ABOUT THE PITCH
Pow Wow Pitch is a pitch competition for Indigenous entrepreneurs across Turtle Island to shine the spotlight on pow wow vendors, artists, business builders and innovators from all backgrounds and industries, whether just starting or looking to grow to the next level.
This year, more than 1,000 Indigenous entrepreneurs pitched their businesses online for a chance to win cash prizes ranging from $500 to $25,000 CAD. We screened the applications and selected the top entrepreneurs in each region for the 2021 Semi-Final round.
The top four entrepreneurs from each region will move onto the Grand Finale and will pitch for the top 3 prizes: 3rd Prize $5,000, 2nd Prize $10,000 and 1st Prize $25,000.
THE ROLE OF JUDGES
Judges listen to and evaluate the pitches of up to 25 entrepreneurs. Judges ask questions to ensure they fully understand the entrepreneur’s business and potential and score each pitch. As part of the scoring process for each entrepreneur, judges provide constructive feedback to support each entrepreneur to improve their business regardless of the outcome of the competition.
HOW THE ENTREPRENEURS WILL BE EVALUATED
Has the entrepreneur communicated their product/service, value proposition and a pathway to sustainability and success?
Has the entrepreneur convinced the judges that they will follow through on their business goals?
Has the entrepreneur clearly communicated how they will use the money to start or take that next step?
JUDGE ONBOARDING EMAIL
JUDGE ONBOARDING CALL
AUGUST 4 & 11
JUDGE TECH CHECKS WITH THE PRODUCERS
GRAND FINALE JUDGING
GRAND FINALE AIRING
As a judge, if you have any questions or concerns regarding the adjudication process, our Executive Producer is very happy to support you. She can be reached at email@example.com. Please include JUDGE in your subject line to ensure your email receives priority.
If you have any difficulty connecting for your tech check or on the day of the production, please contact the Technical Producer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include JUDGE in your subject line to ensure your email receives priority.
SHARE THE NEWS
We invite you to spread the news on social media. Feel free to use the post below for inspiration and download the graphics and frame to promote your involvement!
I am so proud to be a Judge for Pow Wow Pitch to support and encourage Indigenous entrepreneurs as they pitch to win funds and support to start up and take their business ideas to the next level! Good luck to all of the entrepreneurs! 🏹 ❤️ ✨ 🌱 Check out this year’s lineup of Judges! https://www.powwowpitch.org/pitch/judges/
Please review the adjudication forms in advance of your judge date. These should be completed live on the day of the event. Simply refresh the link for each new form you need to complete. Please take the time to provide constructive feedback for each entrepreneur. The names of the regional semi-finalists will be added to each form in a dropdown menu in advance of your semi-final recording.
TIPS FOR ADJUDICATING
Each entrepreneur has 1 minute to pitch their business and 2 Minutes of Q&A with the judges. Judges then have 2 minutes to complete their evaluation forms for each entrepreneur they meet. Each judge will assess approximately 25 pitches in a re-recorded session that will be edited for broadcast airing.
Ask pointed and concise questions that will help you understand the business and the entrepreneur better to make a more informed decision in scoring. There is only time for 2 minutes of Q&A so the longer you take asking the question, you are taking time away from the entrepreneur to answer it and to field other questions from the judges.
If you feel an entrepreneur didn't have time to speak to a particular aspect of their business, you can help them by asking a question to give them a platform to provide you with additional information.
This is a very intimidating experience for many entrepreneurs. Visual cues like smiling and nodding help them feel reassured. For most, this is their first time pitching.
This is a very diverse pool of entrepreneurs at varying stages. Please tailor the sophistication of your questioning to be accessible to the entrepreneur you are meeting.
Avoid jargon and acronyms - e.g. MVP, ROI, etc. Many are at a very early stage and brand new to the world of business.
Hear some of the feedback from judges who took part in the 2019 Pow Wow Pitch. Although the program is virtual this year, and we are all meeting online due to pandemic closures as safety measures, we want to ensure the heart and spirit of in-person mentorships carries through online.
