Behind The Scenes With The Next 36′s Student Entrepreneurs: Week 5


Have you ever considered starting your own company while still in school? Have you wondered what it would be like to take an idea from inception to a real life product?

Join us every week for an inside look into the experiences of four students at The Next 36, the founders of DineWithMe, giving you a glimpse of what it’s like to be a student entrepreneur. Applications for The Next 36 opened July 11, 2011. Visit to apply now.

“We are looking to have a core set of users who LOVE using our app and will use it as their technology of choice when planning meals with their friends.” —Daniel Rodic, fourth year finance and economics student, University of Toronto

The goal of The Next 36 is to help launch the careers of 36 of Canada’s most promising and innovative undergraduates.

The program identifies these students through a rigorous national selection process, and gives them the academic foundation, practical skills, role models and networks to become Canada’s next generation of entrepreneurial leaders,

Students should expect to be pushed out of their comfort zone, gain skills vital from entrepreneurs and nation builders and have their expectations for themselves increased dramatically.

We have finally put our app into the app store and it’s pending review. Stay tuned for the launch of DineWithMe!

We had a great set of speakers throughout the week. It started off with a visit to the Polar Mobile offices, where CEO Kunal Gupta gave us an insight into how his company grew from a Waterloo-based start-up to a global firm with clients around the world.

There was also an energizing series of lectures on sales and negotiations by James Tucker at the Boston Consulting Group. My key takeaway from the session was that, in sales, to be successful you must believe that you are selling something of value to your clients or investors (a sentiment echoed by Reza Satchu in one of our previous classes). If you feel like you are asking for something when selling, you won’t be successful, so always believe that you are providing value.

The week ended off with a great talk by Jordan Banks from Facebook Canada, where we got a chance to learn about Facebook’s culture and its key tenets, such as “Move Fast and Break Things” or “Done is Better than Perfect” (great mantras for a startup).

The following are a few questions that our closest followers have been asking since last week. If you have a question that you would like answered, tweet us @DineWithMeApp and we’ll answer them!


What are your personal goals for August 15th?

Amy BerardAmy Berard (Kamloops, BC)

Fourth year marketing and public relations student – Thompson Rivers University

As I head into my last month here, my goal is to head home with no regrets about my time in Toronto with The Next 36. Our app should be available on the app store within the next few days, so my goal is to execute several successful marketing campaigns with Salima to drive user downloads. I want us to have several thousand downloads by the time we present on August 15.

I also want to ensure I have developed solid relationships with my peers, mentors, and supporters of the program that I can continue to hold after my time in Toronto ends.


Pilwon HuhPilwon Huh (Toronto, ON)

Fourth year computer science student – University of Waterloo

Last week, our team submitted the initial version of our iPhone application to Apple’s App Store. My goal until August 15 is to perfect the quality of our application by continuously working with our developers and iterate on our app until it becomes bug-free.

I also hope to implement as many new features as possible on our development roadmap. All of these will help meet my original personal goal of building an app that I could be proud of.


What are your goals for the team by August 15th?

Salima HirjiSalima Hirji (Calgary, AB)

Third year sociology student – University of British Columbia

At the beginning of the program, we found it extremely valuable to set team goals to give us a basis to work off of for the nine-month program.

One of our main goals included both the team and each team member individually. The goal was to create an environment in which we are a high functioning team that also allows for individual growth. This means not only are we equally committed to and equally contributing to the company but that we also challenge, support and encourage each other.


Daniel RodicDaniel Rodic (Toronto, ON)

Fourth year finance and economics student – Rotman Commerce, University of Toronto

By the end of the program, our team’s vision is to have a mobile application with a dedicated and loyal user base.

We are looking to have a core set of users who LOVE using our app and will use it as their technology of choice when planning meals with their friends.

Our hope is that by August 15th, more people are eating out with their friends because they chose to “DineWithMe”.

About the author

Daniel Rodic is a third year finance student in the Rotman Commerce program at the University of Toronto, a member of The Next 36, and co-founder of DineWithMe, a mobile venture founded out of The Next 36 that makes it easier for you to eat out with your friends. Daniel has experience in project management and team leadership in the non-profit, public and private sectors. While his expertise is steeped in strategy consulting through his role as President of the Rotman Commerce Consulting Association, Daniel has gotten exposure to the technology side of business as an Analyst in Deloitte’s Enterprise Risk Services practice. He has since been recognized as a promising entrepreneurial mind, advancing past 700 students in Canada to earn the title of “Impact Apprentice”.