2023 SEMI-FINALIST BRIEFING
Congratulations on being selected as a semi-finalists for the 2023 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 2023 Pow Wow Pitch. That means you were chosen as one of the top entrepreneurs out of the more than 2,000 pitches. You are a role model and inspiration to your community. This is your platform to shine and grow with a community!
As a Semi-Finalist, our goal is to help you to shine. We have created an excellent platform for you, and it is up to you to use it and make it happen. All Semi-Finalists are required to:
- Confirm your participation by July 27.
- Attend a Semi-Finalist Onboarding Call on July 27.
- Mentorship and Tech Check Aug 1st and 11th. Complete a Tech Check with our Technical Producer in August (15 minutes) and meet with two to three mentors who will help you polish your pitch and support your business (takes 2-3 hours).
- Participate in the Semi-Final Pitch August 14-18. Dates and times are non-interchangeable.
August 14, 2023:
12:00 PM - 2:30 PM ET: Non-for-Profit
3:00 PM - 5:30 PM ET: Tourism & Startup - Started
August 15, 2023:
12:00 PM - 2:30 PM ET: Knowledge
3:00 PM - 5:30 PM ET: Consumer Products & Retail
August 16, 2023:
12:00 PM - 2:30 PM ET: Health & Wellness & Startup - Innovation
3:00 PM - 5:30 PM ET: Professional Services & Trades
August 17, 2023:
12:00 PM - 2:30 PM ET: Food & Drink
3:00 PM - 5:30 PM ET: Creative
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM ET: Youth & Startup - Idea
August 18, 2023:
12:00 PM - 2:30 PM ET: Tech
3:00 PM - 5:30 PM ET: Fashion
September 29, 2023:
10: 00 AM - 2:00 PM ET: Grand Finale
- People's Choice Voting August 18 - September 18. Details will be released soon. In addition to the Semi-Final Pitch, this is another way to win $1,000 and advance to the Finals for the $25K Prize.
- Semi-Final Broadcast Watch Parties and Announcements - September 4 - 16. We will Broadcast the Pitches and Announce the Winners of the Semi-Finals, who each win $1,000 and advance to the Finals with special access to an Accelerator Day and tons of bespoke support from our partners valued at $5,000 per Finalist, with 1-1 feedback on your pitch by an expert.
Times are subject to change without notice.
ORIENTATION ON ZOOM
Orientation and pitch training.
TECH CHECKS AND MENTORSHIP
July 26 - Aug 4
SEMI-FINAL PITCH SHOW FILMING WEEK
August 14 - 18
SEMI-FINAL BROADCAST WATCH PARTIES
September 5 - 16
PEOPLE'S CHOICE VOTING DEADLINE
FINALIST BOOTCAMP & MENTORSHIP
FINALIST PITCH SHOW FILMING
September 27th, 12 - 4 PM ET
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 email@example.com. Please include SEMI-FINALIST in your subject line to ensure your email receives priority. Please expect responses within 48 hours Monday - Friday, 9 am - 5 pm ET.
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. Also, reach out to your local media to let them know you did it! This is big news!
PEOPLE’S CHOICE PRIZE
This year, Semi-Finalists have another opportunity to land themselves in the Finale by being voted a public favourite with the People’s Choice Prize. The Winner of the People’s Choice Prize wins $1000 and gets a Gold Ticket to Pitch at the Pow Wow Pitch Finale. There is one vote per person. Make sure to submit your votes by September 17th. Click here to vote.
POW WOW PITCH BOX PROGRAM
As a Semi-Finalist, you qualify to enter your digital or physical products or services to be considered for the 2023 Pow Wow Pitch Box program, where we buy up to 500 units of your goods or services. Visit the program page to learn more and apply by the August 25th deadline.
PREPARING FOR MENTORSHIP
As a Semi-Finalist, on July 27th once you complete your confirmation form, you will receive an email introducing you to two to three mentors who will work with you to polish your pitch. You will arrange to meet with each of them August 1st to 11th to share your business pitch and gain feedback as you prepare for your Semi-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 judges. Your judges will be announced very soon. They will also be able to ask you questions for two additional minutes. These are the instructions we give to the judges.
Try to answer the questions as concisely as possible to get through as many questions as possible.
Powerpoint presentations are not possible - the Judges want to see and hear from you.
You are welcome to display products, branding or demos in the background.
Only one person from the business may pitch and they must be the founder / owner and Indigenous.
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 2021 Finalists
Watch last year’s top 29 Finalists pitch to self-assess and get inspired for your big pitch.
All Pitchers (Participants) must conduct an onbaording call with the Pow Wow Pitch Team 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 or dropouts.
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 and orientation
Technical call with Pow Wow Pitch Team
All Participants are required to conduct a brief video call with the Pow Wow Pitch Team to ensure proper setup prior to any recording sessions. During this call, Participants will be asked by the Pow Wow Pitch Team to turn on their audio and video to ensure correct functionality.
- Open the invite email with the Zoom Call URL link. Click on the Zoom URL link.
- It is a better experiance if you download the Zoom app onto your computer here.
- When you click on the Zoom invite link you will be able to open the meeting in the Zoom application.
- Depending if you already have a Zoom account you may be able to enter your name and join.
- If prompted by a pop up please click ‘Allow’ so that the Zoom and/or the Internet browser can access the camera and microphone.
- If connection is successful you will enter the lobby and be greeted by the Pow Wow Pitch Team. If it is not successful, call the Technical Producer at (613) 799-7790. He will be waiting on standby.
NOTE: We strongly recommend to download and install the Zoom application before you join the meeting.
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.
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.
We strongly encourage you to use this opportunity to get your business online and grow your social following.
On behalf of our partners at CIRA, we are happy to provide you with a free .ca domain name for your business. Click here to claim your free .ca domain using the promo code: POWWOWPITCH2023 before July 31, 2022.
On behalf of Shopify, we are pleased to provide you with a 60-day free trial to build an e-commerce website for free. Click here to access your trial before July 31, 2022.
What is the mentorship part of the Pow Wow Pitch?
All semi-finalists will be paired with two to three mentors for a 1-hour session. During your sessions, 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 $25,000 on.
- Tell us why you should win the 2021 Pow Wow Pitch and what impact you win will have on the community.
Can I 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.
How many prizes are there and how much funding is available?
Prizes up for grab through the virtual competition totalling $100,000 CAD:
- Semi-Final Prizes of $1000
- Creative grant commissions of $2,500
- Creative grant commission of $15,000
- People's Choice Prize $1,000
- 1 Alumni Prize $5,000
- 3rd Prize $5,000
- 2nd Prize $10,000
- 1st Prize $25,000
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.
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.