Artificial intelligence innovators will be getting a major boost from some of Canada’s largest companies and a $5 million CAD fund. NextAI is a crucial tool in combating the brain-drain loss of entrepreneurs and talented students to other countries.
The NextAI program, an offshoot of the national entrepreneurship nonprofit NEXT Canada, is dedicated to establishing the country’s position as a leader in AI entrepreneurship and innovation. Launching in February, the program will bring AI-focused startups from around the world to its Toronto hub and provide them with mentorship, education, corporate services and state-of-the-art technology, in addition to up to $200,000 per team.
Founded by executives at RBC and Magna, the group has received additional funding by BDC Capital and Scotiabank, as well as sponsorships from leading Canadian technology companies such as IBM.
“Artificial intelligence is one of the most transformational technologies impacting business today, and Canada must remain at the forefront of exploring its commercial and scientific opportunities,” said Dave McKay, President and CEO of RBC. “By partnering on NextAI, we’ll help entrepreneurs from around the world develop their next AI ventures here in Canada.”