The Next Big Thing is a nonprofit foundation 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:
Business Foundations & 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 garment industry, working with the likes of Saks, Urban Outfitters, Nordstrom, Amazon, Vogue and Vice, generating over 45m in apparel sales.
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 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 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).
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 and 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.
Today, Christina leads Philanthropic Development at TNBT, while remaining engaged in the arts and culture community as a freelance art consultant and appraiser.
if you want to go fast, go alone
if you want to go far, go together
The Next Big Thing Foundation is able to create cool 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...