- How was The Next 36 created?
The Next 36 expands on the principles of a University of Toronto course – “The Economics of Entrepreneurship” – taught by Next 36 Co-founder and Founding Chair, Reza Satchu. The organization leverages the passion and resources of all four Next 36 co-founders, with the goal of turning the country’s top students into Canada’s most successful future business leaders and innovators.
- What is an Academic Partner?
Academic Partners are universities across Canada with a track record of innovation and a commitment to entrepreneurship. They pledge to identify and encourage top students to apply to The Next 36. This support begins in the Office of the President / Principal and extends through all faculty and administration on campus. In many cases, Academic Partners also provide financial support to their students who are accepted into The Next 36.
- Who are your Academic Partners?
- University of Toronto
- Dalhousie University
- McGill University
- Queen's University
- Ryerson University
- Simon Fraser University
- The University of British Columbia
- University of Waterloo
- Western University
- Who should apply to The Next 36?
The program is open to undergraduate and masters students under 30 years old in their final two years of study or who have graduated within the past year. We encourage applications from individuals who aspire to build globally significant businesses. If you already have a co-founder, you will have an opportunity to indicate this on your application.
The program is for Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. We accept undergraduate students from any university or degree-granting institution, enrolled in any discipline. No discipline or university will receive special favour from the selection committee and applicants will be judged on the basis of merit, aptitude and potential as demonstrated through their application.
- What grades do I need to get into the program?
There is no minimum GPA requirement. You will be asked for your GPA as part of the submission, however, it is only one data point we look at when reviewing your application.
- I am a Canadian student enrolled in an undergraduate program outside Canada. May I apply?
Yes. Canadian citizens who are enrolled at international institutions are welcome to apply as long as they are able to commit to attending the full summer program from early May to mid-August 2016.
- Can I take other classes or be employed during the Entrepreneurship Institute?
No. During the summer residency, you are not permitted to register in other classes, engage in salaried employment or work on other business ventures between May and August 2016. You are encouraged to devote as much time as possible to the program between December 2015 and April 2016. Entrepreneurs are considered lead founders and must attend all classes through the summer and participate fully during this period of time. Exceptions are only granted in extreme circumstances. Other co-founders external to the program will receive invitation to select classes and events.
- I am a co-op student. Can I still participate in The Next 36?
Candidates who are on co-op term during the National Phase (January – April) can be part of The Next 36 and complete their co-op at the same time. However, during the summer portion of the Entrepreneurship Institute (May – August), candidates must be focused exclusively on The Next 36. You may be able to work with your home university to have your Next 36 experience applied towards your co-op term, but this is at the discretion of your university and must be confirmed before you start the program.
- I will be on an international exchange during the National Phase of the program (January to April). Am I still eligible?
Students on exchange are permitted to apply, however, previous entrepreneurs in the program have found it difficult to build their venture while abroad during this phase of the entrepreneurship institute and overseas exchanges are discouraged.
- I am an international student - can I still apply to the program?
The program is open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are enrolled in an undergraduate degree program. However, if you are an international student looking to apply for Permanent Residence after university, we will accept a notarized statement to this effect. If you intend to provide a notarized statement, please email Melissa at email@example.com in advance of starting your application.
The Application Process
- The Next 36 is looking for students who have displayed "entrepreneurial initiative" in the past. What is meant by entrepreneurial initiative?
We want you to show us that you have built something. Entrepreneurial initiative is shown when ideas are developed into results-oriented, operational outcomes. You may have done this by starting a company, a student club, a social enterprise or a non-profit organization. Entrepreneurial initiative is not necessarily driven by a profit motive, but by identifying an opportunity, by doing something better or differently, and building that idea into a productive team and organization.
- Can I apply with an existing venture?
Yes. You can apply with an existing early stage venture and co-founders. You and your co-founders must agree to be governed by The Next 36 shareholder agreements. Only your co-founders who are successful at National Selection Weekend will officially be admitted into The Next 36 as Lead Founders. We highly recommend that all eligible founders apply.
- What if the venture already has equity investors?
Ventures with existing equity investors are not eligible and should consider The Next Founders, a program for young entrepreneurs who have founded early-stage tech companies and are seeking founder development and access to networks to scale their business. If you already have a venture with some traction, that’s the program for you.
- How do I create a stronger application?
- Apply early. Starting the application process early will allow you enough time to complete the full application. It shows us you are enthusiastic about the program. If you apply before the September 30th deadline, your application will be reviewed by an additional group of judges and early invitations to Selection Weekend will be sent. All early application finalists will have an extra month to start ideating and connecting with other strong finalists.
