Pushing back against rejection
Imagine you’re invited to a party for the best and brightest of your peer group. Then, on the threshold, you’re asked to leave. That’s how Aidan Nulman and Yilun Zhang felt one year ago.
After a gruelling application process, the fourth-year University of Toronto students were invited to the “selection weekend” for The Next 36, an exclusive program aiming to transform bright students into high-impact entrepreneurs. The program, running from December to August, would take select groups of four students each and give them $50,000 to launch an app business, along with a hand-picked corporate mentor, and a summer of entrepreneurial instruction.
After attending interviews with 62 other applicants, Nulman and Zhang learned they were out. But there’s a cliche that says “Failure is never final.” What happened next changed everything – including The Next 36 program.