Ivy League Next for Top Entrepreneur with Ties to Croatia: Meet Eric Tolic

Daniela Rogulj

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As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, Eric Tolic already has his next goal in mind — an Ivy League degree.

Founded in 1754, Columbia University boasts impressive alumni and is notoriously selective among its international applicants. With an acceptance rate of just 3.73% for undergraduate students in 2022, getting in is no easy feat. “It’s incredible”, said Eric. “I’ve always considered my education very important. Attending Columbia is a privilege, and I hope to explore as much of the university as I can over the next year.”

Born in Osijek, his father immigrated to Canada at the age of 9. With family still in Zagreb, Eric continues to stay in touch. “My European background has in many ways shaped who I’ve become. Croatia has a lot of great qualities, as well as Italy, where my mother is from”, he adds. Needless to say, relatives on both sides are proud of his journey to date.

Prior to Columbia, Eric completed his undergrad at the University of Toronto. Studying commerce, he credits much of the early success in his career to the program. “Without the opportunity to strengthen my knowledge across various disciplines, I would not have had the confidence to launch multiple startups that early”, said Eric. “University teaches you to think critically, which is one of your biggest assets as an entrepreneur.”

While admission to the Ivy League is a major accomplishment in and of itself, he was also selected for the NEXT 36 in April.

Every year, NEXT Canada recognizes the top young entrepreneurs to watch and aims to accelerate their growth with access to mentorship and capital. Serving as a founder-incubator, NEXT is committed to building a more prosperous and competitive nation. “I’m fortunate to be surrounded by many bright minds. It pushes you to be better”, said Eric.

Currently, he is working on his latest company, Learnify, whose app is designed to help post-secondary students eliminate manual tasks and obtain high grades. Given the lengthy development process involved with AI solutions, going to market takes time. “We will fundamentally change the way students learn and progress through their education”, Eric adds. “I wish that I had a resource like this throughout my undergrad.”

Hoping to pursue the business full-time eventually, he is now employed by HyperLinq. The YC-backed cryptocurrency startup offers superior technology to traders around the world. With top investors, including Fenbushi Capital, Rebel Fund, Side Door Ventures, and more, things are going well. Leading the growth team, Eric is responsible for user acquisition.

Showing no signs of slowing down, he plans to continue to have an impact. “I’ve never been afraid of change”, said Eric. “Change is what drives society forward, and I always aspire to make the world a little better.”

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.


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