FedDev Ontario Invests in Training and Seed Financing for Start-ups

News Release

$3.57 million will allow up to 100 start-ups to participate in NEXT Canada programs, creating up to 450 jobs

November 30, 2017, Toronto, Ontario

Entrepreneurs thrive when they can access the right resources, mentorship and training opportunities needed to develop and market their products and services. Through NEXT Canada’s programming, entrepreneurs are acquiring skills and capital to build successful companies, which is crucial to Canada’s economic growth.

Today, Adam Vaughan, Member of Parliament for Spadina−Fort York, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario, announced over $3.57 million for NEXT Canada to deliver three programs that provide mentoring, training and seed funding for high-potential entrepreneurs. The announcement took place during the opening of National Selection Weekend, where finalists from across Canada compete for a spot in NEXT Canada’s signature program for student founders, Next 36.

The funding will support young entrepreneurs launching new start-ups, support founders of existing companies looking to scale-up and help entrepreneurs build the companies of the future by creating artificial intelligence-enabled businesses. Through this project, NEXT Canada expects to create up to 450 permanent, full-time jobs through the 100 businesses that are selected to participate.

NEXT Canada, through its programming (Next 36, Next Founders and NextAI), is helping to attract and retain entrepreneurs in southern Ontario, and is generating more opportunities for the development, collaboration and commercialization of innovative technologies. For more information on programming, including how to apply, please visit the NEXT Canada website.


“The Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, is proud to support NEXT Canada and the growth of Canada’s high-potential entrepreneurs. With this investment, we are leveraging the creative strength of Toronto, which is recognized as one of the 10 most innovative cities in the world, and we are nurturing the development of Canada’s most promising entrepreneurs and innovators.”

– Adam Vaughan, Member of Parliament for Spadina−Fort York

“Our Government is committed to supporting Canada’s innovators and helping them succeed on a global scale. This includes investing in programs that aim to turn innovative ideas into products, technologies and services that will ultimately strengthen our economy. This investment in NEXT Canada is one way we are advancing our vision of Canada as a global centre for innovation—by equipping Canada’s workers with the tools they need to succeed in the economy of the future.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“This funding will provide an essential boost to some of Canada’s most promising entrepreneurs. Thanks to the renewed support of the federal government and FedDev Ontario, these young innovators will have better access to the capital and the tools they need to build globally relevant businesses right here in Canada.”

– Sheldon Levy, CEO of NEXT Canada

Quick Facts

  • NEXT Canada, formerly The Next 36, is a not-for-profit business accelerator that supports the development of Canada’s most promising entrepreneurs and innovators with a combination of education, mentorship and access to capital.

  • FedDev Ontario’s non-repayable contribution of up to $3,571,483, under the Investing in Business Innovation Initiative, will support total project costs of up to $6.6 million. This project will leverage over $3 million in private funding.

  • Through FedDev Ontario’s investment, each NEXT Canada program participant will receive up to $30,000 in matching seed financing as well as access to training, mentoring and guidance from business experts.

  • NEXT Canada previously received $787,500 in FedDev Ontario funding in 2012 to support 71 entrepreneurs and create 36 new ventures. The project also leveraged over $6 million in private sector funding.

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