PITCH TO WIN

HOW TO PITCH

PITCH LIVE IN PERSON

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 2,500 Indigenous entrepreneurs will pitch their businesses online and in person for a chance to win cash prizes ranging from $500 to $25,000, with a total of $100,000 in cash prizes to give away!

Your Pow Wow Pitch journey begins with a 1-Minute Pitch.

JUST BY SUBMITTING A PITCH, YOU GET ACCESS TO ALL OF THIS GOODNESS

1
WIN MONEY - Win cash prizes from $500 to $25,000 CAD.
2
GET NOTICED - Gain exposure, followers, press and more customers to grow faster.
3
SELL STUFF - Become eligible for the Pow Wow Pitch Box Program, where we buy and distribute up to 350 units of your products or services.
4
ACCESS MENTORS & LEARNING - Get access to industry-leading mentors and experts, attend business accelerator bootcamps, and access free resources, templates and advisors.
5
START-UP ONLINE FREE - Get Shopify free for 60 days and a free .CA domain for your business.
6
FRIENDSHIPS & COMMUNITY FOR LIFE - Join a community of Indigenous innovators, makers, artists and builders cheering each other on and making a difference in their community.
7
BECOME AN ALUMNI - Join our Alumni Network to be eligible to have your products featured in Powwowmarket.ca and the Pow Wow Pitch Box and to contribute to initiatives that support the next generation of Indigenous entrepreneurs.

PITCH TO WIN

$100,000 IN PRIZES!

DIGITAL PITCH PRIZES

$25,000 - GRAND PRIZE WINNER
$10,000 - 2ND PLACE
$5,000 - 3RD PLACE
$5,000 - ALUMNI PRIZE
$1,000 - PEOPLE'S CHOICE PRIZE
$1,000 - INDUSTRY SEMI-FINAL WINNERS
$1,000 - YOUTH PRIZE WINNER

 

IN-PERSON PITCH PRIZES

LIVE EVENTS
$5,000 - WINNERS
$2,500 - 2ND PLACE
$1,000 - 3RD PLACE
$500 - YOUTH PRIZE & FAN FAVOURITE

CRITERIA & SCORING

/5

PRESENTATION

Have you clearly communicated your product/service, value proposition and a pathway to sustainability and success?

/5

EXECUTION

Have you convinced the judges you will follow through on your business goals?

/5

MOTIVATION

Have you clearly communicated how you will use the money to start or take that next step?

/5

COMMUNITY IMPACT

Have you outlined how your initiative has created or will create a positive impact on your community?

WHO QUALIFIES?

Indigenous people living anywhere on Turtle Island (Canada or the United States) of any age or gender with an idea or business at any stage and in any industry.

PITCH TIMELINE

Times are subject to change without notice.

03
Apr
2024

APPLICATIONS OPEN

Complete a short form and submit your 1-minute video.

05
Jun
2024

DIGITAL APPLICATIONS CLOSE

Deadline to submit your application and video.
19
Jun
2024

POW WOW PITCH BOOTCAMP

On June 19, 12:00 - 3:00 PM ET, join experts to ask them anything to support you to build your business or take your idea to the next level.
04
Jul
2024

SEMI-FINALIST ANNOUNCEMENT

Pow Wow Pitch contacts the Semi-Finalists.
11
Jul
2024

SEMI-FINALIST ORIENTATION ON ZOOM

Semi-Finalists meet for orientation and pitch training on Zoom 1:00 - 3:00 PM ET.
23
Jul
2024

SEMI-FINALIST TECH CHECKS AND MENTORSHIP

July 23 - 30
On July 22, Semi-Finalists will be paired with Mentors and will meet with their mentors from July 23 - 30. During this time, Semi-Finalists will complete a tech check with Pow Wow Pitch.
06
Aug
2024

SEMI-FINAL PITCH WEEK

August 6 - 13
Semi-Finalists will complete their 1 minute pitch with 2 minutes of Q&A with the judges.
03
Sep
2024

SEMI-FINAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

September 3 - 17
17
Sep
2024

PEOPLE'S CHOICE VOTING DEADLINE

This is the last day for people to vote for their favourite Semi-Finalist to advance to the Finals and win the People's Choice Prize of $1,000.
19
Sep
2024

FINALISTS ANNOUNCED

Finalists announced.
24
Sep
2024

FINALIST BOOTCAMP & MENTORSHIP

Bootcamp and Mentorship for Finalist on September 24th from 12:00 - 3:00 PM ET followed by a session with an Executive Mentor on September 25 - October 2.
03
Oct
2024

GRAND FINALE SHOW FILMING

Filming session, 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM ET.
23
Oct
2024

GRAND FINALE WATCH PARTY

Join us online for our Grand Finale at 6:00 PM ET.

