Indigenous entrepreneur from North Bay & Orillia 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 Jody Bosse, the Nipissing First Nation Founder of Poly-B Plumbing from North Bay and Orillia, as the 2022 Pow Wow Pitch Skilled Trades Winner. Jody has won $1,000 and is advancing to the Finals for a chance to win $25,000 to grow her 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 mentors.
Last night, Sunshine Tenasco, Founder of Pow Wow Pitch, emceed the action-packed program, where the nine Skilled Trades 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’ve been working night and day helping our clients and our Team and now it’s my time to step out of the shadows and let my Indigenous roots shine. It felt like something I had to do at this time. There was no question about it ,” said First-Place Winner Jody Bosse. “Having won the Skilled Trades Semi-Final, I am beaming with joy! Pow Wow Pitch has been an incredible incredible experience and platform for our business.”
Jody’s business, Poly-B Plumbing, provides both residential and commercial plumbing and water filtration services.
The Judges also issued an Honorary Mention to Nolan West, Founder of Watchful Woodworks for an outstanding pitch; awarded Jennifer Dubois, Founder of Miyosiwin Salon Spa with 3rd place; and, recognized Samanntha De Coteau, Founder of RooferGirl Inc. as the Runner Up.
“Congratulations to Jody on her Gold Ticket win to advance to the 2022 Pow Wow Pitch Finals,” said Sunshine Tenasco, Founder of Pow Wow Pitch. “Poly-B Plumbing is an incredible business leading by example. We look forward to spotlighting and sharing Jody’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 Jody Bosse 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 Jody 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.