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 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
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.
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.