic Direc­tor. Clau­dia Hep­burn, a Senior Fel­low of The Fras­er Insti­tute and edu­ca­tion pol­i­cy expert, is the Exec­u­tive Direc­tor.

The pro­gram enjoys the strong sup­port of an impres­sive group of found­ing donors, all with a per­son­al involve­ment with the program’s stu­dents or gov­er­nance. They include: Nadir Mohamed, Pres­i­dent and CEO, Rogers Com­mu­ni­ca­tions; W. Galen West­on, Chair­man and CEO, George West­on Ltd.; Joseph Cana­van, for­mer Chair­man and CEO, Assante Cor­po­ra­tion; Samuel Duboc, Founder and CEO, Edge­stone Cap­i­tal Part­ners; Charles Field-Mar­sham, Founder and  Chair­man, Panafrican Group; Scott Grif­fin, Founder and Chair­man of Advance Pre­ci­sion Ltd. and of the Grif­fin Trust for Excel­lence in Poet­ry, and Chan­cel­lor of Bishop’s Uni­ver­si­ty; Antho­ny Lacav­era; Patrick Mene­ley, Vice-Chair, Invest­ment Bank­ing, T.D. Secu­ri­ties; Fran­cis Shen, Founder and CEO, Aas­tra Tech­nolo­gies; Kevin Sul­li­van, CEO of GMP Secu­ri­ties; Andrew and Valerie Pringle; Mark Wise­man and Mar­cia Mof­fat.  Rogers Com­mu­ni­ca­tions is the first cor­po­rate part­ner of The Next 36. The W. Garfield West­on Foun­da­tion and The John Dob­son Foun­da­tion are also donors.

“As a ser­i­al entre­pre­neur myself, I am pas­sion­ate about help­ing The Next 36 avoid some of the pit­falls I fell into as an entre­pre­neur at their age,” says Fran­cis Shen, Founder and CEO, Aas­tra Tech­nolo­gies, who is a found­ing mem­ber of the program’s Steer­ing Com­mit­tee. “This is an excit­ing pro­gram to be part of, and I look for­ward to my front row seat watch­ing bright young stu­dents grow into glob­al entre­pre­neurs.”

The Appli­ca­tion Dead­line for the first cohort is Octo­ber 17th, 2010. Under­grad­u­ates from all fac­ul­ties at uni­ver­si­ties across the coun­try are encour­aged to apply. Fur­ther infor­ma­tion on the pro­gram, includ­ing appli­ca­tion infor­ma­tion, is avail­able online at<>.


For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

Clau­dia Hep­burn
Exec­u­tive Direc­tor
The Next 36