The Next Big Thing (TNBT) is a national charitable organization that empowers youth with the tools and skills they need to succeed as entrepreneurs. TNBT was founded by serial entrepreneurs Meredith Powell and Ryan Holmes in 2013, as a means to pay it forward to the next generation of entrepreneurs.
The TNBT community includes world recognized entrepreneurs, influencers, leaders, and investors who share our passion for youth entrepreneurship and innovation. Our young innovators are creating impact all over the world from Vancouver to Moncton to San Diego to Nairobi. Since 2014 we have supported 34 entrepreneurs, all under 25, who have launched 23 ventures and have raised $2.8M in capital.
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.
The TNBT Fellowship brings together hands-on training, coaching, and professional services to accelerate youth entrepreneurs aged 17-25 in developing their ventures. Youth are connected with relevant mentors, learn essential technical and business skills, and are introduced to a wide network of investment and business community leaders. Learn more about the program and the current TNBT Fellows, and how YOU can be part of it at the May 4th Open House at HQ2!
Next cohort begins September 2016 in Vancouver.
Submissions open May 2nd, 2016.
Get plugged in to an unparalleled network of renowned founders, Angels, VCs & connectors.
Throughout the program, each venture receives ongoing one-on one-coaching from the TNBT team in the areas of marketing, branding, and staffing to name a few.
Ventures are also matched up with subject matter experts and business leaders from a wide variety of organizations, like Hootsuite, Vision Critical, Native Shoes, Microsoft, and EA.
Personalized learning & goal setting are key to real-world success and are key to our Fellowship. Each venture will receive guidance in best business practices ranging from financial management to marketing to investor relations to personal brand.
Unparalleled education resources are made available to Fellows, such as a lean entrepreneur accelerator program with Launch Academy and technical training with Lighthouse Labs.
TNBT provides access to state-of-the-art open concept, Canadiana-styled offices for the duration of the program. Fellows also have access to invaluable pro bono hours with 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), & Brix Media.
But wait we got more! Aside from working with awesome people and being in a kick ass office, each venture receives an invaluable amount of perks including:
Hear straight from the fellows
Take a look!
Is your startup canada's next Big thing?
Are you an innovator, youth entrepreneur, rulebreaker or changemaker? We would love to hear from you.
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, Jenna Earnshaw, Ryan Clarke
Sarah Main, Brent Hussey
Kristoffer Vik Hansen, Josh Andrews, Alexey Indeev
Michael Worthington, Layne Lafrance
Aidan and Maya 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 Jennings, Program Director
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.
Christina Hirukawa, Director of Development
Christina is a non-profit communications and development specialist, experienced 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 corporate partnerships with the likes of 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, communications, and partnership building. She has spent the past decade creating content for top pediatric 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 helps 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 kick ass video library of Fireside Chats & 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.
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 organizations for sharing our big vision.