A group of Shuswap entrepreneurs and their mentors had their big night March 14 when the final event in the Launch-a-Preneur competition hit the stage at the Salmar Classic.
The event was the culmination of months of effort on the part of entrepreneurs who worked to make their business ideas a reality, and all those who supported them along the way as part of the business development program.
The grand prize was awarded to Missy Mackintosh and MisMack Clean Cosmetics, pitched as one of the first-ever environmentally sustainable cosmetic lines that includes her signature glitter eyeliner.
“When I first started this, I kind of threw all my eggs in one basket and was like, ‘oh, I don’t need a business plan,’ but this program truly has changed me for the best and has made me a better business person,” Mackintosh said. “I am so proud to be a business person and the opportunity I had with Launch-a-Preneur is unbelievable.”
During the final night competition, 13 teams presented short pitches about their ideas to a panel of judges. Ranging from food products to highly engineered motocross parts, private digital-detox getaways and unique events services, the field was narrowed down to four after the first pitch.
The Canadian Barley Tea Company, The Tapped Truck, Snowbike Innovations and MisMack Clean Cosmetics were the four finalists chosen by judges, presenting longer business plan presentations and going into more detail. After their presentations and a short break to deliberate, the winners were announced, including awards for the most environmentally friendly business and the audience choice award. Prize packages included cash, business consulting services, marketing opportunities and discounts on things such as signage and advertising.
Winning both the fourth prize and the green initiative award was Cilla Watkins and the Canadian Barley Tea Company. Coming in third place, and also taking the public choice award was Jody Shakespeare and The Tapped Truck, an on-the-go liquor service for big events. Coming in second place based on the judge’s choice was Ty Hartwig and Snowbike Innovations, who are advancing technology in the snowbike scene.