December 4, 2023

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There’s no query that COVID-19 has made issues tougher for entrepreneurs seeking to develop a enterprise, however the pandemic didn’t get in the way in which of one among 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 passed off 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 style, and diagnostics.

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

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

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“Confronted with a worldwide pandemic, we turned to know-how and we persevered. We selected to ship our packages nearly, 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 turbines for distant communities by repurposing electrical automobile batteries into sustainable vitality storage, was chosen by the viewers because the RBC Individuals’s Alternative 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 will 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 development, competitiveness, and prosperity by 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, training, mentorship, and networking with a view 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 ready the place I can provide 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 technology of entrepreneurs develop their companies.”

Satchu’s hope is that over time he may help encourage extra younger, proficient and promising Canadian entrepreneurs in order that they’ll create companies which might be useful 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 an element in serving to the following technology of innovators.”

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

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


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