|The Bears' Lair Regional Competition took place last night at Fleming College.
Entrants were judged on items such as quality of overall business plan, demonstrating knowledge and business strategy to the judges, and a concrete financial plan. The judges this year were Gwyneth James from TCP Accounting and Tax Services, Drew Merrett from Merrett Home Hardware and Terry Windrem from The Protectors Group.
The competitors and pitches were as follows...
Tia Star - Trendy Clothing For Women
Tia quit her day job and began an online fashion store, which just hit its 3,500th sale this week. She has over $200,000 in business and not that much competition. $300,000 for 25% of her business for P.R., to expand brands and expand website.
Teresa Mailath, owner of Gems of a Different Kind. “Canadian Made, Locally Admired”
Individually created fishing flies created as art. Unique artwork that has sold around the world such as Switzerland, and Germany, and there is even one in Buckingham Palace. They are sold as gifts and awards. They retail for $65 and up. Have won awards in Buckhorn and Port Hope. Teresa hasn’t ever had someone return one.
Justin Barca - The Playful Geometer’s Produces Cosmic Spacecrafts. “Creating centerpieces for the rooms they inhabit”
Uses Polyhedral (geometric imagery) to create lanterns. Creates subdued lighting that doesn’t have the buzz of trying to use a dimmer on CFLs. Paraffin candles are toxic, and beeswax candles can be expensive. Cosmic lights can be left on indefinitely and provide a wide. The advantage of the product is the low material cost. Prices range from $25 to $80. With an investment of $5,000, Justin can buy a larger printing device to increase the the size of his lights as they scale easily.
Michelle V. Young - MyTeacherLink.com - “I found my own teacher at myTeacherLink.com!”
Connecting certified qualified teachers to parents and students using a searchable database. Michelle found that 1 in 3 Canadian parents hire a tutor which results in a 6 billion dollar industry. Homeschooling and tutoring to not only catch up, but excel in subjects are growing trends. MyTeacherLink charges a teacher $20 a month to be on the site with the first month free. It will be organized and searchable by subject, grade, specifications, location, police check and format. Offers a superior search capability over competition such as Kijiji. Estimate the first year of profit over $50,000.
Mary McGellis - Celtic Connection - “You’ll Be Lovin’ It”
Over 50% of Peterborough’s population are Celtic. Brave is a Disney movie coming out this summer, which will be the biggest thing to get people to look into their roots since Braveheart, she says. Primary customer is Celtic vendors looking to expand their sales reach (and who may not have a storefront). Mary will make a commission from sales as well as selling her own products. On top of that, Mary also hosts and attends Celtic events and workshops around Ontario. Still looking for a retail location.
Christina Abbott - Strutt - “Life is a runway”
Started about a year and a half ago. Incorporated modeling, acting, makeup and hair for young girls. Six week program. Lots of negative and positive things about the industry and trying to make it equivalent to other extracurricular activities (and priced accordingly). Trying to promote “positively” and represent the local community. Strutt currently has 140 models.
The Judges deliberated for a while then came back and offered constructive feedback to all pitchers...
- Need a location (would change forecast). Hope to see you next year
- Business Dollars forecasting (need more figures, including five year forecast)
- Worried about someone duplicating the idea and undercutting you (plans to publish under creative commons)
- Weary about the Police check aspect. Identities and background need to be confirmed.
- Perhaps send out questionnaires to get feedback of tutors
- Presentation was a little rocky (although originally you weren’t going to attend)
- Need more forecasting
- Could you hire out more to keep costs in-house
- Find a better location for the camps
Runner-up: Gems of a Different Kind
- Fascinating, and business plan was solid.
- Website would enhance your ability to drive sales
This puts her in the wildcard position, which gets her into another round of training and a chance to get into the finals.
The winner is....
- Had lowest mark on business plan, however the judges see great possibilities in her business. “You are going to represent Peterborough, and I think you’ll do well," said one.
[Contributed by PtboCanada's Evan Holt]