, 2022-08-18 19:59:51,
Two entrepreneurs from the Athahkakoop Cree Nation advanced to the semifinals at the Pow Wow Pitch, North America’s premier pitching competition for indigenous entrepreneurs.
Kimberly Kayman, founder and CEO of Quest Accommodation, and Taylor Sasakamoose, founder of Taylor’s Tipiskâw Pisîm were among the 126 semi-finalists announced in June. Over 2,400 entrepreneurs applied for the opportunity to win $25,000 to grow their businesses.
Kayman lives in Edmonton now. She said the competition seemed like a good option for her and her business.
“I am indigenous and I have a company with indigenous experience. It just makes sense,” she said.
Kayman is seeking seed capital to get his Glamp Site up and running about an hour and a half west of Edmonton. The camp will combine traditional indigenous experiences with unique camping experiences such as the tree house.
As a semi-finalist, Kayman will now benefit from expert training and one-on-one mentorship with industry leaders.
“I think that helps a lot,” he said.
“It’s really good to help solidify their idea and their plan as well.”
Sasakamoose, who is based in Prince Albert, is also eager to benefit from pitch training and one-on-one mentorship. He said there is a lack of indigenous representation in business circles, so competitions like this are a huge benefit.
Sasakamoose is an artist who uses his artwork to de-stigmatize and raise awareness of mental health. He hopes to create an online store where he can sell his work.
“I think we’re the only (band) that had two people,” he said. “(The competition) is really all over North America, so it includes the United States and Mexico, but I’m not sure if anyone from Mexico made it through, but there are some Americans who made it to the semis as well.”
Both Kayman and Sasakamoose will present their business to a panel of judges in early fall as part of the touring semi-finals. If you are successful, you will win $1,000 and advance to the Finals for a chance to win $25,000.
Kayman likes his chances because he feels the concept and tone are strong, but realizes the competition gets tougher as more people are eliminated.
“They already pre-recorded the semi-final pitches, those have already been…
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