The Bears’ Lair Entrepreneurial Competition had its Grand Finale at The Venue on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. Six up-and-coming entrepreneurs pitched their businesses to a panel of judges with the goal of winning over $55,000 in cash and business support services.
The 6 finalists were split into the Innovation Stream and the Goods & Services Stream based on their type of business. The winner of the Innovation Stream was Alex Bushell of Lab Improvements, the manufacturer of CapTrack, a portable, benchtop-sized device that manages refrigerated inventory and recaps specimen tubes for medical laboratories. “We see an innovative idea that solves a problem their customers see relevant,” explained Warren Faleiro, Chief Technology Officer of FreshBooks and one of three 2017 Bears’ Lair. “Bears’ Lair forced me to get out of my comfort zone,” says Alex. “We like using local suppliers. Right now we can drive 10 minutes to our manufacturer and we are looking forward to continuing to utilize other local talent.”
Tim and Dan Waggoner of Loch were the winners of the Goods & Services Stream. “We’re really grateful that Bears’ Lair exists and that there is such a supportive community for start-ups and entrepreneurs,” says Tim. “The prize package is going to push our business forward even further and faster.” Loch is the producer of sunglasses are crafted exclusively from 500-year-old, water-recovered timber reclaimed from the Great Lakes and crafted in the Peterborough, ON, area.
Alex Bushell from Lab Improvements and Tim and Dan Waggoner from Loch won $5,000 in cash and over $20,000 in business support services each. The cash and business support services, including marketing and advertising, public relations services, accounting services, strategic planning and consulting services, computers, office equipment and more were donated by the 2017 Bears’ Lair sponsors.
The remaining four finalists included Mont Pellier, HitcHinge, TreeWell Limited (That Dam Tea), and Ship Shape Service. They each received $1,000 as runner-ups. FastStart awarded $200 to Alex Bushell from Lab Improvements, an entrepreneur under the age of 30. The Women’s Business Network of Peterborough awarded a free 2017/2018 membership to Kelli Coon from Ship Shape Service.
James Sculthorpe, President, Yorkshire Valley Farms, Kate Ramsay, 5th Generation Family Business Owner, Venture Philanthropist and Angel Investor, and Warren Faleiro, Chief Technology Officer, FreshBooks judged the pitches. Chair of the 2017 Competition Diane Richard was impressed by the finalist’s pitches to the judges. “We had a very robust lineup of entrepreneurs this year and they all did a remarkable job with their business plans, displays, and pitches. We applaud everyone who participated in this year’s competition and we encourage them to continue to develop and grow their businesses and connect with the Peterborough and the Kawartha’s business support community.”
This year’s competition wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Bears’ Lair Sponsors.
PRESENTING SPONSORS: Peterborough Economic Development, Community Futures Peterborough, Peterborough Angles, Innovation Cluster, Mega Brand Experience, Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce
PLATINUM SPONSORS: Savino Human Resource Partners, Workforce Development Board, Impact Communications, Peterborough Examiner
GOLD SPONSORS: Part Time CFO, Red X Technology, Fox Law, Kawartha Now, Prima IP
SILVER SPONSORS: Marketing Ink, Best Write Communications, Diatom, Sofie Andreou Associates, Cody & James
BRONZE SPONSORS: The Protectors Group, Shaw Computer Systems, TCB Office Furniture, Moss Works Photography, Women’s Business Network, Fast Start
MEDIA SPONSORS: Kawartha Now, 101.5 The Wolf, Chex Television Peterborough, 100.5 Fresh Radio, Ptbo Canada
EVENT SUPPORTERS: The Venue, Ashburnham Realty