media release

SFU establishes partnership with The Next 36

February 07, 2013

Ross MacDonald-Allan, SFU Beedie, 778.782.9492,
Derek Moscato, SFU Beedie, 778.782.5038,
Jon French, The Next 36, 647.259.8943 (ext 101),

Simon Fraser University has become an official academic partner of The Next 36, Canada’s leading undergraduate entrepreneurship development program. 

The partnership further solidifies SFU’s reputation as a Canadian leader in fostering entrepreneurship and innovation, and for developing the next generation of founders and leaders of new ventures. 

As an academic partner, SFU will support the organization’s vision of increasing Canadian prosperity through the creation of high impact entrepreneurs, and encourage its top student innovators to be part of The Next 36 program.

Thirty-six of Canada’s most promising undergraduate students are chosen annually from across the country to participate in the program, which provides its entrepreneurs with mentorship from some of Canada’s top business leaders, access to funding from venture capitalists, and academic instruction from some of the world’s leading business experts. 

“Our partnership with The Next 36 reflects SFU’s commitment to being an engaged university," says SFU President Andrew Petter. “SFU has a strong track record of engaging the entrepreneurial community, and this partnership will further enhance our ability to educate the next generation of Canada’s business leaders.”

Since the launch of The Next 36 in 2011, SFU has contributed two participants to the program. In addition to current Next 36 entrepreneur Michael Cheng, a student in the School of Interactive Arts and Technology (SIAT), Beedie School of Business undergraduate Jessica Fan used The Next 36 program to develop her business venture Penyo Pal, an app that teaches children to speak Mandarin.

“The Next 36 is thrilled to welcome Simon Fraser University as our newest academic partner,” said Claudia Hepburn, executive director & co-founder of The Next 36. 

"We have had strong SFU innovators in our program for two years running and expect this relationship to help us attract even more of British Columbia's most talented young entrepreneurs going forward." 

SFU’s partnership with The Next 36 reaffirms its commitment to the teaching and development of entrepreneurship. SFU has a number of existing entrepreneurship development initiatives:

Venture Connection provides support for student ventures with mentorship, networking opportunities and early-stage business incubators;

The Ken Spencer Entrepreneur Incubator provides business and applied sciences students with the skills, mentorship and resources to develop new ventures;

The Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator is an initiative fostering student start-ups addressing social and community challenges and opportunities.

For more information about The Next 36, visit 

Simon Fraser University is Canada's top-ranked comprehensive university and one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 120,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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