Indigenous entrepreneur from Grandview, MB wins $1,000 and advances to the Pow Wow Pitch Finals.
On September 7, 2022, Pow Wow Pitch, North America’s premier pitch competition for Indigenous entrepreneurs, presented in partnership with RBC, Shopify, Meta and Mastercard, announced Dakota Sipie, the Tootinaowaziibeeng First Nation Founder of Sipie’s Mobile Wash from Grandview, Manitoba as the 2022 Pow Wow Pitch B2B Services Winner. Dakota has won $1,000 and is advancing to the Finals for a chance to win $25,000 to grow his business.
More than 2,400 Indigenous entrepreneurs from across Canada and the United States applied to Pow Wow Pitch this year for their chance to win cash prizes and advance to the Pow Wow Pitch Finals. From the 2,400 applicants, 131 were selected as Semi-Finalists and provided with training and mentorship to prepare for their semi-final pitch to the Judges.
Last night, Sunshine Tenasco, Founder of Pow Wow Pitch, emceed the action-packed program, where the eight B2B Services Semi-Finalists had the opportunity to pitch their business ideas and businesses in one minute for their chance to win.
Judges included Supun Thalagala, Business Account Manager at RBC; Kyle St Amour Brennan Build Native Program Manager at Shopify; Meenakshi Vikrant, Implementations Manager at Mastercard; Holly Atjecoutay, Indigenous Entrepreneur Startup Program Director at Futurpreneur; and, Florence Mazerolle Account Manager at BDC.
“I applied to Pow Wow Pitch for the opportunity to network with other indigenous entrepreneurs and showcase my business and to grow my business,” said First-Place Winner Dakota Sipie. “I am so grateful and very proud of my business and our journey so far. I’m excited for the future of Sipie’s Mobile Wash.”
Dakota's Business, Sipie’s Mobile Wash, provides mobile washing services using industrial cleaning equipment and employing professional operators, for residential, commercial, agricultural and First Nation communities throughout Manitoba.
The Judges also issued an Honourary Mention to Selisha Smith, Founder of iDIG Rentals and Services for an outstanding pitch; awarded Angie Saltman, Founder of Saltmedia Inc. with 3rd place; and, recognized Chennae Lapatak, Founder of Soniyaw Asisiy Accounting as the Runner Up.
“Congratulations to Dakota on his Gold Ticket win to advance to the 2022 Pow Wow Pitch Finals,” said Sunshine Tenasco, Founder of Pow Wow Pitch. “Sipie's Mobile Wash is an incredible business leading by example. We look forward to spotlighting and sharing Dakota’s business with the Pow Wow Pitch community and growing together.”
“Pow Wow Pitch is a tremendous showcase of Indigenous innovation and entrepreneurship, and the stories and achievements of this year’s semi-finalists are a testament to their creativity and entrepreneurial spirit,” said Dale Sturges, National Director for Indigenous Financial Services at RBC. “We’re so proud of all our participants and semi-finalists, and we will continue to support their growth and success in the future.”
"It was remarkable to take part in Pow Wow Pitch to watch such a talented and creative group of Indigenous entrepreneurs come together," said Kyle St-Amour-Brennan, Build Native Indigenous Program Manager at Shopify. "Although this event has a competitive element, it was incredible to feel the energy and spirit of community and connection between the entrepreneurs and partners. The Build Native team with Shopify has played a proud role in supporting Pow Wow Pitch, so it is exciting to see how things have grown over the years. What a great opportunity for Indigenous entrepreneurs!"
“At Meta, we are thrilled to support Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs who are driving innovation and change in their communities,” said Debbie Reid, Indigenous Policy Manager at Meta. “Recognizing the importance of Indigenous voices and the limitless potential of Indigenous entrepreneurs is vital to the growth of the Canadian economy. We send our congratulations to Dakota Sipie on advancing to the next round and to all entrepreneurs who participated in Pow Wow Pitch."
“At Mastercard, we’ve been truly inspired by the Indigenous entrepreneurs involved in this year’s Pow Wow Pitch as they’ve demonstrated such innovative thinking and solutions,” said Sasha Krstic, President of Mastercard Canada. “We are honoured to help support their continued success and see them grow. Congratulations to all the pitchers and congratulations to Dakota on advancing to the next round.”
Jody will now advance to the Pow Wow Pitch Finals to pitch for the Grand Prize of $25,000, which broadcasts online on October 19, 2022. Visit www.powwowpitch.org for more information.