Sheldon Levy

Former CEO of NEXT Canada and Special Advisor to The Honorable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion

Sheldon Levy is the Special Advisor to the Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion and the former CEO of NEXT Canada, a non-profit business accelerator located in Toronto. A longtime champion of innovation and builder of startup ecosystems, Sheldon also serves on the Advisory Board of the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship and on the Leadership Council of Scale Up Ventures, Inc.

Sheldon served from 2015 to 2017 as Deputy Minister of the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, where he helped drive innovation and entrepreneurship throughout Ontario’s postsecondary education and training system. From 2005 to 2015, as President and Vice Chancellor of Ryerson University, Sheldon initiated Ryerson’s many initiatives to foster student innovation. Under his direction, Ryerson created the Digital Media Zone (DMZ), an early-stage incubator for student entrepreneurs which has since become an international success. Sheldon is also a founder and advisor to Ryerson Futures Inc., an accelerator that has exported the DMZ concept to such locations as Calgary and Mumbai.