Entrepreneurs from across the North Okanagan make it to final seven
VERNON, BC—From tours that explore the traditional Secwepemc territory to inventions that help you leave your tech at home, this year’s Enterprize Challenge finalists bring exciting business ideas from all corners of the North Okanagan.
Presented by VantageOne Credit Union and Community Futures North Okanagan, the 2023 Enterprize Challenge culminates in a Dragon’s Den-style pitch at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre on May 18. Over the past two months, the finalists and other participants worked with local business mentors and attended workshops as they refined their business plans.
“More than ever before, this year’s Enterprize Challenge has seen remarkable innovation from new businesses across the entire region,” says Kazia Mullin, business services manager, Community Futures. “This year’s finalists are great examples of the creativity and dedication we’re seeing from small-town and rural entrepreneurs throughout the North Okanagan.”
The winner of the Enterprize Challenge, voted on by a panel of volunteer judges at the end of the final pitch, takes home start-up capital and more than $30,000 in business services prize packages.
This year’s finalists include:
Laura Dohla, Ancestral Heartbeat
An Indigenous-owned and operated adventure ecotourism company based in Enderby, Ancestral Heartbeat offers guided Indigenous hiking tours in Enderby Cliffs Provincial Park from April to October. Led by Dohla, the tours provide authentic Indigenous teachings and experiential, holistic, land-based learning for the first time in the area. Guests will learn about traditional plants and medicines, oral stories, local landmarks, traditional arts and Secwepemc language, culture and history all while exploring the beautiful park.
Lauren Vincent, Chef Lauren Vincent
A Red Seal chef creating custom meal prep for her clients, Vincent’s new venture will see fully prepared and delicious meals delivered straight to customers’ doors. Whether you’re looking for dinners for a family of five for a week or just need a little extra help in the kitchen some days, Vincent works with you and your family to create the perfect menu.
Hannah and Pamela Janek, Fieldnotes Market
Run by mother-daughter-duo Hannah and Pamela, Fieldnotes Market is Armstrong’s upcoming European grocer. Founded on a love of nature, the market provides a curation of quality European-inspired home goods, local arts and crafts, unique pre-loved housewares and specialty local and European pantry food. Fieldnotes Market strives to help locals reconnect with their European roots and remind them of grandma’s cooking.
David Scherle, List on Your Wrist
What if there was a way to take notes on the go without the need to use a cellphone or screen? List on Your Wrist is a leather cuff with a custom metal frame that holds 3×3 sticky notepads and a pencil. Perfect for trades workers, the restaurant industry and anyone who wants a better way to take notes, the high-quality handmade cuffs are created with care by Scherle.
Brayden Wiebe-Prato, PratoPhoto
PratoPhoto, an Armstrong-based marketing company that specializes in videography and photography, helps local businesses grow by producing high-quality, targeted content to engage their customers. An experienced videographer and marketer, Wiebe-Prato works with businesses to create personalized marketing plans. PratoPhoto combines video production, photography, social media management, website design and advertising to help businesses succeed online.
Kristy McLennan, PV BLVD Coffee Ltd.
Coffee and baked goods, breakfast and lunch, creation and relaxation–all are at home at PV BLVD Coffee. Armstrong’s newest coffee shop brings the comfort of a local coffee hangout and weekly painting, drawing, yoga, meditation and other arts and crafts classes to the community. PV BLVD Coffee even offers a kitchen and one-bedroom short-term rental suite at the back of the coffee shop. With three separate offerings that all flow together seamlessly, PV BLVD Coffee strives to create a community hub that is a safe and inclusive space to gather and learn.
Matthew Cyr, Spectra Shielding
Looking to detect and reduce electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation? Based in Vernon, Spectra Shielding specializes in EMF radiation detection and reduction. Using sensitive equipment to measure the radiation emitted by Wi-Fi devices, Bluetooth devices, cellphones, towers, powerlines, electrical wiring and appliances, Cyr creates detailed reports and offers solutions and reduction strategies–such as adjusting Wi-Fi networks, shielding a wall or room with conductive materials and installing shielding materials during renovations and construction–for homes and businesses.
Join this year’s finalists for a night of live pitching in front of a panel of volunteer judges on May 18 at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre. Doors open at 5 p.m. Pitches start at 6 p.m. with the winners announced before the finale ends at 9 p.m.