NEXT Canada partners with engineering firm Hatch for latest Next AI program

engineer
NEXT Canada taps Hatch for mentorship in metals, infrastructure, and energy.

NEXT Canada has teamed up with Mississauga-based engineering firm Hatch to provide mentorship for participating startups in the Next AI program, specifically in the metals, infrastructure, and energy spaces.

As part of this partnership, Hatch will work with Next AI founders to accelerate their ventures and co-develop intellectual properties that create digital solutions to address issues within the aforementioned sectors.

“Canada is a world leader in both natural resources and AI. These are priority sectors for Hatch as well,” said Alim Somani, managing editor of Hatch’s digital solutions. “We have teamed up with NEXT Canada to identify and mentor early-stage startups who can work to solve some of the toughest challenges faced by Hatch’s clients.”

Next AI is a program for Canadian entrepreneurs with artificial intelligence (AI)-based ventures. NEXT Canada launched the program in 2016, and unveiled its first group of selected startups in the following year. The program runs two concurrent cohorts per year over the course of seven months.

Startups can apply for Next AI through either one of its campuses in Toronto and Montréal. Next AI Montréal is delivered in partnership with HEC Montréal, and participants are eligible to receive up to $25,000 in non-dilutive funding. Canadian AI luminary and Mila founder Yoshua Bengio is one of the mentors in Montréal.

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Companies that are selected for Next AI’s Toronto location can get up to $25,000 in venture funding on a $2 million cap post-money SAFE and are eligible for up to an additional $100,000 in follow-on investment on a $4 million cap post-money SAFE.

Last year’s Next AI participants included the likes of AVO, Ditty Technologies, Fairly AI, and GeoMate. This year’s cohort consists of Deaf AI, Roshi, Mealful, Seedwell, and Soralink.

In addition to Next AI, NEXT Canada’s other entrepreneurship programs are Next 36 and Next Founders. The not-for-profit organization claims that, across all of its programming, its alumni have launched over 450 ventures that have raised over $2 billion of equity capital and created over 4,000 jobs.

With the integration of Hatch in Next AI, NEXT Canada aims to help startups that provide tech-enabled solutions for the natural resources space and bring their products to market.

CORRECTION 20/07/2022: This story previously incorrectly stated that companies taking part in Next AI’s Toronto location can get up to $125,000 in venture funding. That amount was in correct and the article has been updated with the correct amount.

Featured image from ThisisEngineering RAEng via Unsplash.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a journalism student at Ryerson University and a staff writer for BetaKit. Follow her on Twitter @charlizealcaraz

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