AI IS CHANGING OUR WORLD. ARE YOU READY TO BUILD SOMETHING IMPACTFUL?

Next AI is a world class program for artificial intelligence based ventures and technology commercialization.

 

We identify talented idea or early-stage teams with ambitious solutions and leverage Canada’s leadership position in AI to provide them with the capital, mentorship, education and network to disrupt industries.

 

Next AI is delivered on two campuses: Toronto and Montréal. Next AI – Montréal is delivered in partnership with HEC Montréal.

YOU’LL BE IN

GOOD COMPANY

WHAT YOU'LL GAIN

WORLD CLASS CURRICULUM

Receive structured education from global faculty and AI experts in two streams: technical and business.

TOP AI SCIENTISTS AND CORPORATE MENTORS

Access to a curated network of business mentors, scientists-in-residence, and advisors.

INVESTMENT TO SCALE YOUR BUSINESS

Toronto: Up to $ 125,000 in venture funding on a post-money SAFE.
Montreal: Up to $ 25,000  in non-dilutive funding.

See FAQs for all funding terms.

IN-KIND PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Access to leading AI technologies and legal assistance through in-kind partners like NVIDIA, AWS and Osler.

CO-WORKING SPACE

Build your venture surrounded by other innovators with office space located in Toronto or Montréal.

ALUMNI COMMUNITY

Join a community of 600+ alumni and gain access to coaching, resources and big impact ventures.

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WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

Both Toronto and Montréal provide a hot spring of local talent, global experts, and top-tier researchers. Over the course of the program, Next AI entrepreneurs will receive invaluable technical and business education from a community of Canadians and world renowned leaders including:

Toronto

MACHINE LEARNING

GRAHAM TAYLOR

University of Guelph; CIFAR; Google

COMPUTER VISION

SANJA FIDLER

University of Toronto

STRATEGY AND INNOVATION

AJAY AGRAWAL

Rotman School of Management

DATA DRIVEN DECISION MAKING

MARA LEDERMAN

Rotman School of Management

ECONOMICS OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP

REZA SATCHU

Alignvest Management Corporation

STRATEGIC EXPERIMENTATION, CROWDFUNDING AND THE BLOCKCHAIN

CHRISTIAN CATALINI

MIT

Montréal

REINFORCEMENT LEARNING

JOELLE PINEAU

Facebook AI Research Lab

DEEP LEARNING

YOSHUA BENGIO

Université de Montréal; Mila

AGILE PROJECT MANAGEMENT

ANN-FRANCES CAMERON

HEC Montréal

STARTUP SCROLLING

ALICIA DESANTOLA

Harvard University

COMPUTER VISION

CHISTOPHER PAL

Polytechnique Montréal

NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSING

JACKIE CHEUNG

McGill University

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Next AI runs two concurrent cohorts per year in our two locations, Montreal and Toronto, over the course of seven months.

Applications Open

October 19, 2021

Deadline To Apply

December 12, 2021

Program Runs

March - September 2022

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MEET INTUITIVE 

Oscar by Intuitive is a smart garbage detection system that uses computer vision and machine learning to nudge users to sort their waste in the correct bin.

 

“I expected Next AI to be the best incubator in Toronto, but it turned out to be the best in the world. A lot of incubators focus on company development and networking, which Next AI does very aggressively. However, other incubators often forget the most vital element that drives the company to be successful: the founder.”
– Hassan Murad, Co-founder, Intuitive Inc. (Next AI, 2017)

WHO WE'RE LOOKING FOR

Next AI accepts idea or early stage ventures that are passionate about solving global problems by leveraging the power of AI. We are looking for exceptional teams that are committed to building and executing powerful AI enabled solutions.

We’re looking for teams comprised of:

Minimum one business and one technical co-founder

Combined strong backgrounds in relevant business and technical fields

Deep domain expertise

Relevant work and entrepreneurial experiences

TALENT PLATFORM

The Next AI founder and project database is an initiative designed to help founders find talent and accelerate the creation of Canadian AI startups.

While the platform is a perfect tool to build/strengthen startups applying for the Next AI program, this use is not exclusive. In other words, you are welcome to participate in the platform even if you do not intend to apply in 2022.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

See below for a list of commonly asked questions about the program. If you still have Qs, contact us. Or, book a meeting with one of our Alumni Ambassadors here.

Eligibility and Application

I am not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, can I still apply?

Unfortunately not.

However, if you are an international student looking to apply for Permanent Residence after university, we’ll accept a notarized statement to this effect.

If you plan on providing a notarized statement, please contact us before starting your application.

