National startup incubator Next Canada has announced its new CEO – and it’s someone with a more than passing familiarity with supporting Canada’s tech scene.

On Thursday the non-profit announced that former Ryerson University president Sheldon Levy, who oversaw an expansion of the Toronto-based institution that included the founding of the Ryerson DMZ during his 10-year tenure, had been appointed its new CEO.

In a Sept. 7 statement Levy, who had served as the province of Ontario’s deputy minister of advanced education and skills development since leaving Ryerson in 2015, said he was excited to accept the new position.

“I’ve ​​always ​​believed ​​that ​​innovation, ​​entrepreneurship, ​​and ​​technology ​​are ​​the ​​future ​​of ​​the Canadian ​​economy, ​​and ​​the ​​best ​​way ​​to ​​ensure ​​prosperity ​​for ​​all ​​Canadians,” ​​Levy ​​said in the statement. “Next ​​Canada ​​has ​​the ​​potential ​​to ​​become ​​one ​​of ​​the ​​most ​​important ​​entrepreneurial organizations ​​in ​​the ​​country, ​​and ​​I’m ​​excited ​​to ​​join ​​to ​​further ​​expand ​​on ​​their ​​impressive ​​team and ​​track ​​record, ​​and ​​to ​​continue ​​with ​​their ​​mission ​​of ​​founder ​​development.”

Levy ​​will ​​be ​​assuming the position ​​from ​​interim ​​CEO ​​Andrea ​​Matheson, ​​who ​​joined ​​Next ​​Canada ​​in 2016 ​​and ​​will ​​remain ​​a ​​senior ​​advisor ​​on its b​oard ​​of ​​directors, ​​in addition to leading a series of ​​initiatives ​​for ​​the organization’s ​​female ​​founders.

During his tenure at Ryerson, Levy oversaw an expansion that included the purchase of the former Maple Leaf Gardens arena, new Bay Street headquarters for its business school, and was the primary driving force behind the ​​Ryerson Digital Media Zone (DMZ), now one of the country’s top startup incubators.

Previously known as Next ​​36​, ​​Next Canada ​​runs three ​​programs ​​for ​​entrepreneurs ​​- ​​Next ​​36, Next ​​Founders ​​and ​​NextAI ​​- designed to provide ​​participants ​​with ​​the ​​tools, ​​education, ​​mentorship, ​​and ​​networking ​​needed ​​to ​​successfully ​​build ​​and ​​grow ​​a ​​company.

​Since ​​launching ​​in ​​2010, ​​the organization has helped more than ​​300 entrepreneurs ​​launch more than ​​80 ​​companies ​​which have ​​collectively ​​raised ​more than ​​$250 ​​million ​​in ​​funding ​​and ​​created ​​more than ​​800 ​​jobs.

Applications ​​for ​​the ​​2018 ​​cohort ​​of ​​Next ​​36 ​​are ​​now ​​​​available ​on Next Canada’s website​​​, while applications ​​for the ​​2018 ​​cohort ​​of ​​NextAI ​​will ​​open ​​September ​​20, ​​and ​​applications ​​for ​​the ​​next ​​cohort ​​of ​​Next Founders ​​will ​​open ​​in ​​early ​​2018.

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