Big names are behind "The Next Big Thing," an accelerator (of sorts) that is exclusively targeting young entrepreneurs.
Spearheaded by Ryan Holmes, the founder and chief executive officer of Vanouver-based tech titan HootSuite, and Meredith Powell, a serial entrepreneur and creator Founders Collective.
According to them, TNBT will empower the next generation of leaders, helping them grow, learn, and "reimagine what it means to succeed."
Applications are open now until December 15. Next year, 10 innovators between the ages of 18 and 23 will be selected as the program's inaugural cohort. These young entrepreneurs will engage in a six-month experience that includes working from HootSuite headquarters, grant funding that does not require equity stakes or repayment, hands-on personalized learning, and access to a network of mentors, investors, and advisors.
“Curiosity is the engine of achievement. We’re looking for independent thinkers with cool,disruptive ideas who aren’t afraid to take their shot,” says Powell, executive director of TNBT. “I want applicants to know that with us at 'The Next Big Thing,' there’s no such thing as failure. We’re passionate about championing young entrepreneurs fromall backgrounds, regardless of their GPA.”
“I’m thrilled to be in a position where we can provide a rising generation of innovators andgamechangers with opportunities at a critical decision point in their lives,” says Holmes. “I’m looking forward to seeing what happens when we equip these talentedyoung entrepreneurs with the tools I lacked early on in my own entrepreneurial journey: vision,money, and community. I’m betting some of them will change the world.”