Every year, Vancouver-based The Next Big Thing takes in a bunch of promising young entrepreneurs under their wing, offering them guidance and resources as they start their businesses. Founded by Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes and serial entrepreneur Meredith Powell, it’s not a bad wing to be under.
Since 2014, they’ve supported 34 entrepreneurs who have launched 23 ventures and raised $2.8 million in capital. Here’s their latest crop of young geniuses who just might change the business landscape in Canada and the world.
Her company: SmartSweets is a healthier alternative to candy found in the confectionary aisle. Their first product, an all natural gummy bear, combines plant-based fibre and Stevia to produce a candy that’s high in fibre and low in sugar content.
Josh Andrews, Kristoffer Vik Hansen, and Alexey Indeev
Their company: Spare Rides is an app that changes the way people commute, allowing you to share your commute with people travelling in a similar direction. Riders get matched with drivers within the app, and pay for a portion of the cost of the trip.
Kirill Polzounov and Rishabh Chaudhary
Their company: Taski empowers workers, allowing the individual to decide when and where they will work, allowing Taskers or employees to pick up short-term work on demand.
Sarah Main and Brent Hussey
Their company: Reach, a communication app for students, designed by students, provides short-term communication channels and file sharing for students participating in short-term group study at college and university. It aims to replace Facebook groups and offers a clean layout specifically tailored to getting things done.
His company: HelpHub is an app that lets students access tutors 24/7. Students can receive short or long-term tutoring, allowing for even a one-question session to multiple and monthly tutoring options online and over the phone.
Jordan Romero-Porter, Hilton Routley, and Matt Stefan
Their company: Festfeed is a social media app that creates communities and communications based around events, from connecting individuals at large-scale festivals to post-secondary events.
Aidan (and Maya) Gay
His company: Basecamp Card Co. is a card game fashioned from a traditional deck of cards. Each card is fashioned with a unique question, created to break the ice among travellers, creating even more memorable adventures.