Indigenous entrepreneur from Winnipeg wins $5,500 and advances to the Finals
On May 21, Pow Wow Pitch, North America’s premier pitch competition for Indigenous entrepreneurs, presented in partnership with RBC, Shopify, Meta and Mastercard, announced Erica Daniels, the Cree/Ojibway Owner and Founder of Kejic Productions, as the 2022 Pow Wow Pitch Manito Ahbee Winner and one of two Fan Favourite Prize Winners. Erica has won $5,500 and is advancing to the Finals for a chance to win $25,000 to grow her business.
More than 40 Indigenous entrepreneurs pitched their businesses live at the Manito Ahbee Pow Wow in Winnipeg, Manitoba, for their chance to win cash prizes and advance to the Pow Wow Pitch Finals.
Following a first round open pitch, judges Destiny Lynn Seymour, Founder of Indigo Arrows, Debbie Read, Indigenous Policy Lead at Meta, Monica James, Regional Manager of Client Diversity and Indigenous Entrepreneurs at BDC, and Holly Courchene, Manitoba Regional Coordinator at the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, shortlisted the Top 10 entrepreneurs, who were then matched with mentors from Futurpreneur, RBC, ITAC and North Forge to prepare for their final pitch.
The Top 10 entrepreneurs then pitched on the APTN Ignite Your Spirit Stage competing for the top prizes. While Judges deliberated, Jordan Knight and Davey Gott, Hosts of NCI FM, Manitoba’s Indigenous Radio Station, joined to rally the crowd to select two Fan Favourites.
“It was so exciting to see so many people pitching and to see our community really thriving,” said First-Place Winner Erica Daniels. “This is my third time pitching, so I just want to encourage everyone not to give up to thank our community for all the support they give us.”
Erica’s business, Kejic Productions, is a Winnipeg-based company that creates, develops and produces films and community and corporate videos, provides event photography and marketing services, and supports Indigenous youth with on-the-job training.
Erica hopes to win the Grand Prize to expand her production company.
“Winning the $25,000 would help us purchase more equipment, move into a larger production studio to produce our films in-house and provide more employment opportunities to emerging Indigenous filmmakers,” said Erica.
The Second-Place $2,500 Prize Winner was Amy Jackson, Founder and CEO of Nativelovenotes and the Third-Place Winner of $1,000, also winning the second Fan Favourite $500 prize, was Shaun Rayland-Boubar, Founder of Red Rebel Armour. Amy, Shaun and all those who pitched in Winnipeg are still in the running for the 2022 Pow Wow Pitch and will find out in July if they advance to the Semi-Finals.
“Congratulations to Erica on her Gold Ticket win to advance to the 2022 Pow Wow Pitch Finals,” said Sunshine Tenasco, Founder of Pow Wow Pitch. “Kejic Productions is an incredible business leading by example. We look forward to spotlighting and sharing Erica’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 pitchers are a testament to their creativity and entrepreneurial spirit,” says Dale Sturges, National Director for Indigenous Financial Services at RBC. “We’re so proud of all of our participants and winners, and we will continue to support their growth and success in the future.”
Indigenous entrepreneurs from across Canada and the United States are invited to submit their 1-minute pitch to qualify for Pow Wow Pitch before June 21, 2022, at powwowpitch.org/pitch to win $200,000 in prizes from $500 to $25,000.