IN PERSON LIVE EVENTS

Want extra chances to win even more money?

Join Pow Wow Pitch in person, on-stage at Powwows and Indigenous Festivals across Turtle Island.

Click on the locations below to learn more and to pre-register to pitch!

WINNIPEG, MB

MAY 18, 2024

OTTAWA, ON

JUNE 22, 2024

KAMLOOPS, BC

JUNE 28, 2024

TOBIQUE, NB

JULY 27, 2024

WHAT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR 1 MINUTE PITCH

Introduce yourself and where you are from.

Tell us the name of your business and what you want to sell or already sell.

Tell us how you would use $25,000 to take your idea or business to the next level.

BONUS: Tell us why you want to do this? Who is part of your team? Your traction to date? Your vision for the future?

Watch the 2021 Winning Pitch and 2nd Place Pitch for inspiration.

FAQ

Can I submit more than one business or idea?

Yes, you can pitch as many businesses or ideas as you like; however, only one can make it through to the semi-finals.

Can I pitch my idea even if I have not yet started a business?

Yes, you can pitch an idea even if you haven’t started. It would be best if you took extra effort to convince the judges that you have every intention to follow through in your pitch.

Can I pitch a business that I have been running for a while?

Absolutely. It would be best if you took extra effort to share how far you have come and how you will use the funds to take your business to the next level in your pitch.

What type of business can I submit?

You can submit an idea, business, nonprofit, social enterprise, sole proprietorship, cooperative or any other form of business activity.

What if I don’t have a website or online presence?

That is no problem. As part of the Pow Wow Pitch, we will provide you with free tools and training to get your business online.

What is the mentorship part of the Pow Wow Pitch?

All semi-finalists will be paired with a mentor for a 1-hour session. During your session, you will present your 1-minute pitch to your mentor, and they will give you feedback to help you prepare for your pitch. Mentors are volunteers who are passionate about supporting you and your business to succeed.

What information should I include in my one-minute pitch?

Here are some ideas on what to include in your pitch.

  • Introduce yourself and the name of your business.
  • Please tell us where you live and what Indigenous community you are part of.
  • Tell us why you started your business and the problem your business looks to solve.
  • Tell us how far you have taken your business and your vision for the future.
  • Tell us about yourself, your team, and why you are the one to take the business forward.
  • Please tell us what you would spend the prize money on.
  • Tell us why you should win the Pow Wow Pitch and what impact you win will have on the community.
Can I have someone pitch on my behalf?

In order to maintain authenticity and respect for Indigenous cultures, it is crucial that pitchers, in this context, must be Indigenous individuals. Furthermore, they should hold a significant stake in the company, either as a founder, co-founder, owner, or co-owner. This ensures their representation and active involvement in decision-making, promoting equitable business practices.  You would also need to inform the pitch team well in advance that this would be the case, and not on the day of your pitch.

Can I use props or displays during my pitch?

Absolutely! You can show us your products or services, wear or display your logo.

What if I don’t have a business name?

It’s okay not to have a business name; however, you will need to pick a name (even if it’s temporary) to participate in Pow Wow Pitch.

Can I use a PowerPoint presentation?

No. For Pow Wow Pitch, we are more interested in getting to know you as an entrepreneur. You can follow a script, but we want to get to know the real you.

What can I use the funding for?

The cash prizes are non-repayable. You can spend them in anyway you like to support your business goals.

If I have pitched before, can I pitch again this year?

Absolutely. If you had pitched before and did not win one of the top three prizes, you are welcome to pitch again. However, even if you won a top-three prize, you are welcome to pitch a different idea or business.

What do you mean by Indigenous?

To compete in the Pow Wow Pitch, you must belong to an Indigenous community as an Inuit, Métis or First Nations person.