IDEAS FOR QUESTIONS
Please find below possible questions you may wish to ask during the 2 minute Q&A portion of the Pow Wow Pitch.
READINESS/MOTIVATION (for early-stage entrepreneurs)
- What steps have you taken to date with your business?
- What motivated you to start your business?
- Where would you like to see your business in 5 years?
- How are you marketing your product/service?
- What is your go-to-market strategy ? (e.g. online, trade shows, B2B, franchise, etc.)
- Do you have global ambitions for your business? If so, how will you reach your customers
- What makes your product/service unique? How will you stand out above the crowd?
- What has been your traction to date? What are some of your biggest achievements?
- What is your background?
- Tell us about your team or support network around you.
- What have been your revenues this year?
- What are your projections for next year?
- What is your profit margin for each product you sell?
- If you win the 2021 Pow Wow Pitch, how will you use the funds to boost your business?
All Judges and Pitchers (Participants) must conduct a technical call with the Technical Producer to ascertain video, audio and Internet quality before participating in the sessions. To ensure consistency and avoid technical issues, we ask participants to set up in advance (computer equipment, location and internet connection) and ensure that the technical setup will remain the same setup for use on the day of the session. Changing the setup may result in unexpected technical problems.
Step 1: Setup YOUR TECHNOLOGY IN ADVANCE
Desktop computer or laptop
Desktop computer or laptop with a charged battery plugged into a power outlet (personal computers on personal networks work best, as sometimes highly secure office computers and networks may have firewalls that prohibit proper Internet connection. Do not use a mobile device.
Webcam (clean the lens to ensure no fingerprints).
USB microphone with earbuds or a USB headset with an attached microphone.
Wired internet connection
Wired Internet connection (do not use WiFi as wireless is not reliable). A participant's recording will reside online into the foreseeable future. Participants need to ensure the brands they represent will be presented in the highest quality possible. A dedicated wired connection to the internet ensures you will not have poor video or audio quality, dropouts and will help in maintaining sharp and clear text legibility on PowerPoint presentations.
IMPORTANT: It is imperative participants use a reliable internet connection as re-recording, editing or re-scheduling at a later date will not be possible.
Quiet, indoor location free from clutter, people, pets or copyrighted materials, i.e. art in the background.
Well-lit space. Turn on all lights and open window blinds. Position yourself in front of light sources, avoid major key light sources coming from behind.
STEP 2: Technical call with the Producer
Technical call with Producer
All Participants are required to conduct a brief video call with the Creative Producer to ensure proper setup prior to any recording sessions. During this call, Participants will be asked by the Producer to turn on their audio and video to ensure correct functionality.
- Open the invite email with the vMix Call URL link. Click on the URL link.
- Enter your name and click ‘Join Call’.
- If prompted please click ‘Allow’ so that the Internet browser can access the camera and microphone.
- If connection is successful you will be greeted by the Technical Producer. If it is not successful, call the Technical Producer at (613) 799-7790. He will be waiting on standby.
NOTE: Do not share the vMixCall URL link you have been provided. It is your personal link to access the recording session.
Easy yet powerful tips to keep in mind
In some cases session clips may end up in television broadcasts or other professional outlets. Here are some simple DIY tips to ensure your recording remains professional.
TIP 1: It is not flattering to look up someone's nose. Notice that on a desktop computer your webcam is located on top of your monitor and is already close to your eye-level height. If you are using a laptop, elevate your laptop and webcam position so that the lens is at eye-level (avoid upward/downward angles with your webcam). You may have to use a tall stack of books to achieve this.
TIP 2: Come close enough to the webcam so that the top of your head touches the top of your webcam video. Do not sit far away from your camera. Stay centred and in the middle of your webcam video. Pay attention to your body posture and avoid slouching or leaning off to either side.
TIP 3: Speak clearly and project your voice. Business casual wardrobe is recommended.