Six students named among Canada’s Next 36

Six Western students from three faculties have been selected as part of ‘The Next 36’ – a search for Canada’s most promising and innovative undergraduates.

Mallorie Brodie (Richard Ivey School of Business), Lauren Hasegawa (Faculty of Engineering), Ali Jiwani (Ivey), Bianca Lopes (Faculty of Social Science), Owen Ou (Ivey) and Steven Wellman (Ivey) will be given the academic foundation, practical skills, role models and networks to become Canada’s next generation of entrepreneurial leaders, all as part of the program.

“These kinds of co-curricular programs are essential to educating future leaders and it’s great to see another strong showing from Western students among this year’s Next 36 cohort,” said Amit Chakma, Western president. “It speaks well to the entrepreneurial spirit of our students and I wish them all the best for success in the months ahead.”

Championed by founding patrons W. Galen Weston, Paul Desmarais Sr., Jimmy Pattison and a long list of prominent Canadian business leaders, The Next 36 is described as “the most intense, hot-house effort to force grow entrepreneurs ever attempted in Canada.”  It has partnerships with Ernst & Young, Rogers Communications, MaRS Discovery District, TD Bank Group and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.

The successful candidates were chosen from a group of 70 finalists representing 19 universities, who had flown from across Canada and from as far away as Singapore to compete for a spot in the program’s National Selection Weekend in Toronto. In addition to a rigorous selection process, finalists heard from iconic Canadian business leaders and entrepreneurs such as Jordan Banks, BA’90, Facebook Canada managing director, and Michael Lee-Chin, Portland Holdings Inc. founder and chairman.

Canadian students from 51 universities applied to the program and the selected candidates represent 15 schools. The Next 36 is open to students from all academic backgrounds, and this year’s candidates come from disciplines including, commerce, engineering, health sciences, 3-D animation and interactive arts and technology. The group includes social and serial entrepreneurs, academic award winners, campus leaders, accomplished artists, scientists, engineers and a former National Ballet dancer.

“Canada’s top students apparently have a huge appetite for challenge and discomfort,” said Claudia Hepburn, The Next 36 executive director and co-founder. “They are hungry for mentorship from great entrepreneurs and ambitious in their goals for innovation and impact. This intensely challenging weekend has laid the foundation for eight months of transformative growth.”