- Broaden your definition of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship can mean starting your own venture, but it can also mean founding a campus club or non-profit initiative, conceiving a new event or solving a big problem in a creative way. Be sure to elaborate on this experience in the relevant sections of the application.
- Do your research. Find out about the program, its components, who is involved, and what is expected of you – The Next 36 is an intense experience and the more you know, the better your answers will be.
- Highlight all of your skills, including any technical, programming or design skills you might have.
- Talk to alumni or people at your university familiar with the program. They are a great source of information and can help you through the application process.
- Highlight strengths, passions and subject matter expertise in areas where other applicants don’t have any. Explain how this domain expertise can help you identify and solve big problems.
- What costs will I have to cover?
There is no tuition charged to participate in The Next 36. Generous donations of the individuals and foundations supporting the program cover the $30,000 cost per student. Students will be expected to cover their own travel to Toronto for the summer, and cover their summer living expenses including accommodations and food.
- Do I pay for my trip to Selection Weekend?
Finalists' meals and accommodation for National Selection Weekend are covered by The Next 36. Travel expenses (flight, train, bus) will be covered for those travelling from outside the Toronto – KW corridor. Other travel costs will be the responsibility of the individual finalists. If the cost of travel poses a financial hardship that would prevent your participation, please contact Alexandra McGregor, our Program Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Is there any financial assistance available?
The Next 36 offers selected bursaries to candidates with financial need to assist in covering costs associated with living in Toronto for the summer Entrepreneurship Institute.
- Where does funding for the program come from?
Funding for the operational costs of the program has been donated by a committed group of entrepreneurs, business leaders and National Partners who recognize the value of developing entrepreneurial talent in the next generation of Canadians and want to help teach and mentor you. They are committed to building Canada’s most impactful program for promising young entrepreneurial leaders. Equity funding for the ventures is provided through a fund backed by leading venture capital firms and entrepreneurs.
- How are teams formed?
Each entrepreneur in the 2016 Cohort of The Next 36 will choose his/her co-founders. The co-founders may be members of the 2016 Cohort, or, they could also be external to the program – someone you have worked with in the past or are working with now. The Next 36 will be working with university partners on campus meet-ups to help you identify potential founders.
After National Selection Weekend in December, you will have until mid-January to finalize your team and venture idea.
- What should I consider when identifying co-founders?
Based on the type of business you are considering pursuing, you should find complementary skills in cofounders that can assist in your business goals. If you are considering building a technology business, technical cofounders would be very valuable.
Also very important is culture and personality fit with the cofounders you are considering. You will be working very closely with your cofounders through the program and likely afterwards.
Venture Financing and IP
- How many founders are required per N36 venture?
There are no minimum or maximum limits, although an analysis of successful ventures suggests an optimal size of two or three founders.
- Who owns the Intellectual Property?
The venture. Upon incorporating, all ventures take ownership of the IP created by their venture. Full detail on IP ownership is provided to the entrepreneur in their participation agreement.
- What if the applicant already has a venture with an existing shareholders agreement?
It is highly recommended that ventures incorporate after being accepted into the program. Where this is not possible, all co-founder teams must agree to be governed by The Next 36 shareholder agreements. The venture must own all of their intellectual property.
- How much of the venture’s equity will I own?
Founders will own approximately 96% of their venture, split amongst the co-founders. Equity does not need to be split evenly, although anyone considered a co-founder must have a reasonable stake. The other approximate 4% is owned by The Next 36, which is a non-profit charity. In addition, 36 Investments Inc., the equity investor supporting all ventures, will provide up to $50K in equity funding during the program.
- How is my venture funded?
Ventures will be provided up to $50K in seed capital over the course of the program. There will be several funding windows throughout the program. The amount of funding available increases at each window while the number of ventures receiving funding will decrease. As is the case in venture capital, stronger teams will receive more funding.
- Who are the equity investors in The Next 36?
The investor group includes leading Canadian VC Relay Ventures as well as a number of successful Canadian business entrepreneurs.
- Where will I stay during the summer?
The 36 successful entrepreneurs (lead founders) in the 2016 cohort must live in Toronto for the summer phase of the program – from May 1 until August 18, 2016. It is highly recommended that any of your venture’s co-founders who are not in the core program, also live in Toronto. Much of the program´s learning will happen outside of the classroom, after hours. By living with your peers and co-founders, you will gain the most from your summer, devote more time to your new venture and form deeper bonds with others in The Next 36. You are responsible for your own accommodation. The Next 36 is able to help you secure a place in residence at The University of Toronto if you request this by March 1st.