9 Indigenous Youth Entrepreneurs awarded Technology Grants

September 14, 2023

Pow Wow Pitch Announces 2023 Best Buy Canada Tech-4-Youth Technology Grant Winners

On September 14th, Pow Wow Pitch, North America’s premier pitch competition and non-profit organization supporting emerging Indigenous entrepreneurs, awarded 9 technology grants for young Indigenous entrepreneurs through the Tech-4-Youth program supported by Best Buy Canada.

Last year, Pow Wow Pitch and Best Buy launched the Tech-4-Youth program, offering essential technology to young Indigenous entrepreneurs. This year, Best Buy upped its involvement by becoming the main sponsor for the Pow Wow Pitch Youth competition, where youth have one minute to pitch their businesses for cash prizes. Additionally, Best Buy expanded their tech contributions to include young entrepreneurs from previous years. 

The 2023 recipients of the Tech-4-Youth grants are between 9 and 18 years of age and come from across Canada. Their entrepreneurial ventures span science education, snack delivery, counseling centers, graphic design, equestrian services, beading, learning centers, teddy bear crafting, and powwow dancing lessons.

Meet the 2023 Tech-4-Youth Recipients:

Simon Monteith, the Founder of Simon the Scientist from Opaskwayak Cree Nation, residing in Winnipeg, MB, provides Youtube online learning for kids, explaining science from an Indigenous perspective. Simon is receiving an Apple iPhone 14, OtterBox Case, Gimbal Stabilizer, Selfie Ring Light Tripod and an Apple MacBook Air to support him with video production for his educational videos.

Riel Migwans Beam, Owner for Riel’s Variety, from M’Chigeeng, ON is on a mission to provide “the best snacks the planet can provide”. Riel delivers his snacks to classmates at Manitoulin Secondary School and through his website, he ships worldwide! Riel is receiving an Apple iPhone 14 Pro and OtterBox Case to support him with keeping up with business orders and mobility. 

Cambria Wichmann, Founder of Resilience Rising from Simpcw First Nation, who lives in Abbotsford, BC, has an idea for developing a centre for at-risk-youth to access Indigenous counsellors, programming, and a safe space to learn and play. Cambria is receiving an Apple iPhone 14, OtterBox Case, and Acer Aspire Laptop to support her to set up a website, organize her business, and to improve efficiency when working with collaborators.

Taren Cardinal, a striving graphic designer and YouTuber from the Plains Cree First Nation, is looking to take his love for code to the next level to create games. Taren is receiving an Acer Nitro Gaming Laptop, a Numark Party Mix II DJ Sound Board and a Blue Yeti Game Streaming Kit with Mic to support him with his production and to improve his communication with others. 

Cadence Cotter, Owner and Founder of Manes and Reins Equestrian Co., who is Métis from Georgian Bay, Ontario, has built a subscription box for equestrian lovers like her, that include brushes, hangers and signs. Cadence is receiving an Apple iPad, OtterBox Case and Apple Pencil to support her with being able to independently design her own products and manage her online Shopify store.

Eleanora Martin, is from the Haisla Nation, operating from Surrey, BC. Eleanora creates Indigenous beaded earrings and accessories and wants to start offering classes on beading. Eleanora is receiving a Square Reader and Canon Pixma Wireless All-In-One Inkjet Printer & Ink to help her create and sell new designs.

Keira Tootoosis, from Onion Lake Cree Nation, who livesSaskatoon, SK, is creating memorial teddy bears with voice boxes for the recordings of voices and loving messages from loved ones who have passed on. Keira is receiving an Acer Aspire Laptop to support her with receiving custom orders. 

Aurora Lynn Cardinal, is from the Saddle Lake Cree Nation and lives in Edmonton, AB. Aurora offers powwow dancing lessons and regalia rentals to help make traditional clothing more accessible to those learning to dance. Aurora is receiving an Apple iPhone 14, OtterBox Case and an Acer Aspire Laptop to support her with self-made advertisement production and to help her record dancing videos at powwows. 

Ruby Daniels, is the co-owner and operator of the student-run company, 3R Innovative Imaging from One Arrow First Nation, Saskatchewan. Ruby, together with her classmates, upcycle trash into beautiful art, which they sell at local retailers across the province. Best Buy is providing the team at 3R Innovative Imaging with 6 Acer Aspire Laptops, a Square Reader, an Apple iPad and OtterBox Case, an Apple iPhone 14, a Canon Pixma Wireless All-in-One Printer and Ink, a Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera with memory card and bag and a light-box to support the team with strengthening their skills and further developing their online social media platforms. 

“Thank you, Best Buy, for continuing this initiative with Pow Wow Pitch and supporting our inspiring youth,” said Sunshine Tenasco, Founder of Pow Wow Pitch. “Access to digital tech is a game changer and equalizer for early-stage Indigenous entrepreneurs and the Tech-4-Youth grants will go a long way in supporting their entrepreneurial journeys. Congratulations to Simon, Riel, Cambria, Taren, Cadence, Eleanora, Keira, Aurora, and the 3R Innovative Imaging Team, for being selected as this year’s Tech-4-Youth recipients! We know you will take these tech grants to take your visions and businesses to the next level as you work to make an impact in your communities.”

To watch the 2023 Pow Wow Pitch Youth Semi-Finals, click here.