Introducing NEXT Canada's 2021 cohort


Over the past 6 months, NEXT Canada’s exceptional entrepreneurs in our Next 36, Next AI and Next Founders cohorts have been busily developing, building and growing their ventures.


Now, as our 2021 programs come to a close, we invite you to celebrate the graduation of our 55+ ventures at our annual Venture Day. The event will feature pitches from some of the top companies emerging from the 2021 cohorts, feedback from a panel of experts, a fireside discussion with Michael Katchen, and more.  See the full agenda here.


Tuesday, September 21



2:00 – 4:00 p.m. (ET)




From Complex Software Development to Simple Wealth Creation

In Conversation with Michael Katchen

The financial services industry is experiencing its most rapid rate of innovation in the past half-century – and experts predict we are just getting started. Digitization and automation are at the core of this innovation cycle. What new opportunities will open up in the financial services sector over the next five years that do not exist today? Which will be the biggest opportunities? What innovations are more feasible in Canada than in other jurisdictions due to this country’s regulatory environment?  Professor Ajay Agrawal, Co-founder of NEXT Canada, will explore these questions with Michael Katchen, Founder and CEO of Wealthsimple. 

Founder & CEO, Wealthsimple

Co-founder & Academic Director, NEXT Canada


We’ve assembled a panel of three of Canada’s most successful and recognizable entrepreneurs. Our expert panel will hear pitches from 12 of our graduating ventures and provide their feedback through a discussion led by Professor Agrawal.

Founder & Chairman, Globalive Capital

Founding Partner, Two Small Fish Ventures

Founder & CEO, Purpose Financial


With more than 55 graduate ventures coming through our program this year (and another 25+ through the Next AI – Montreal program) we had a plethora of choices as to who might be invited to be part of our “on stage pitches”. Meet the pitching graduate ventures from this year’s programs below.

Next 36 Ventures

Next AI Ventures

Next Founders Ventures

The talent in this year’s graduating class is exceptional and worthy of celebration. Please visit our 2021 Venture Directory to explore all the ventures coming out of our program – our interactive directory allows you to hear from each venture, sort them by industry, program and stage – as well as booking a follow-up meeting. We welcome you to get to know the class of 2021.


2:00 p.m.

Opening Remarks


2:05 p.m.

Fireside Chat


2:20 p.m.

Next 36 Pitches & Feedback

2:50 p.m.

Next AI Pitches & Feedback


3:15 p.m.

Next Founders Pitches & Feedback


3:40 p.m.


3:50 p.m.

Closing Remarks


4:00 p.m.

Event Concludes


All award winners will be announced at Venture Day on September 21.


The winners will be invited to attend a virtual luncheon with NEXT Leadership, donors, and our corporate partners. There, we will celebrate the accomplishments of our award winners while giving them an opportunity to reflect on their experience in the program.


Our award winners will be featured through our social media posts, and in our NEXT Canada publication GRIT.

Satchu Prize – Awarded in recognition of an Individuals outstanding performance in the program and a demonstrated potential to lead Canada’s next generation of high-impact entrepreneurs.


Hepburn Valedictorian Selected by fellow entrepreneurs as the individual who elevated the experience and contributed the most value to the 2021 cohort of NEXT Canada.


The W. Galen Weston Top Entrepreneur Award Celebrates the top entrepreneur of the 2021 Next Founders program, as voted by their peers and in recognition of venture achievement and a demonstrated potential to lead Canada’s next generation of high-impact entrepreneurs.


Scotiabank Outstanding Contribution to Society Award – For a venture that has made the most significant contribution to promoting social and/or environmental change to our society.


EY Women in Tech Award – Celebrates high-potential female entrepreneurs building businesses within the tech community and supporting their peers through mentoring, investing, donating, etc.


Geoff Taber Award – Honours the late Geoff Taber’s memory in recognition of his many contributions to NEXT Canada since inception and to the Canadian tech community at large. Geoff was a true champion of the program from the beginning and made a lasting impact on NEXT Canada. The award recognizes outstanding alumni achievement and venture success.


Tim Price Alumni Award –  Recognizes the remarkable things that NEXT Canada’s alumni are doing by giving back to the alumni community and making Canada a better and more prosperous country.


RBC People’s Choice Award – Voted on by the audience for the top pitch of the day.



NEXT Canada has been able to provide a transformative experience to young innovators due in large part to the generosity of our supporters. With great thanks, we recognize our government and corporate partners:

Transformational Supporters

Visionary Supporters

Pillar Supporters

Innovator Supporters

Champion Supporters