The Next 36, a Canadian non-profit organization focused on supporting young entrepreneurs, has rebranded as NEXT Canada. The initiative is intended to help expand the organization’s scope, NEXT Canada said. To lead this effort, NEXT Canada has appointed Razor Suleman as its new CEO. Suleman founded and led Achievers, a venture-backed employee engagement platform acquired last year. He is currently a partner at Canadian alternative investment firm Alignvest Management Corp. Earlier in 2016, NEXT Canada launched the Young Founders Fund in partnership with BDC Capital and other investors.
The Next 36 Becomes NEXT Canada, Appoints Razor Suleman as CEO
Organization Dedicated to Development of Canada’s Top Entrepreneurs Expands Mission to Increase National Prosperity
TORONTO, ON–(Marketwired – September 06, 2016) – The Next 36, Canada’s premier program for promising young entrepreneurs, has rebranded to NEXT Canada, a move that represents the organization’s expanding scope. At the helm of that expansion will be respected entrepreneur Razor Suleman, appointed today as CEO of NEXT Canada. Mr. Suleman joins Peter Carrescia, whose role evolves from Managing Director to President.
“I have known Razor for many years and I am very gratified that he has joined our organization,” said Reza Satchu, Founding Chairman, NEXT Canada. “With the support of many, we have grown from an idea to the premier destination for the nation’s most talented entrepreneurs. With Razor and Peter at the helm and a strong Board behind them, we are positioned to build on this momentum and establish NEXT Canada as a driving force for our national prosperity.”
NEXT Canada harnesses the potential of big ideas, and brings them to fruition on a global level through the mentorship, education and networking of our brightest entrepreneurs. The organization’s roots date back to 2010, when The Next 36 was founded by a visionary group of business leaders and academics. Since then, its graduates have created industry-changing startups such as Bridgit, Kira Talent, Nymi, Revlo and Thalmic Labs.
Razor Suleman is best known for founding Achievers, a human resources tech company that revolutionized employee engagement. It was backed most notably by VC firm Sequoia Capital and ultimately sold for $140 million in 2015. Mr. Suleman is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University’s School of Business and MIT’s Entrepreneurial Masters Program, and was named Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011. Like many Canadian entrepreneurs, he took his big idea to Silicon Valley to realize its full potential. However, Mr. Suleman believes that Canada is in a position to develop an ecosystem where home grown and global innovation can thrive.
“There is no shortage of entrepreneurial talent in Canada, but we need to develop a belief that we can build global, game-changing companies,” said Mr. Suleman. “In order to realize our own potential, we need to focus on having the best innovation community we can, making sure our brightest people have access to capital, and supporting the companies that we build. That is precisely what NEXT Canada’s programs will aim to accomplish.”
Reza Satchu, Tim Hodgson and Ajay Agrawal, co-founders of The Next 36, together with The Next 36 Board of Directors, led by co-chairs Anthony Lacavera, Chairman of Globalive Capital Corp and John Kelleher, Partner at McKinsey & Company, all remain highly committed to the evolution of the organization.
Ensuring that programs are built to achieve NEXT Canada’s global vision will be Peter Carrescia, who transitions from the role of Managing Director to President. Before joining The Next 36, he held senior roles at OMERS Ventures, VenGrowth Capital Partners, and various technology companies, including IBM and Microsoft.
“There has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur in Canada, and programs like Next 36 and Next Founders help build the experience, judgement, and critical network needed for success,” said Mr. Carrescia. “We look forward to unveiling an ambitious plan to further develop this ecosystem to ensure that entrepreneurs from Canada and abroad can realize the potential of their big ideas here on Canadian soil.”
About NEXT Canada
NEXT Canada’s mission is to increase national prosperity by providing an ecosystem to support the country’s most exceptional entrepreneurs and innovators. We believe in founder development — a unique blend of mentorship, education and networking that inspires driven Canadians to disrupt industries and build globally relevant companies. We believe that harnessing the potential of big thinking Canadians is key to success on a global stage.
NEXT Canada evolved from The Next 36, which was founded in 2010 by a visionary group of business leaders and academics and was championed by Founding Patrons W. Galen Weston, Paul Desmarais, Sr. and Jimmy Pattison. NEXT Canada currently delivers two programs: Next 36 and Next Founders.
For more information, please visit: www.nextcanada.com
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Photo courtesy of Achievers