On September 5th, Pow Wow Pitch, North America’s premier pitch competition for Indigenous entrepreneurs, presented in partnership with RBC, Shopify, and Mastercard, announced Kona Slays, the Rapid Lake Founder of Love Koko from Montreal, Québec, as the 2023 Pow Wow Pitch Startup Winner. Kona Slays has won $1,000 and is advancing to the Finals for a chance to win $25,000 to grow their business.
Drawing from her Indigenous heritage, Cherise emphasized the importance of community in entrepreneurship. “It’s super important to have a strong community with our people,” she mused. Even though she’s originally from Northern Alberta, her move helped her connect deeply with the Blackfoot culture. This connection infuses her work, life, and business ethos, fostering hope, especially for those grappling with addiction.
John decided to participate in Pow Wow Pitch to gain awareness for his brand, join a community of like-minded Indigenous entrepreneurs, build trust in his brand, to learn and grow. “I’m building the brand with our people first, then I’ll go from there,” he stated, emphasizing the significance of community endorsement and trust in business. “That I made the news feels great as a Semi-Finalist means so much to me,” Halkett remarked, grateful for the acknowledgment of his hard work.