POW WOW PITCH
RETURNING TO OUR ROOTS AND PARTNERING TO GROW OUR IMPACT
2022 was a great year for Pow Wow Pitch as we returned to our roots at powwows across Turtle Island, scaled our support and impact for Indigenous entrepreneurs, and piloted new programs and partnerships, providing more than $300K in grants, prizes and purchase orders to emerging Indigenous entrepreneurs, with a community rallying for their success. This digital recap highlights our activities and accomplishments in 2022.
Thank you to our Co-Presenting Sponsors RBC, Shopify, Meta and Mastercard, our Industry Sponsors, Partners, Alumni, Judges, Mentors, supporters and all of the entrepreneurs who shared their hearts, vision, and stories with us. We are reclaiming and rising together!
Sunshine Quem Tenasco
Founder, Pow Wow Pitch
2022 POW WOW PITCH
In 2022, through the Pow Wow Pitch program, we provided more than $250K in prizes, more than 1,000 hours of mentorship, more than 1,000 hours of training, and a platform for Indigenous entrepreneurs to partner with each other, global brands, and gain mainstream exposure.
2,400 entrepreneurs across Turtle Island participated in Pow Wow Pitch online and in person at Gathering of Nations, Manito Ahbee Indigenous Festival, Ottawa Summer Solstice Festival and Kamloopa. Throughout the competition, more than 14,000 people voted for the People’s Choice Prizes awarded to Taalrumiq Christina King and Monica Romero, and more than 5,000 people joined live for the Semi-Final and Grand Finale events.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2022 POW WOW PITCH WINNERS
The First Place Prize of $25,000 presented by RBC and Shopify went to Erica Daniels, Founder & CEO of Kejic Productions, from Peguis First Nation in Manitoba. 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. Watch Erica’s pitch.
The Second Place Prize of $10,000 presented by Mastercard went to Sean Rayland-Boubar, Founder of Winnipeg-based Red Rebel Armour from Sagkeeng First Nation. Red Rebel Armour is an authentic streetwear brand on a social mission to support reentry into the workforce. Watch Sean’s pitch.
The Third Place Prize of $5,000 presented by Meta went to Ruby Daniels, the 16-year-old Founder of 3R Innovative Imaging from One Arrow First Nation in Saskatchewan, a student-run business that repurposes old cabinet doors into one-of-a-kind art.
2022 INDIGENOUS ENTREPRENEUR AWARDS
The Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards recognize excellence in Indigenous entrepreneurship by celebrating entrepreneurial leaders for their perseverance, growth, impact and example. This year, the Awards received more than 3,200 applications and nominations.
On November 3, 2022, 3,000 supporters joined online as Pow Wow Pitch hosted the 2nd Annual Indigenous Entrepreneurship Awards, co-presented by RBC, Shopify, Meta and Mastercard in partnership with Export Development Canada and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC). The digital gala featured a special ‘Rise Up’ performance by musician Alicia Kayley, and nine Award presentations, including a $10,000 Creative Prizes presented by ITAC.
Each of the Winners received an Official Pin designed and handcrafted by former Pow Wow Pitch Winner and the Co-Founder and Lead Designer at Sapling and Flint, Jesse Brant, and a signed limited edition print of the artwork ‘Red Rising’ by visual artist Patrick Hunter, which features a plaque with their name and recognition. Watch the Awards and read the whole story.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2022 AWARD WINNERS
2022 POW WOW PITCH BOX
Pow Wow Pitch partnered with Raven Reads for the second year in a row for the 2022 Pow Wow Pitch Mailer Box featuring products from 2022 Pow Wow Pitchers and Alumni and artwork by artist Emily Kewageshig and a poem by Tenille K Campbell. We made 1,000 Pow Wow Pitch Boxes available for purchase, bringing +$80,000 in procurement orders to our entrepreneurs, with greater exposure and a first wholesale customer for many. All entrepreneurs benefited from training on ‘Pitching to Buyers and Distributing Products,’ ‘How to Ship’ and received mentorship and support from the Raven Reads Team on packaging and marketing.
INVESTING IN INSPIRATION AND INCLUSIVITY
The Pow Wow Pitch Alumni Network is a community of Indigenous entrepreneurs who have participated in Pow Wow Pitch and who pitch in and work together to empower the next generation.
