Next Canada names recent cohorts of rising stars for its three accelerators.

The 80 firms taking part in the most recent cohorts of Next AI, Next 36, and Next Founders have been revealed by Next Canada, a non-profit organisation that offers support programmes to Canadian business owners.

You can find the complete list of all 80 startups here.

Next AI

Next AI, as its name implies, focuses on startup CEOs in the field of artificial intelligence.

As a six-month founder and startup development acceleration network, Next Canada introduced Next AI in 2016. It offers assistance with both the creation of AI products and their market commercialization. Additionally, Next AI ventures are eligible to receive up to $100,000 from an outside fund at the end of the programme under a SAFE agreement.

This year’s Next AI businesses are creating products for a range of markets, including life sciences, corporate software, digital media, financial services, manufacturing, and e-commerce, using AI as their primary technology.

Blue Guardian, one of the firms taking part in this year’s cohort of Next AI, uses AI to spot early indications of mental health problems in young people. A $22,500 prize was recently awarded to Blue Guardian at The DMZ’s Black Innovation Summit in April.

Other startups include Yuko AI, which is meant to help medical professionals manage skin diseases. At Startupfest 2022, Yuko AI took home the Next AI Top Startup Award.

Next AI is released in two phases between March and August. The first few months of Next AI are devoted to founder development, during which time each participant’s performance is evaluated in order to advance to phase two, which is more concerned with product development, market validation, and capital raising. In Toronto and Montreal, Next AI is typically presented in person. This year, the programme will be run in Toronto using a hybrid approach with a focus on in-person participation. Startups in Montréal that are “far enough” along in the development process may be asked to participate online, visiting the Next AI Montréal location just for particular events.

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Next 36

This year, Next Canada reported that its entrepreneurship training programme for college students and new grads, Next 36, had enrolled 43 founders who were responsible for 22 enterprises.

The programme is divided into two sections, similar to Next AI. Next 36 has completed its remote phase, which lasted from mid-January to the end of April. It is currently beginning its in-person phase, which will last from May through September. This enables business owners to finish their school year in the winter and spring before devoting themselves fully to their work throughout the summer.

No direct money is given by Next 36. As an alternative, it gives founders the chance to pitch to investors and access to their network.

This year’s Next 36 businesses, including those in the proptech, sustainable fashion, tourism, and agriculture sectors, are providing solutions for a variety of industries.

For instance, Wicked Rose makes sportswear for female martial artists that is intended to improve performance and increase comfort while training. Another is The Kind Company, which is creating a platform with the objective of increasing charitable donations through regular customer spending.

Next Founders

Next This year there are 14 companies in Canada’s Next Founders programme for growth-stage founders.

Up to 20 founders of “high-growth ventures” are accepted each year by Next Founders, who then offers them access to investors and the chance to pitch to them while also educating them about being entrepreneurs.

The firm Sleepout, which sells transportable blackout curtains, is among the Next Founders 2023 lineup of companies. In 2021, the 25 percent ownership stake in Sleepout was acquired by Canadian mattress retailer Sleep Country for $500,000 CAD.

Along with Handld, an on-demand handyman service, this year’s cohort also includes Blair & Jack, a line of men’s skincare products developed by plastic surgeon Bimpe Ayeni.

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