Aspiring local entrepreneurs rejoice: the Bears' Lair Entrepreneurial Competition is back, and just around the corner!
Based on the style of the hit CBC show The Dragon’s Den—albeit in a much friendlier setting in front of encouraging judges—the main event showcase takes place April 23rd at Market Hall in downtown Peterborough. The contest is open to potential and existing businesses with a great idea that benefits the local economy, is innovative, is financially viable, and shows that the entrepreneur has both passion and has done their research. It is a chance to make the dream a reality or take the project from the garage into production.
An important date to keep in mind before then is March 14th, which is the submission deadline. To officially enter, prospective contestants must submit both a picture and business description, as well as create a short 2 minute video and 2 page business overview
Created with the goal to encourage small business development and entrepreneurship in and around Peterborough, Bears' Lair is entering its 4th year and has been widely successful. Last year’s winner, Janet Howse, who won with her business The Work of Art Visuals, is back this year as one of four judges for the final.
The main prize will include $20,000 in cash and business services to help the entrepreneur bring their idea to life. The package includes: social media training, a new computer from MicroAge, advertising, website and free office time at Hatch Ptbo. Also, there will be what is called a “Right of Passage” prize valued at $350 for the picture submitted that gets the most “Likes” on Facebook. Contestants are encouraged to use whatever creative means necessary to spread the news to their family and friends and have them vote.
The event is presented by Peterborough Economic Development’s Centre and the Workforce Development Board. In advance of the competition, the Business Advisory Centre (BAC) is serving as a resource to potential entrants to discuss their business idea.
The BAC, in partnership with the Ontario Centres of Excellence, is hosting a boot camp for all entrants to hone their business model and practice their pitch.
The BAC is located at 210 Wolfe St (phone: 705.743.0777 x2123) and is a free resource for those looking to start or develop a small business, providing business counseling services such as review of plans, development of models and an assessment of financials.
The Bear’s Lair competition concludes with 4 finalists presenting to judges at the Grand Finale, held April 23 at Market Hall.
Tickets for the Grand Finale are $15 in advance and $20 at the door of Market Hall.
Learn more about the competition here, and don't forget to enter by March 14th!