In 2022, thanks to the generous support of Mastercard, the Alumni Network was able to commit more than $35,000 to invest in collaborative initiatives and expanded Alumni Prizes. The Alumni-led contributions to and allocation of these resources are important in establishing the foundations of Indigenous-led economic growth.
- Commissioning Photography & B-Roll from Kejic Productions of the 2022 Manito Ahbee Pow Wow Pitch
- #MotivationMondays and InstaPitch competitions with Nativelovenotes
- Portraits of 2022 Pow Wow Pitch Finalists in partnership with Black Girls NFT
- Communications and rule revision support for Kamloopa Powwow to champion inclusivity
EXPANDED ALUMNI PRIZES
This year, the Alumni Network grew its support by selecting three Semi-Finalists to receive $1,000 and advance to the Finals as 'Alumni Choice Finalists' and awarded three Finalists with an 'Alumni Prize,' each receiving $5,000 in recognition of their impact.
This achievement by the Pow Wow Pitch Alumni Network serves as an inspiring example of how we can unite and grow Indigenous entrepreneurship.
BOOSTING INDIGENOUS TOURISM THROUGH CREATIVE COLLABORATIONS
This year, we piloted the Creative Pitch with the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) to support Indigenous entrepreneurs in the creative and tourism industries to collaborate, share knowledge and skills, and grow together.
Nine Pow Wow Pitch Creative Semi-Finalists were selected and provided $2,500 grants to undertake mini-projects with Indigenous-led tourism businesses. These projects included photography, logos, promotional videos, animated ads, digital assets, and artistic creations connected to the land.
In addition to featuring each of the nine projects in a special online video series, the winning creative entrepreneur, Eva Nicholas of Wabanaki Creations and Art Space, received a $15,000 grant commission to undertake a large-scale project with an Indigenous tourism business of her choosing.
SPOTLIGHTING THROUGH STORYTELLING & KNOWLEDGE SHARING
Our impact strategy focuses on spotlighting, storytelling and knowledge sharing through partnerships and our growing digital network. Through our partnerships with Meta and Jelly Marketing, Pow Wow Pitch is growing its reach and community through Facebook and Instagram and using these platforms to grow our community, share stories of success and help Pow Wow Pitch entrepreneurs reach new audiences.
The 2nd season of the Pow Wow Pitch Podcast was a huge success, with more than 7,500 listens and over 5,000 subscribers. Our monthly e-Newsletters were also very popular, reaching over 42,000 subscribers. In addition, our social media channels have grown significantly, with more than 22,000 followers. This year, Pow Wow Pitch and our entrepreneurs have received media attention, with over 100 television, radio, print newspaper, and digital press mentions. These mentions have ranged from simple mentions to full-blown stories and series.
CONNECTING INDIGENOUS ENTREPRENEURS WITH BIG OPPORTUNITIES
In 2022, we were fortunate to work with industry partners to identify and execute numerous initiatives designed to provide Indigenous entrepreneurs with the resources and support to thrive.
With the help of Shopify, we were able to offer free trials, while our partnership with Aritzia allowed us to launch the Aritzia Indigenous Fashion Grants. We also teamed up with Meta to back three entrepreneurs with major national campaigns, collaborated with MNP to provide pitchers with free professional services, and our partnership with Rakuten Advertising helped entrepreneurs get their products in front of a wider audience on Rakuten.ca alongside major global brands.
We also worked with CIRA to offer free .CA domains, with RBC to onboard Indigenous women leaders to become Coralus Activators, and partnered with Sklar Wilton & Associates to launch free on-demand learning modules. We teamed up with Export Development Canada to launch a survey to understand the needs of our members better as they grow globally and with BDC to provide mental health training. Finally, our partnership with Best Buy enabled us to provide free technology to youth entrepreneurs.
We are grateful for the opportunity to work alongside such dedicated and supportive organizations. Together, we are helping to create a brighter future for Indigenous entrepreneurs across the country.
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS AND PARTNERS
Pow Wow Pitch is a non-profit organization which receives 100% of its funds through sponsorships from industry and non-profit sponsors and partners who share our commitment to the success of Indigenous entrepreneurs. Through corporate leadership, financial support and employee volunteerism, we are proud to work with our partners to create a growing lasting impact on our communities.