The Next Big Thing is a non profit that empowers Next Gen entrepreneurs
with the peer & mentor network, hands-on learning, work space, tools & technology they need to succeed.
Founded by serial entrepreneurs Meredith Powell and Ryan Holmes in 2013, TNBT's community includes
world-recognized investors, influencers & founders who share their passion for innovation.
As seen in TechVibes, BetaKit, CBC, CTV,
Global TV, Globe & Mail, Financial Post, Forbes,
Vancouver Sun & Toronto Star
NATIONAL FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
TNBT's Fellowship is Canada's premiere program for Next Gen innovators, builders, makers and doers.
In 2014, TNBT accelerated 10 youth-founded startups over a six month intensive Fellowship program.
In 2015, we've doubled our intake of Fellows and offered consecutive full-time three month programs:
the Venture Growth Track & Investment Track out of our Vancouver HQ.
Upon completing Business Foundations, Fellows pitch their startups at our annual Showcase in front of
an exclusive audience of business leaders and investors. Selected founders graduate in to the Investment Track.
Next cohort begins September 2016 in both Vancouver & Toronto.
Submissions open May 2016.
Get plugged in to an unparalleled network of renowned founders, Angels, VCs & connectors.
Our mentor community includes accomplished artists, investors, scientists, educators, developers & business specialists.
Connect with like-minded peers through VIP events & activities.
no-strings-attached work space & support services
TNBT provides access to state-of-the-art work & meeting space to Fellows during the program.
Invaluable Pro Bono Hours are made available to you from top legal counsel, accounting, investment & business management pros among others, from national partners such as Deloitte Canada, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt and National Research Council (NRC).
experiential learning &
lean startup education
Personalized learning & goal setting are key to real-world success.
You'll receive guidance in cutting-edge best business practices from leaders who've done it before.
Unparalleled education resources are made available to Fellows, such as a lean entrepreneur curriculum and personalized coaching.
Meet our 2015 Fellows
TNBT Fellows come from a diverse background of experiences, interests and aptitudes.
However, they share common traits such as drive, resilience, passion and courage.
Jordan Romero-Porter, Hilton Routley, Matt Stefan
Kirill Polzounov, Rishabh Chaudhary
Sarah Main, Brent Hussey
Kristoffer Vik Hansen, Josh Andrews, Alexey Indeev
Michael Worthington, Layne Lafrance
Aidan and Maya (absent) Gay
MEET the tnbt family
Ryan Holmes, Co-founder
Ryan Holmes is the CEO of Hootsuite.
Thought leader, dog lover and serial entrepreneur, he has redefined the face of social media – bringing Twitter, Facebook and other social networks out of the dorm room and into the boardroom.
Ryan has grown Hootsuite from a lean startup to a leader in social media with over 11M users. A college drop-out, he started a paintball company & pizza restaurant before founding Invoke Media, the company that developed Hootsuite in 2009.
Meredith Powell, Co-founder
Meredith Powell is a serial entrepreneur and Next Gen innovation and engagement specialist.
She bootstrapped brand management and business strategy agencies in the fashion industry, working with the likes of Saks, Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, Amazon, Vogue and Vice, showing at NY Fashion Week, Sundance, and Coachella, and dressing top celebs & influencers across North America.
Prior to founding TNBT, Meredith launched the world's largest B2B ecomm fashion wholesale platform. Today she pays it forward as a dedicated startup mentor, advisor & consultant, as well as activist on behalf of women and youth in entrepreneurship & technology.
Marc Kielburger, Board of Directors
Marc Kielburger is a social entrepreneur, New York Times best-selling author and gifted orator.
Along with his brother Craig, Marc is co-founder of Free The Children, social enterprise Me to We, and We Day. We Day reaches more than 5.7 million tv viewers and has more than 3.3 million followers on Facebook, making it one of the largest charitable causes in the world.
Marc is author of 11 books. He's shared the stage with Nobel Peace laureates, heads of state, celebrities, rock bands, and icons, inc former president Bill Clinton, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Malala and Sir Richard Branson.
