Two Innovation Cluster Startups, Alexander Optical & Electric Juice Factory, Take Home Bears’ Lair Grand Prizes

The winners for the “Innovation” and “Goods & Services Stream” were announced during the 9th Annual Bears’ Lair Entrepreneurial Competition on Tuesday, April 30th at The Venue in downtown Peterborough. The grand prize cash value for each winner was $8,350.

For the Innovation stream, innovative eye care company Alexander Optical took the grand prize. Alexander Optical is increasing access to eye care in the community through organized pop-up clinics that bring professionals on-site to perform comprehensive eye exams and find eyewear solutions. Pop-up clinics are facilitated at locations such as schools, seniors residences and local businesses to benefit patients.

Dylan Trepanier and Emily Scott.jpg

“I’m so proud to be a part of such a supportive community and have such incredible mentors that helped me get here,” says Alexander Optical founder Dylan Trepanier.

“I put my heart into the pitch and I’m feeling blessed that the audience and judges were receptive to the change we are trying to make in the community. I can’t wait to start working with more eye care professionals and employers in the area to bring services to them. I can hardly wait to see what the future holds.”

Innovation Specialist Braden Clark of ICPK (far left) and Electric Juice Factory team.jpg

In the Goods & Services stream, Innovation Cluster health food startup Electric Juice Factory took the top prize. Cheryl Gould went in front of the judges pitching the company’s innovative smoothie puck product, successfully impressing the panel. The company recently launched the product in five flavour options in addition to its array of raw plant-based juices.

Gould expressed her gratitude toward the community that has been a continued support over social media after winning, saying, “It’s time to get to work.”

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Roundup Of New Stores In Peterborough Includes Win This Space Winner

Lots of new retail stores are popping up in Peterborough lately. Here's a quick rundown of what's opening or opening soon...



Healthy Planet offers vitamins, supplements, beauty, diet, nutrition and natural foods. The store will open shortly in the plaza at 871 Chemong Road.




Copper Branch is slated to open this month (June) at 1040 Lansdowne Street West where the old Captain's Seafood & Ribs restaurant used to be. They offer a wide menu of plant based food (including gluten-free options).



The Electric Juice Factory at 181 Charlotte Street (and has a second location in Port Hope) sells premium raw, organic, cold-pressed juices and healthy, delicious, organic plant-based convenience foods.


The Africa Mission Growth Market has beauty supplies and groceries, and is located at 183 Charlotte Street.



Nadine McCallen was the grand prize winner of Win This Space 2018, and will open Ritual Apothecary on Charlotte Street. This new store will carry locally produced skincare, herbal remedies and household products from a variety of sustainable companies focusing on wildcrafted, organic and unrefined ingredients. Grand opening is July 4th at 10 a.m.



Cute As A Button sells "like new" quality baby clothing (nothing over $4.99) at 185 Charlotte Street (beside Soupcon Bistro).



Located in the old Apollo Grill location at 402 George Street North, this new restaurant specializes in pizza, poutine and burgers.

—post and photography by Evan Holt

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