2021 SEMI-FINALIST BRIEFING
Congratulations on being selected as a semi-finalists for the 2021 Pitch Competition! This webpage is designed to provide you with everything you need to know to have a successful pitching experience as a Semi-Finalist.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A SEMI-FINALIST?
You have been selected as a Semi-Finalist of the 2021 Pow Wow Pitch. That means that out of the more than 1,000 pitches we heard, you were chosen as one of the top for your region.
As a semi-finalist our goal is to help you to shine. We have created a great platform for you and it is up to you to use it and make it happen. All Semi-Finalists are required to:
- Attend a Semi-Finalist Onboarding Call August 11th at 5 PM ET. (Zoom link)
- Complete a Tech Check with our Technical Producer August 16th - 18th.
- Meet with two mentors August 16th - 18th.
- Participate in the Semi-Final Pitch (see date and time below).
SEMI-FINALIST ONBOARDING EMAIL
POW WOW PITCH MAILER BOX DEADLINE
SEMI-FINALIST ONBOARDING CALL
TECH CHECKS WITH THE PRODUCERS & MENTORSHIP SESSIONS
SEMI-FINAL RECORDING DATES
PEOPLE’S CHOICE VOTING DEADLINE
FINALIST VIP DAY
GRAND FINALE RECORDING
GRAND FINALE AIRING
As a Semi-Finalist, if you have any questions or concerns, our Executive Producer is very happy to support you. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include SEMI-FINALIST in your subject line to ensure your email receives priority.
SHARE THE NEWS
We invite you to spread the news and make some noise about your selection as a Semi-Finalist. Feel free to use the post below for inspiration, download the graphics kit, and make the template announcement your own.
PEOPLE’S CHOICE PRIZE
This year, Semi-Finalists have another opportunity to land themselves in the Finale by being voted as a public favourite with the People’s Choice Prize. From now until September 26th, you can rally your friends, family, community and customers to cheer you on and vote for you as a People’s Choice winner. There is one vote per person. The Winner of the People’s Choice Prize wins $500 and gets a Gold Ticket to Pitch at the Pow Wow Pitch Finale. Voting Link: forms.gle/WcGmYaPUFhvZnUCk9
POW WOW PITCH BOX PROGRAM
PREPARING FOR MENTORSHIP
As a Semi-Finalist, on August 11th, you will receive an email to introduce you to your two mentors. You will arrange to meet with each of them between August 16th and 18th to share your business pitch and gain feedback as you prepare for your Sem-Final Pitch.
Watch this Learning Series video featuring former Pow Wow Pitch Winner Dakota Brant, Founder of Sapling and Flint, and her Pow Wow Pitch Mentor Tamer Gabbour to learn about mentorship and make the most of this opportunity to improve your chances of success.
HOW THE SEMI-FINAL PITCH WORKS
For the Pow Wow Pitch Semi-Final, you will have one minute to pitch to a panel of five judges. They will also have the opportunity to ask you questions for two additional minutes.
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.
HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED
Have you clearly communicated your product/service, value proposition and a pathway to sustainability and success?
Have you convinced the judges that you will follow through on their business goals?
Have you clearly communicated how you will use the money to start or take that next step?
PREPARING FOR YOUR PITCH
How to Nail Your Pitch
Learn now to master your Pitch for Pow Wow Pitch and how to master your pitch to partners, customers, investor and others to help you to grow your business.
What the Judges Have to Say
Gain insight into what the Pow Wow Pitch judges are looking for from semi-finalist entrepreneurs.
Get inspired by the 2020 Finalists
Watch last year’s top 25 Finalists pitch to self-assess and get inspired for your big pitch.
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.
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 $15,000 on.
- Tell us why you should win the 2021 Pow Wow Pitch and what impact you win will have on the community.
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.
How many prizes are there and how much funding is available?
Prizes up for grabs totalling $50,000 CAD:
- 12 Regional Prizes of $500 (2 for each region)
- 1 People's Choice Prize $500
- 1 Youth Prize (under 19 years of age) $1,000
- 3rd Prize $5,000
- 2nd Prize $10,000
- 1st Prize $25,000
What are the Regions, and how does it work?
You will be competing based on where you live. There are six regions for this year’s competition: Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, Prairies, BC and the North, and the United States and Mexico.
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.