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.
Applications for the next cohort open: November 2, 2020
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.
IN-KIND PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Access to leading AI technologies and legal assistance through in-kind partners like NVIDIA, AWS and Osler.
Build your venture surrounded by other innovators with office space located in Toronto or Montréal.
Join a community of 600+ alumni and gain access to coaching, resources and big impact ventures.
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:
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
2020 PROGRAM TIMELINE
Eligibility and Application
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.
What are the individual requirements for co-founders?
We welcome applicants of all ages, from any educational background. Impress us with your solution, your passion and your skills. Each program participant is required to have, or intend to have, a minimum of 10% of equity.
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 founder matching platform to connect with other like-minded peers to build your co-founding team.
Can I get into the program as a Sole Founder?
You are much less likely to be accepted to the program as a Sole 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 founder matching 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.
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. However, in light of concerns re: COVID-19, we are exploring digital and virtual delivery methods to protect the safety of our entrepreneurs, staff and community. All in-person programming and events have been postponed until further notice. Read more about our policies and protocols here.
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.
Where will I live during the program?
Each participant is responsible for their own housing for the duration of the program. At this time, it is recommended you stay in your current city of residence and participate in the program remotely.
What language is Next AI delivered in?
The official working language for Next AI is English. However, Next AI – Montréal will accept business material in either language.
Funding and IP
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: $25,000 of initial funding is provided as investment on a SAFE from NEXT Canada with a $2M cap.
Montréal: $25,000 of initial funding is provided by Next AI – Montréal as non-dilutive grant funding.
Both locations: Up to an additional $125,000 is available for top performing teams on a SAFE agreement from NEXT Canada, no CAP at a 20% discount to next round.
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.