 

Can Next AI help me with my Start-Up Visa?

No, at this time Next AI does not support international applicants.

 

Who are our future founders?

Our future founders are applicants of any age, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, members of cultural and ethnic communities, and any academic background. They will surprise us with their solution, their passion and their entrepreneurial skills in AI. Each participant in the program is required to have, or intended to have, a minimum of 10% of equity of the company.

 

What are the team requirements?

An ideal team would have at least two participants, a CEO and CTO. In all cases, the team should display convincing strength in three areas: technical skills, business acumen and subject matter expertise. 

 

What are the venture requirements?

The program is designed for early-stage/pre-seed ventures. Our ideal candidate is a team that found a problem-solution fit, has a prototype and early traction in the form of a pilot, early revenue or funding. We will consider ideas with high impact potential.

 

I have a great idea, how do I find a team?

You can use the Talent Platform to connect with other like-minded peers to build your co-founding team. 

 

Can I get into the program as a Solo Founder?

You are much less likely to be accepted to the program as a Solo Founder. Since our program is structured to accelerate the development of both the technical and business sides of the venture, we typically look for ventures with a strong business lead and a strong technical lead.

If you are looking to grow your co-founding team, visit the Talent Platform.

 

My venture already has equity funding. Am I eligible for Next AI?

Each application will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Contact us to learn more. 

 

Should I apply for the technical or business stream? 

Each team must have at least one technical stream founder with deep knowledge or experience with an AI-related field through education or work. Evidence of this knowledge is submitted as part of the application through your resume, GitHub, publications, etc.

Technical applicants should have a solid foundation of probability and/or statistics, linear algebra, calculus, data structures and algorithms in order to follow the Masters level technical curriculum delivered. We also look for programming experience to apply the learnings from the courses.

Applicants not meeting these criteria should apply to the business stream.

Program Details

What is NEXT Canada doing to address COVID-19?

At NEXT, it is our mission to support our community of entrepreneurs in any way we can. As such, we are putting precautions in place to both protect our community, and continue to deliver on our mission, albeit remotely in the near term.  Read more about our policies and protocols here.

 

What are the costs to participate in the program?

There is no cost to participate in Next AI. The program is delivered by NEXT Canada, a non-profit charity supported through the generosity of Canadian business leaders, entrepreneurs and government partners. Next AI – Montréal is delivered in partnership with HEC Montréal. 

 

What is the time commitment?

You must commit 100% to the Next AI program. When you are not participating in Next AI training and development you will be working full-time on your AI idea/venture.

 

Do I have to be in Toronto or Montréal to participate?

This program is traditionally delivered in person in Toronto and Montreal.

In Toronto, the program will be held under a hybrid approach, with a focus on in-person participation.

In Montréal, while in-person participation will be the most common format, selected teams who are far enough along in their stage of development, may be invited to participate remotely, only coming to Montreal for specific events. You will be able to indicate your format preference in the application form, although this does not guarantee that the program will make an offer corresponding to this preference.

Contact your site recruitment lead (Toronto, Montreal) to learn more about participation requirements.

Why is Next AI the best program for ventures using AI to solve problems in the supply chain?

Next AI has created a specific offering for supply chain ventures including access to mentors with subject matter expertise, and dedicated classes and events, which will help you better position your solution.

 

Can I continue to work at my job while I participate in the program?

No, all participants must be 100% committed to the program and their idea/venture for the duration of the program.

 

What language is Next AI delivered in? 

The official working language for Next AI is English. However, in Montréal participants can be served in French and in English. They can submit their business material in French or in English.

Funding and IP

Who owns the intellectual property developed within the Next AI program?

IP created during the Next AI program belongs to the venture and should be assigned as such.

 

My university owns part of my IP through my PhD research. Am I eligible to apply to Next AI?

All IP used by the team within their venture has to either be owned by the venture or the company needs a license to use it.

 

Do you take any equity for the funding? What are the terms?

Toronto: Next AI – Toronto ventures can receive up to $25,000 on a $2mm cap post-money SAFE and are eligible for up to an additional $100,000 in follow-on investment on a $4mm cap post-money SAFE. 

Montréal: Each Next AI – Montreal venture will receive up to $25,000 in non-dilutive funding, depending on the format they are following the program in and given that minimum program criteria are met. The program also commits to exposing ventures to a curated investor community that may offer to invest directly in ventures.

 

How can we get funded after the program ends?

Top VCs and investors from across North America are involved with NEXT Canada. Many ventures have secured follow-on funding through the Next AI investor network.