PHOTO: Pow Wow Pitch | Alice Beaudoin

Invest Ottawa Backs Pow Wow Pitch Expansion

June 16, 2021

Invest Ottawa provides hometown support as a Seed-Level Sponsor of Indigenous-led pitch competition and entrepreneurship program

Pow Wow Pitch, North America’s premier pitch competition for emerging Indigenous entrepreneurs, announced Invest Ottawa as a Seed Sponsor to support Indigenous entrepreneurs access training, mentorship, funding and a platform to showcase and celebrate their stories.

Pow Wow Pitch launched seven years ago at the Ottawa Summer Solstice Pow Wow, founded by local Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg entrepreneur Sunshine Tenasco, with the support of local mentors, judges and sponsors. 

In 2020, with pandemic cancellations of pow wows, Pow Wow Pitch moved online to reach hundreds of Indigenous entrepreneurs across every province and territory. This year, Pow Wow Pitch is scaling across Turtle Island, expecting more than 1,000 pitchers from across the continent. 

Pow Wow Pitch Founder Sunshine Tenasco and Invest Ottawa have a longstanding relationship to support Indigenous entrepreneurs in the National Capital Region; including, bootcamps, programs and mentorship services, and International Women’s Week (IWW) events as part of the Digital Main Street Future Proof Program delivered by Invest Ottawa.

Invest Ottawa is building on its relationship with Sunshine to extend its support to Pow Wow Pitch as an Indigneous-led community-driven initiative. 

“We are committed to becoming a better ally, supporting sustainable change, and empowering diverse entrepreneurs from every walk of life who drive our economic growth,” said Sonya Shorey, Vice President of Strategy, Marketing and Communications, Invest Ottawa, Bayview Yards and Area X.O. “We know the path to Truth and Reconciliation includes acknowledging the injustice and harm done to Indigenous people, past and present, and addressing the inequities that persist. We are honoured to collaborate with Sunshine and Pow Wow Pitch to support community-led action, and help fuel the growth and success of Indigenous entrepreneurs today and tomorrow.”

“I am so proud Invest Ottawa is supporting Pow Wow Pitch to reach and support more Indigenous entrepreneurs,” said Sunshine Tenasco, Founder of Pow Wow Pitch. “Having the hometown support of our community helps us stand taller as entrepreneurs so we can grow confidently knowing our community is rallying for the success of Indigenous entrepreneurs.”   

Invest Ottawa will help adjudicate the Ontario Semi-finals, provide the top 25 Finalists with an Accelerator workshop, and contribute prize dollars for winning entrepreneurs through this partnership.