Behind The Scenes With The Next 36’s Student Entrepreneurs: Week 6


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 open today, Monday, July 11, 2011. Visit to apply now.

“The event at the Westons’ residence was spectacular! It was incredible gathering of successful Canadian entrepreneurs that I never would have had the opportunity to interact with outside of this program.” —Amy Berard, fourth year marketing and public relations student, Thompson Rivers University

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 were honoured this week to attend a monumental event for The Next 36. On July 21, Galen Weston, Jimmy Pattison and Paul Desmarais (the second, third and fourth richest men in Canada) voiced their support for The Next 36 by becoming the Founding Patrons of the program (read more about it in the Globe and Mail).

The event was hosted at Galen and Hilary Weston’s home in Toronto, and brought guests from the top positions across business, politics and academia, including Jordan Banks of Facebook Canada, Nadir Mohamed of Rogers Communication, Tony Lacavera of Wind Mobile, and the Chancellors / Presidents of the University of Toronto, McGill University, University of Waterloo, Queens University and the University of Western Ontario.

Here is our group’s impression of the event. If you have a question that you would like answered, tweet us @DineWithMeApp and we’ll answer them!

Amy BerardAmy Berard (Kamloops, BC)

Fourth year marketing and public relations student – Thompson Rivers University

The Next 36 event at the Westons’ residence was spectacular! It was incredible gathering of successful Canadian entrepreneurs that I never would have had the opportunity to interact with outside of this program.

Earlier, Professor Satchu took the time in class to discuss with us this opportunity. What I took away from the conversation is that attending the Weston event shows us the entrepreneurial success that can be attainable in our lifetime. But the only time we will ever be standing in their backyard again is if we earn our right to be there with the impact we make.

As enjoyable as the event was, I would consider it more of a “motivating” evening to get out there and start building my future.


Pilwon HuhPilwon Huh (Toronto, ON)

Fourth year computer science student – University of Waterloo

It was definitely one of the most memorable events I have ever attended in my life so far. I was humbled to get an opportunity to meet a lot of Canada’s most influential leaders and I really appreciated their time to give us a chance to speak to them in person.

The biggest takeaway for me from this event was that the most successful entrepreneurs not only mastered how to exponentially grow their wealth but also truly understand the power of giving back to community and country.


Salima HirjiSalima Hirji (Calgary, AB)

Third year sociology student – University of British Columbia

I was extremely honoured to be invited to the Weston residence for The Next 36 event. The event exposed me to many successful individuals from the business community.

Each of these individuals have been successful and made an impact in their sector by taking completely different paths from one another. Overall the event showed me that success comes in various forms and I have to set my own personal goals and work towards them to achieve success.

These individuals also have very high expectations of themselves and I need to set my goals at a very high standard.


Daniel RodicDaniel Rodic (Toronto, ON)

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

I had the fortune of having an intimate question session with Jimmy Pattison. What struck me about older entrepreneurs is the difference in mindset. Many new entrepreneurs do it for the big money, the freedom, or the thrill of starting something new, with a grandiose vision of where it will go.

Jimmy became an entrepreneur out of necessity. He had to continue making money to survive, and entrepreneurship was his only way to do that. He couldn’t fail, and he couldn’t afford to slow down when his businesses took a turn for the worst.  The instinct to survive seems to have been the magic ingredient for his initial success.

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”.