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NEXT launches in Toronto in March, hosted by MaRS and The Working Group

The Working Group & MaRS to host NEXT program in March

NEXT Launching in Toronto

Startup Weekend is joining forces with Steve Blank, LaunchPad Central, and Udacity to bring you one of the world’s most effective experiential entrepreneurship curriculum – Steve’s Lean LaunchPad program (as taught at Stanford, Berkeley, and Columbia) – customized and packaged into an intensive pre-accelerator course.

Hosted by The Working Group and MaRS, NEXT is an intensive and selective 3 hour weekly program for five weeks. Using hands-on mentorship NEXT helps committed early stage startup teams find the path to achieve product market fit.


‘We are big believers in having startups build things people want. NEXT Toronto is a program dedicated to making this happen.’

– Nathan Monk, Sr. Strategist, MaRS

Early stage startup teams often become caught up with building out an idea, product or service without actually knowing if they are solving a real problem the end customer has. But as the world of startups becomes more competitive, it is more important than ever to make sure your startup is solving a real problem.

The NEXT program helps startup founders become better prepared to build successful startups by providing an intense flipped-classroom style course to guide teams through the customer development process. NEXT is an action-oriented five-week program supported by strong, entrepreneurial-minded mentors.

NEXT launches in Toronto on Friday, March 21st. The mentor roster includes longtime Lean Startup advocate Kevin Dewalt. Kevin, the program’s CDMN Premier Mentor, has been part of the startup ecosystem as a founder (4 startups), an Angel/VC (25 startups) and mentor/advisor (a lot) for nearly 20 years.

With NEXT, entrepreneurs are pushed to get out and talk to customers. Attendees are expected to complete pre-work before each session and get coached by mentors on the progress that they have made each week. With the hands-on mentoring, teams will secure an understanding of their customer development strategy, market size, competitors, Minimum Viable Product, fundability, and pitching.

“Toronto’s startup ecosystem is firmly on the global map and Startup Weekend has played an important role in helping to expose and train the next generation of startup founders. NEXT is the logical evolution, leveraging the experience and knowledge base of Toronto’s entrepreneurial community along with lean startup practitioners who really understand how to do customer development.”

– Chris Eben, Partner, The Working Group

Teams who finish the NEXT program successfully will be eligible for NEXT First Look Forum Event, which is a post-program global showcase event aimed at generating exposure for the strongest NEXT graduates to accelerators, early stage investors, and media. NEXT has already held 60 programs globally since starting in November 2012 with plans to run in 40 cities globally during the spring of 2014. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter @SWNext.


Learn more and apply at


NEXT Toronto is organized locally by Nathan Monk (Senior Strategist, MaRS), Chris Eben (Partner, The Working Group) and Holly Knowlman (Marketing Manager, The Working Group). Contact the organizing team:

NEXT Toronto local program mentors include Kevin Dewalt, Sean Power, Dominic Bortolussi, Marko Petkovski, Alison Gibbins, Tom Walsham with more to be announced!

NEXT Toronto will take place from March 21 – April 18 at The Working Group and MaRS. For more information visit

NEXT Toronto is supported by

TWG Logo


 MaRS logo

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