Lab Improvements & Loch Win 2017 Bears’ Lair Entrepreneurial Competition

The Bears’ Lair Entrepreneurial Competition had its Grand Finale at The Venue on Tuesday evening (April 25th) in front a great crowd. Six up-and-coming entrepreneurs pitched their businesses to a panel of judges with the goal of winning more than $55,000 in cash and business support services.

The winners: Loch (Tim and Dan Waggoner) and Lab Improvements (Alex Bushell and Steve Wright at right)

The winners: Loch (Tim and Dan Waggoner) and Lab Improvements (Alex Bushell and Steve Wright at right)

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 judges.

Left to right: Warren Faleiro, Chief Technology Officer, FreshBooks (Judge); Alex Bushell and Steve Wright, Co-Founders of Lab Improvements

Left to right: Warren Faleiro, Chief Technology Officer, FreshBooks (Judge); Alex Bushell and Steve Wright, Co-Founders of Lab Improvements

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 that are crafted exclusively from 500-year-old, water-recovered timber reclaimed from the Great Lakes and crafted in the Peterborough area.

Left to right: James Sculthorpe, President, Yorkshire Valley Farms (Judge), Tim and Dan Waggoner of Loch.

Left to right: James Sculthorpe, President, Yorkshire Valley Farms (Judge), Tim and Dan Waggoner of Loch.

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.

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2016 Bears' Lair Showcase

Entrepreneurial competition Bears' Lair hosted a spotlight at The Venue Thursday (March 10th) for the public to see who this year's amazing contestants are. The presenters we saw were...

Blush Drop

Rick Dolishny currently runs Blush Wedding Films and this year is launching Blush Drop, a service that lets people upload their smartphone videos to become a beautiful montage.

Sky Beauty

Their mission is to encourage beauty in the world by caring for ourselves, each other, our society and our planet.

High quality apparel for girls that are hand-picked just for them.

Kawartha Local

Kawartha Local is an online retail sales outlet that supports farmers, artisans and makers in the Peterborough and Kawartha region.

M & E Image Revolution

Offers Power Jump Boot Camps, fitness and weight-loss mentoring, Childrens Kangoo Birthday Parties, and are complete make-over stylists.

Melinda's Sewing - Dream Theme Wedding

If you have a design idea for a wedding gown, but can’t find it, Melinda can draft a pattern and create it from a sketch or magazine picture. Hunting, steampunk, the sky is the limit!

Noble Tech

Creating sustainable and profitable growth opportunities for private and public enterprise through the treatment of wastewater effluents.

Play Café

Owner Sarah Susnar offers a cozy, warm environment for children to create, explore and play while allowing parents/caregivers a little space for some much deserved “me-time”.

Ray's Rootworks Hand Made Instruments

Ray creates musical instruments and each one is a piece of art to be explored, experimented with and enjoyed.

The Mane Intent

The Mane Intent helps teams and individuals uncover the possibility within themselves through facilitated equine experiential learning (FEEL), a leading edge modality for developing human potential. By engaging in ground work with horses in a controlled setting, together we learn how our attitude, body language and intent impacts our relationships and the world around us.

Canuck's focus is on Canadian entertainment, for Canadians, by Canadians. Almost everything they produce will have a northern flair, not only to entertain but to help promote Canadian culture.

Simply Freshi

Specializes in delivery of SimplyFreshi food/products, produced by local farms all around the country.

Peterborough Eats

Peterborough Eats provides training programs designed to give people the practical skills required to get a job in the restaurant and retail industry. Their catering has a wonderful variety of house-made desserts, lunch options and trays at very competitive prices.

Foot Loose and Clutter Free

Susan Halle is a clutter-busting life coach. She loves to help folks make real and lasting changes in their lives.

Chimp Treats

Chimp Treats is a line of sweet treats made entirely from bananas. From ice cream to cookies, and everything in between, healthy never tasted so good!

Thin City Skateshop

Josh Johnston runs a skateshop offering sales and repairs of skateboards.

