On April 30, Pow Wow Pitch, North America’s premier pitch competition for Indigenous entrepreneurs, presented in partnership with RBC, Shopify, Meta and Mastercard, announced Melinda Williamson, Owner and Founder of Morning Light Kombucha from the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, as the 2022 Pow Wow Pitch Gathering of Nations Winner. Melinda has won $1,000 and is advancing to the Finals for a chance to win $25,000 to grow her businesses.
“The Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival is thrilled to be hosting Pow Wow Pitch once again,” said Trina Mather-Simard, Executive Director & Producer of the Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival. “This incredible opportunity for Indigenous entrepreneurs started right here on our Celebration State. Each year we are blown away by the brilliance of our Indigenous community and love to watch them confidently pitch and ultimately grow their idea into a successful business.”
“WEKH is proud to partner with the Pow Wow Pitch, a one-of-a-kind opportunity for Indigenous entrepreneurs,” said Ashley Richard, Associate Director, Indigenous – Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub. “Through this partnership, we will advance Indigenous women’s entrepreneurship and co-create new opportunities for Indigenous communities. Together, we are working towards building more inclusive innovation.”
“We are honoured and excited to bring Pow Wow Pitch to the Manito Ahbee Festival and be back in action, on the ground with community, celebrating and showcasing Indigenous vendors, entrepreneurs and artists of all kinds,” said Sunshine Tenasco, Founder of Pow Wow Pitch. “Entrepreneurship is an important tool for reclamation, and through sharing our stories, ideas and businesses, we can grow the Indigenous economy together, our way.”
As part of the Partnership, Indigenous youth from across Canada starting up businesses can visit www.powwowpitch.org/tech-4-youth to submit a ‘Request for Tech’ to ask for the technology they need to start and run their businesses. Pow Wow Pitch and Best Buy will review and assess the requests to support Indigenous youth to take action on their dreams.
Futurpreneur and Pow Wow Pitch’s partnership will focus on providing Indigenous youth entrepreneurs with ongoing support through the Futurpreneur financing and mentorship programs including the Indigenous Entrepreneur Startup Program, led by a team with lived experience.
The partnership will focus on sharing the stories of Indigenous entrepreneurs and providing Indigenous entrepreneurs that participate in the Pow Wow Pitch community with a free .CA domain for their business with the support of their partner, Web Hosting Canada.
This year, MNP will support Pow Wow Pitch as a Community-Level Sponsor and engage its employees as mentors for Pow Wow Pitch entrepreneurs virtually and on the ground at pow wows across Canada. In addition, this year, MNP will support Pow Wow Pitch Finalists with 8-hours of in-kind services each to help them advance significant business, strategic and financial planning goals.
Sklar Wilton’s employees will volunteer as mentors for Pow Wow Pitch entrepreneurs, with extra support and mentorship to Finalists one-on-one and through the Finalist Bootcamp program. In addition, Skar Wilton will partner with Pow Wow Pitch on a Learning Series Webinar, the development of tools and templates for Indigenous entrepreneurs, and an end-of-year Impact Report to support Pow Wow Pitch to quantify its impact on the Indigenous economy.
Today, Pow Wow Pitch, North America’s premier pitch competition and non-profit organization supporting emerging Indigenous entrepreneurs, announced the expansion of its collaboration with RBC over the next two years.
NACCA’s CEO, Shannin Metatawabin, will serve on Pow Wow Pitch Advisory Board to steward Pow Wow Pitch as it grows, and Pow Wow Pitch’s Founder, Sunshine Tenasco, will support NACCA Indigenous Business Hub entrepreneurs to start-up businesses through mentorship and workshops.
In addition to supporting Pow Wow Pitch as a Silver-Level Sponsor and engaging its employees as mentors, trusted advisors, and judges for virtual pitch contests and on the ground at pow wows across Canada, Canada Post will be available to answer questions related to shipping, e-commerce, logistics and marketing as part of the Pow Wow Pitch Ask Me Anything series.
Over the next three years, Mitacs will support Pow Wow Pitch as a Community-Level Sponsor and engage its employees as mentors, trusted advisors, and judges for virtual pitch contests and on the ground at pow wows across Canada. In addition, this year, Mitacs will support Pow Wow Pitch Finalists to connect with researchers and Mitacs innovation programs for ongoing support.
Through Pow Wow Pitch, Indigenous vendors, artists and entrepreneurs from Canada and the United States can pitch their businesses and business ideas virtually and live at pow wows and Indigenous festivals for their chance to join the Pow Wow Pitch Accelerator program and win more than $200,000 in cash prizes.
Patrick Hunter’s work ‘Red Rising’ has been selected as the official art for the 2022 Indigenous Entrepreneur Awards, and each of the 2022 Award Winners will receive a framed limited edition signed print of the work with their Award plaque.