THANK YOU:

Thank you to everyone who participated in our 2017 Bears' Lair Entrepreneurial Competition, and thanks to all of our sponsors, supporters and committee members! We are looking forward to our next competition. 

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2017 COMPETITION FINALISTS

Meet our 2017 Finalists in this video by our Sponsor Impact Communications

The Bears’ Lair Entrepreneurial Competition is in the style of CBC’s The Dragons’ Den. The prize consists of 50,000 in cash and business support services, with the two final winners receiving $5,000 in cash each. Finalists get the chance to present their business ideas to the community and a panel of local judges.

GOODS & SERVICES STREAM

The Goods and Services stream is for any businesses that are creating and selling products or delivering a type of service. The business could be locally or globally focused, and could include retail, manufacturing, professional or personal services. 

INNOVATION STREAM

The Innovation Stream is for businesses that have a focus on technology, innovation and ideas, such as a new program or process. There is potential to scale very rapidly and commercialize intellectual property. 

RULES & INSTRUCTIONS

In order to compete in the 2017 Bears Lair Competition entrants must be a registered business. You must be able to undertake the proposed work within the next 12 months and have annual sales of less than $200,000.
 
OUR JUDGES
 
We have three amazing business experts as judges for our 2017 competition! Get to know them by clicking on their profiles.
 
Helen Jenkins

James Sculthorpe

President of Yorkshire Valley Farms

Yorkshire Valley Farms (YVF) is an Ontario-based food company that handles production logistics, marketing and sales for organic chicken, turkey and egg products. Founded in 2010 by two Peterborough farming families, in just over five years YVF has grown to include a network of over 25 Ontario farmers, over 120 retail partners, and over 80 employees.

 

James joined YVF in 2012 in the role of President. Under James' leadership, YVF has grown from a small food business to become Canada's leading organic poultry brand. James has built a team of passionate, like-minded food enthusiasts, who, working together, have stewarded the company to expand its product offering, increase its retail footprint to achieve national presence in Canada and begin expansion into international markets, and most recently, to become vertically integrated through the acquisition of a federally-accredited poultry processing facility. The nimble, creative corporate culture that has been fostered under James has allowed YVF to successfully respond to customer and consumer opportunities in order to stay ahead of the competition.

Mystery Judge 2

Kate Ramsay

5th Generation Family Business Owner, Venture Philanthropist, Angel Investor

Kate Ramsay is a graduate of Trent University and long-time resident of Selwyn Township. She has been both a sole proprietor and a director of one of Canada’s largest family enterprises, celebrating its 160th year in 2017.  A lifelong volunteer, Kate has held NFP governance roles in education, agriculture, social services and the arts.  She is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors, and currently serves on the board of Noblegen, Inc. Kate is one of the two women who are part of the Peterborough Region Angels Network, and is very active with the organization.

Mystery Judge 3

Warren Faleiro

Chief Technology Officer of FreshBooks

Warren started his career as a software developer and still loves it when his team ships code. Having started a couple of software companies himself, he believes that there has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur. Warren has helped to grow companies both in Toronto and Silicon Valley in California, where he lived for 12 years.

He returned to Canada 5 years ago to lead and grow product development at FreshBooks, a Toronto startup that offers cloud based accounting software that makes running a small business easy, fast and secure.

THE COMPETITION

  • February 2nd
    Applications Open

  • March 2nd
    Application Close

  • March 21st
    Semi-finalist Showcase

  • April 25th
    Main Event

February 2nd APPLICATIONS OPEN

LEARN ABOUT BEARS' LAIR

Are you an entrepreneur with a great business idea? Learn more about the Bears' Lair competition, the rules and eligibility and how to apply.

Learn more
February 2nd - March 2nd INDICATE YOUR ENTRY

POST A PHOTO ON FACEBOOK

The FIRST thing you must do is post a photograph that represents your business to the Bears Lair Facebook page indicating your entry.

Post a photo
February 2nd - March 2nd FULL APPLICATION

SUBMIT YOUR BUSINESS PLAN

After posting a photo to Facebook, you have until March 2nd to submit your application with a completed business plan that outlines next steps for your business.

Applications for 2017 are now closed
March 21st THE VENUE

SEMI-FINALIST SHOWCASE

All Semi-Finalists will have the opportunity to showcase their business to the Bears' Lair local judges and community. Anyone can attend. Local judges will select 6 Finalists to move on to the final event.

Event has ended
April 25th THE VENUE

THE FINAL COMPETITION

The top finalists give their final pitch to our judges to win the top prizes. Anyone can attend.

Event has ended

Thank you to our Presenting Sponsors! These amazing organizations make Bears' Lair possible!

 

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MORE SPONSORS

OUR EVENT LOCATION: THE VENUE

The Semi-Finalist Showcase and the Final Competition will take place at The Venue

Get Directions

Direction


TESTIMONIALS

“Being a winner on Bear’s Lair was definitely a high point for all of us at Entomo Farms. The guidance, advice and inspiration we received from all the ‘Bears’ was fantastic, and helped to keep us focused and on track. It was incredible to be recognized as innovators, and our win from Bear’s Lair really helped to give us the confidence and determination to keep going. Thank you so much for all the help! ”

Stacie Goldin, Entomo Farms
Stacie Goldin, Entomo Farms
Innovation Stream Winner, 2015

“The Bears’ Lair experience was a tremendous kickstart to my business. Perhaps more importantly it was a unique opportunity for personal development - sometimes nerve wracking but hugely rewarding. Attending the seminars and learning from experts in different fields really helped me hone a loose concept into a viable retail business. ”

Rob Howard, Kawartha Local
Rob Howard, Kawartha Local
Goods & Services Stream Winner, 2016

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