May 18, 2024

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There’s no query that COVID-19 has made issues more durable for entrepreneurs seeking to develop a enterprise, however the pandemic didn’t get in the best way of certainly one of Canada’s largest demo and pitch occasions from going down throughout a digital gathering.

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NEXT Enterprise Day encourages NEXT Canada entrepreneurs to pitch their startup concepts to an viewers of enterprise leaders, companions, alumni and traders. The digital occasion, which occurred in early October, concluded this yr’s NEXT 36, NEXT AI and NEXT Founders accelerator packages and showcased 12 out of 80 graduating ventures spanning AI, finance, safety, psychological well being, cleantech, sustainable trend, and diagnostics.

NEXT Canada was based by entrepreneur and investor Reza Satchu, who has had success managing a fleet of companies. As we speak, he runs Alignvest Administration Company, a personal funding agency primarily based in Toronto.

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Reza Satchu mentioned he didn’t need COVID-19 to dampen the day, so he and his staff improvised.

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“Confronted with a worldwide pandemic, we turned to know-how and we persevered. We selected to ship our packages just about, supporting and accelerating 80 of Canada’s most promising entrepreneurs.”

This yr’s Enterprise Day tech startups included Furnishr, a furnishing software program platform, and MinervaAI, an automatic answer aimed to supply sooner, smarter, and extra compliant monetary crime investigations.

As a part of the occasion, NEXT Canada introduced a number of award winners. Second Expertise, an organization that’s changing diesel mills for distant communities by repurposing electrical automobile batteries into sustainable power storage, was chosen by the viewers because the RBC Individuals’s Selection Award.

“NEXT Canada is on a mission to encourage extra Canadians to give attention to entrepreneurship, and the Enterprise Day occasion is simply the tip of the iceberg of what we may be doing to facilitate that,” mentioned Satchu.

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The group, which promotes and helps the success of Canada’s roughly 3.5 million entrepreneurs, is hoping to foster financial progress, competitiveness, and prosperity via entrepreneurship.

NEXT Canada, which Satchu based in 2010, gives three packages: NEXT 36, NEXT Founders and NEXT AI.  NEXT Canada’s packages present entrepreneurs with entry to capital, schooling, mentorship, and networking as a way to construct and scale an organization.

As an educator, Satchu desires to assist extra younger entrepreneurs obtain their goals. Along with his work with NEXT Canada, he’s additionally a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Enterprise Faculty, the place he teaches two programs: Launching Expertise Ventures and The Entrepreneurial Supervisor. Earlier than founding NEXT Canada, Satchu taught on the College of Toronto for seven years.

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“I’m lucky to be able the place I may give again to Canada, a rustic that has helped me a lot. That’s the reason I created NEXT Canada and why I proceed to focus my efforts on serving to the following era of entrepreneurs develop their companies.”

Satchu’s hope is that over time he will help encourage extra younger, proficient and promising Canadian entrepreneurs in order that they’ll create companies which might be helpful for the nation, and hopefully make an impression globally, too.

“NEXT Canada desires to show entrepreneurship as a way of life and my hope is to play a component in serving to the following era of innovators.”

One of many methods Canada will help entrepreneurs is by making a extra strong enterprise capital neighborhood.

“COVID has introduced so many extra uncertainties, particularly on the subject of funding,” Satchu mentioned. “With out funding assist for entrepreneurs, individuals from all over the world will fail to take discover of the innovation and creativity that’s been taking place in Canada.  We want bigger enterprise capital sources.  We want extra traders who know what it takes to assist an entrepreneur construct a billion greenback plus enterprise. If we will do this, individuals will begin taking a look at Canada as a spot the place entrepreneurs can construct substantial companies.”

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