Two students from York’s Lassonde School of Engineering, Manjeet Kaur and Khady Lo Seck, and a recent graduate from the Schulich School of Business, Dhaman Rakhra, have been chosen to be part of The Next 36, a group of 38 candidates identified for their extraordinary entrepreneurial potential.
Over 600 applicants from 45 institutions across the country, and top United States schools, including Harvard, Columbia and Yale, applied to participate in the highly competitive selection process.
For seven months, these 38 young entrepreneurs will be mentored by Canada’s top business leaders, taught by some of the world’s top business faculty, and work to earn funding from top venture capitalists.
“We couldn’t be more proud to represent Lassonde and the whole of York University in what promises to be one of the most challenging and exhilarating experiences of our lives,” said Lassondian Manjeet Kaur.
Both Manjeet Kaur and Khady Lo Seck are computer engineering students and founding leaders of the Lassonde Student Government.
“People don’t always think of engineers as entrepreneurs, but we understand better than most how technology is driving global economic change. Our experiences at Lassonde gave us the confidence to believe we could be entrepreneurs, and now with The Next 36 we are ready to show the world what we can do,” said Lo Seck.
Janusz Kozinski, founding dean of the Lassonde School of Engineering, said “Manjeet and Khady are two of our finest Lassondians. They have the passion, the talent and the energy to truly be called Renaissance Engineers! We know they will be terrific representatives of Lassonde and York in this rigorous program that will give them the perspective they need to change the world with their ideas.”
Rakhra (iBBA ’14) is co-founder and CEO of REACH Diagnostics and an associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers in their technology and communications group. He was a member of the 2014 Schulich Hult Prize finalist team that was selected from teams made up of more than 10,000 students from schools including Harvard, MIT and Oxford to pitch REACH Diagnostics to Bill Clinton and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus during CGI Week for $1 million in seed funding this past September.
Rakhra says he is extremely excited to represent the Schulich School of Business in this year’s cohort for the Next 36. His social enterprise provides high-quality, affordable screening, diagnostic and monitoring tools to address non-communicable diseases for individuals living in urban slums and has been featured in Fast Company, The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star, as well as by Marc & Craig Kielburger in the Huffington Post.
“Schulich is proud that iBBA graduate Dhaman Rakhra has been named among The Next 36,” said Dezsö J. Horváth, dean of the Schulich School of Business. “Schulich nurtures the entrepreneurial skills of our students through our cutting-edge curriculum, through mentoring and coaching provided by our Entrepreneur-in-Residence, through our annual Start-Up Day new venture competition, and through case competitions such as the Hult Prize, where Dhaman and his team first presented their start-up idea.”
Supported by more than 200 business leaders across Canada, including W. Galen Weston, Jimmy Pattison and the late Paul Desmarais Sr. as founding patrons, The Next 36 provides world class academic instruction, business mentorship and venture building to the country’s most promising entrepreneurs.