Entrepreneurs Hungry to Win Can Enter the 2018 Bears’ Lair Competition

Entrepreneurs Hungry to Win Can Enter the  2018 Bears’ Lair Competition

[PETERBOROUGH]: Peterborough’s fiercest competition has returned. The 2018 Bears’ Lair Entrepreneurial Competition launched Friday morning at VentureNorth. Bears’ Lair is an annual competition for up-and-coming entrepreneurs in Peterborough & the Kawarthas.


Applications for this year’s competition will open on Tuesday, January 16th. Carey McMaster, Co-Chair and Sponsor Lead for the 2018 Bears’ Lair Competition invited all interested entrepreneurs to attend an orientation session at the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce that evening at 6:00 p.m. to learn more about the competition and application process. “Applications can be completed on the Bears’ Lair website at and are due by February 15, 2017,” says McMaster. “Bears’ Lair showcases the amazing entrepreneurial spirit in our community.  The talent and innovation happening locally is to be applauded. Peterborough and the Kawarthas is truly a diamond in the rough.”


This year’s competition will follow the same format as last year. Semi-finalists are selected from the applicants to compete in a Showcase event at The Venue on March 6, 2018. The top six finalists are then selected to move on to the Final Pitch event, where they will have the opportunity to pitch their business to a panel of judges and the local community for a chance to win cash and prizes. Last year, there was over $55,000 in cash and business support services awarded to the winners. The Final Pitch will take place at The Venue on April 18, 2018.


It was announced that Nicole Verkindt will be a judge at the Bears’ Lair Final Pitch. Verkindt is the Founder & CEO of Canadian technology company, OMX, a commentator on CBC and columnist for Vanguard magazine focusing on technology and business news and was a “Dragon” on CBC’s Next Gen Dragon’s Den, which is dedicated to early stage technology businesses. Verkindt will be joined by Rhonda Barnet, President & COO at Steelworks Design Inc and Chair of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters Board of Directors. One more judge is still to be announced.

Diane Richard of Diatom Consulting has returned as Chair of the Bears’ Lair Entrepreneurial Competition. “The incredible level of collaboration happening between our economic leaders and organizations, sponsors and committee is inspiring,” says Richard. “This year we are especially focused on driving entrepreneurial spirit and growth in our local community, and making the Final Pitch a dynamic and exciting evening for everyone to celebrate.” At the launch, Diane announced the new Bears’ Lair Supporter campaign that gives opportunity to start-ups, small business owners and anyone who knows the struggles of entrepreneurship support Bears’ Lair by donating $100 to their Eventbrite page. The donations will go straight to the cash prize awarded to the winners of the competition.


To become a Bears’ Lair Supporter, and to get tickets to the Final Pitch event April 18th at The Venue, visit


Sponsorship opportunities are still available. To become a sponsor, please contact Carey McMaster at or (705) 536-1101 ext. 903.

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