Dohjo Muay Thai & Fitness

Dohjo Muay Thai & Fitness offers a friendly atmosphere to learn the art of Muay Thai, offering classes for all ages.

For more on Bears' Lair, click here.

—Photos by Evan Holt

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The Bears' Lair 2014 Finalists Announced!

The Bears' Lair Entrepreneurial Competition finalists were announced last night (March 27th) at the Peterborough Chamber Young Professionals Group meeting, and again later at the Creative Cocktail. The Final Four are...

  • Redpath - The first social network for those affected by mental health & addiction, owned by Peggy Shaughnessy.
  • The Land Canadian Adventures - The Land offers 1 to 3 day trips all year long to some of Ontario's best natural areas. Owned by Bretton Clark and Briagh Hoskins-Hasbury
  • Unlock Math - After years of teaching in public and private schools in the U.S. and Canada, Alesia Blackwood wants to reach more students than she could in person, to share her love of math and combat the math anxiety that so many have.
  • Anywhere But Here - Unique clothing by Carley Stenson

Also pictured on the right hand side are Bears' Lair Co-chairs Amy Simpson, and Sofie Andreou.

Purchase your tickets here for the Bears' Lair finals on April 23rd at Market Hall.

[Related - PTBOCanada Featured Post: Bears' Lair Entrepreneurial Competition]

[Contributed by PtboCanada's Evan Holt]

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PTBOCanada Featured Post: Bears' Lair Entrepreneurial Competition


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.

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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.   

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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!

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For more on Bears Lair, go to:
Facebook: Bears Lair
Twitter: @Bears_Lair

For more info on PTBOCanada Featured Posts, email here

2013 Bears' Lair Peterborough Competition Looking For Entries

Peterborough entrepreneurial competition Bears' Lair is looking for entries via Facebook. Enter a video from February 1st to March 20th to compete for a prize package valued at more than $20,000 in business products and services. The Top Seven finalists will be announced on March 25th and asked to speak at the Creative Cocktail for 3 minutes each on April 4th. The competition grand Finale takes place on April 25th at Market Hall where the entrants will have 15 minutes to present to the Bears with one winner being chosen that evening.

You can also follow Bears' Lair on Twitter and read our coverage of the 2012 and 2011 events.

[Contributed by PtboCanada's Evan Holt]

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Here's Pictures & Coverage Of The Bears' Lair Peterborough Competition

The Bears' Lair Regional Competition was last night at Fleming College.
Read More

Bears' Lair Peterborough Is Tonight At Fleming!

The Peterborough region of the Bears' Lair Entrepreneurial Competition is tonight from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Fleming College (in Room 519 - Whetung Theatre).

Local small business owners can pitch their best idea in hopes of winning a prize package of $5,000 cash, computer hardware, promotional video and website design.

The Grand Finale will be held Saturday, May 12th at Showplace from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

Here's our coverage of last year's Peterborough Regional and the Grand Finale.

[Contributed by PtboCanada's Evan Holt]

Tip us at Follow us on Twitter @Ptbo_Canada (hashtag #bethechangeptbo) or Like us on Facebook

PtboPics & Recap: The Bears' Lair Grand Finale In Peterborough

Bears' Lair The Bears' Lair finale pitted the Northumberland, Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes and Peterborough contestants against each other.
Read More

Peterborough's Version of "Dragons' Den" Was Last Night

Bears' Lair 2011 Four local businesses pitched their ideas in the Bears' Lair last night. See who will move on to the next round.
Read More

New Local Entrepreneurial Competition Bears' Lair Starts Up

The Bears’ Lair is an entrepreneurial competition in the style of CBC’s The Dragons’ Den, developed by the Peterborough-based Workforce Development Board. It was created to encourage entrepreneurship in the Peterborough, Haliburton, Northumberland and Kawartha Lakes regions. The winner gets an interest-free business loan of up to $50,000. To learn more, click here.

[Bears' Lair website; Bears' Lair Entrepreneurial Competition YouTube video]

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