Upper Canada College Grade 10 student Todd Joy started developing his own businesses at age 11, so it shouldn’t be a shock that he’s the first high school student to be admitted into The Next 36, an entrepreneurial leadership program dedicated to fast-tracking the development of Canada’s most talented young innovators.
Joy earned the honour by submitting a business plan and essay answers to questions to win an entrepreneurial contest, and it was announced by The Next 36 founder Reza Satchu at the conclusion of his Founder’s Dinner keynote address at the College on Feb. 11.
“It is a big honour to be selected for such a fantastic program and I am greatly humbled to be the first high school student to take part in it,” says Joy. “To be a participant in The Next 36 is an unbelievable opportunity that I will definitely harness to its fullest potential.”
Joy submitted a detailed business plan for Greycare, a proposed Toronto-based elderly care service provider that he got the idea for after researching “the most promising niches for new companies” and discovering a great demand for what he intends the company to offer.
“I am currently networking with potential investors and experienced business leaders who could help build this business idea,” says Joy.
Business is in Joy’s bloodlines and he launched Rosedale Automotive Detailing Services when he was 11 after realizing that there were few clean cars on his street. He’s created other businesses since then and, in addition to trying to get Greycare off the ground, he’s creating a prototype of a new ear bud that automatically pauses when it’s removed from the ear.
“My family has been incredibly supportive of all my entrepreneurial endeavours,” says Joy. “They are constantly providing me with invaluable advice that they have acquired over the years and are always willing to hear out any business ideas that I might have and even invest in the more promising ones.”
Joy’s involvement with The Next 36 will begin on May 22 when he attends Satchu’s entrepreneurship course, “The Economics of Entrepreneurship,” at the University of Toronto. He’ll attend several other classes leading up to “Prototype Day,” where he’ll join participants from The Next 36 and Next Founders to pitch ventures to investors. He’ll also take part in “Venture Day,” which presents a chance for all The Next 36 participants to propose business ideas to more than 500 key stakeholders and investors.
“In addition to a greater understanding of how to effectively run a business, networking and socializing with other like-minded entrepreneurs will be what I hope to get out of The Next 36,” says Joy.
Joy excels at academics and art and he’s a member of the varsity badminton team and captained this year’s U16 squash team. He has received a Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award and is also involved with peer tutoring, Horizons, the Convergence newspaper and the auto, DECA, investment and Key clubs.
Joy plans on getting an MBA after he graduates from UCC and will continue pursuing the development of Greycare and other businesses.
“In the future, I hope to establish a meaningful corporation that will not only be influential in my community but also have a global impact,” he concludes.