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


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 are OPEN! Visit to apply now.

“The friendships and bonds we have made as teammates and classmates are something that will last forever, and is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.” —Daniel Rodic, fourth year finance and economics student, University of Toronto

The Next 36 provides key resources to young Canadians who have the potential to build great organizations. Promising undergraduates are selected from across Canada through a rigorous process and charged with building a venture. They are matched with three co-founders, $50,000, two CEO mentors, and given 180 hours of academic instruction and many other resources to conceive and launch a mobile or tablet venture.

The program is supported by over 50 of Canada’s top business leaders, including Galen Weston, Jimmy Pattison and Paul Desmarais Sr.  For a complete list of candidates, mentors and donors see

This is our last week at The Next 36 and what a ride it has been. I think I can speak on behalf of everyone in the program that this has been a life changing experience. The friendships and bonds we have made as teammates and classmates are something that will last forever, and is something I will cherish for the rest of my life. I cannot wait to see what this group of individuals will do over the next 40 years, but I am sure they will all do something that will launch Canada into a new era of innovation.

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!


How will you use this experience to further your career in the future? Particularly in job interviews, what does it demonstrate about you?

Amy BerardAmy Berard (Kamloops, BC)

Fourth year marketing and public relations student – Thompson Rivers University

Whether I choose to create my own business in the next few years or enter the workforce, the skills I have gained through The Next 36 can be applicable to any path. I am fortunate that The Next 36 is such a prestigious opportunity, to have it on my resumé will certainly enhance my credibility in the future. Particularly in job interviews, I think my teamwork experience in this program will be key. To work remotely with strangers for four months and then spend every moment together for another four has been challenging, but so beneficial. The other key point I think is the ability to survive and overcome so many difficult moments and remain balanced amidst all the highs and lows.


What does launching this app mean to you as a professional?

Daniel RodicDaniel Rodic (Toronto, ON)

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

Launching this app is one of my biggest achievements in my professional career. I have never had the opportunity to build something from idea to conception at the magnitude which The Next 36 has offered me. It’s amazing to see what four dedicated individuals can do when they focus and concentrate on a single goal. This experiences gives me the confidence that I can do something like this again in the future, on a bigger and more impactful scale than I could have ever imagined before this experience.


DineWithMe is almost launched…now what? Where do you go from here with the app? Will it just remain stagnant or will you continue to work on it after The Next 36 is finished?

Salima HirjiSalima Hirji (Calgary, AB)

Third year sociology student – University of British Columbia

As The Next 36 is almost over, it will be difficult for us to continue working on the app full-time. However, two of us will be taking it on part-time to see if it can gain traction. Since we are launching so close to the end of the program, we really want to give it the time past the end of the program to grow and evolve. We will be able to develop minor changes and bug fixes as necessary but will have a big focus on business development and marketing as well.


How could you apply this launch experience to your future careers?

Pilwon HuhPilwon Huh (Toronto, ON)

Fourth year computer science student – University of Waterloo

My personal goal is to become a successful serial Internet entrepreneur by creating or investing in numerous online and mobile businesses that millions of people use on a daily basis. Therefore, all the experience and learning I had from building a mobile venture from scratch to launch (idea generation, idea screening, concept development, business analysis, development, beta testing, and product launch) will be applied to my next venture to be started in this September.

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”.