John Ruffolo, Board of Directors
John Ruffolo is the Chief Executive Officer of OMERS Ventures, the venture arm of OMERS and one of Canada's most powerful venture capital organizations.
In addition, John is the Senior Managing Director, Innovation with OMERS Strategic Investments. Passionate about giving back, he serves as a board member and committee chair at numerous organizations inc the David Suzuki Foundation, Communitech, TNBT, Hootsuite and the Art Gallery of Ontario. He is also an active member of YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization).
Chad Bayne, Board of Directors
Chad Bayne is a partner of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, practising corporate and securities law with an emphasis on mergers & acquisitions and corporate finance in the tech sector. Chad advises Canadian emerging and later-stage companies operating in the IT, digital media, biotech, cleantech & industrial tech sectors as well as the VC funds and investors that finance them.
He is a prominent figure in the Canadian technology ecosystem through his involvement in C100, CIX, Rotman’s Creative Destruction Lab, oneeleven, Highline, the Next 36, and of course The Next Big Thing. He was named by Lexpert®’s “Rising Stars: Leading Lawyer Under 40” in 2012 and a “Lawyer to Watch” in the Lexpert® Guide to the Leading Corporate Lawyers in Canada in 2013.
Joanna is an innovation & enterprise strategist, dedicated to creating impact in the world through business and entrepreneurship.
She was a founding member of the Centre for Social Innovation & Impact Investing and co-creator of the award winning Coast Capital Savings Innovation Hub. She has curated the annual Propelling Social Ventures conference, led a multimedia design startup, and works closely with early stage entrepreneurs to amplify the impact of their ventures.
Today, Joanna acts as Managing Director, as well as remains involved with delivering entrepreneurial curriculum focused on impact at UBC.
Jacqueline has cut her teeth working with some of the most innovative and high growth companies in the worlds of apparel and tech including Aritzia, Lululemon, Microsoft and Indochino.
Passionate about mentorship and executive coaching around go-to-market & growth strategies, Jacqueline is also Co-founder of Bowen Intimates.
Jacqueline leads TNBT's Fellowship programming, as well as provides support to our portfolio of Alumni companies.
Director of Development
Christina is a non-profit communications and development specialist, with six years of experience in fundraising and investment development in the Arts and Culture sector.
She has an MA in Art History & Design and a strong knowledge base of creative industries and corporate philanthropy in Canada and the UK. Christina has developed a number of corporate partnerships, such as Barclay’s, Vodaphone, and Sage.
Christina manages Philanthropic Development at TNBT, while remaining engaged in the arts and culture community as a freelance art consultant and appraiser.
Contact Christina here.
Community Development Manager, Toronto
Altaira specializes in research, communication, and partnership building. She has spent the past decade creating content for top paediatric health institutions across Canada, including The Hospital for Sick Children, and the Child and Family Research Institute.
She is the Host and Organizer of the Toronto Chapter of CreativeMornings, acting as a community builder who strives to help attendees see the creativity innate in everyone.
Altaira leads TNBT’s community development in Toronto, while also working as a freelance writer and consultant.
Videographer - Volunteer Position
Looking for a videographer(s) to help TNBT develop its kicks ass video library of Fireside Chats and Spark Sessions with Canada's leading entrepreneurs and investors. The videographer(s) will support the team in the development, capturing, editing, sound and post production of videos for the organization.
Graphic Designer - Volunteer Position
Looking for a project based graphic designer to join our team to support our efforts developing TNBT infographics, annual report, and social media and web visual assets. Lots of fun perks working with a driven team to create a brighter future through youth entrepreneurship!
if you want to go fast, go alone
if you want to go far, go together
The Next Big Thing is able to create valuable programs for Next Gen entrepreneurs
with the support of partners at some pretty amazing companies.
We're moving fast and we intend to go very far. Together.
Deepest thanks to the following companies for sharing our big vision.