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Enterprize Challenge


Will your pitch win?

If you’re an emerging entrepreneur or the owner of a new business, Enterprize Challenge is your chance to learn from some of the best as you hone your pitch, polish your business plan and prepare for an exciting launch.

What If You Could Take Your Business To The Next Level?

How We Help

During Enterprize Challenge ‘business bootcamp,’ you’ll participate in weeks of workshops and one-on-one mentoring to help make your pitch stand out. The challenge culminates in a night of live pitches before volunteer judges in a Dragon’s Den-style competition. You could take home start-up capital plus thousands of dollars in prize packages—and gain valuable skills and insight into owning and operating a business everyone knows and loves.

Enterprize Challenge FAQ

No, the program is focused on new start-up businesses that have started in 2021 or will be starting in 2022.

No, but your business must operate or be operating in the North Okanagan (Vernon, Lumby, Armstrong, Enderby, etc.) to participate in the program.

If you have an idea for more than one product or service, you can compete with more than one business idea. You will have to submit more than one registration and make multiple pitches. We require one pitch per business idea.

Your mentor will be a member of the business community. Some currently operate businesses while others work with businesses in a support capacity.

Learn more about our eligibility rules here.

How the Enterprize Challenge Works

  • STEP 1: Register.

    Whether you have an idea or a brick-and-mortar store, sign up your new North Okanagan business for a chance to participate in the Enterprize Challenge. Registration opens in January.

  • STEP 2: Orientation.

    Registered businesses are invited to an orientation workshop in February. This recommended event prepares you for the Enterprize Challenge. Participate in this workshop to get started on the right foot.

  • STEP 3: Training.

    Arm yourself with the tools you need to deliver your best pitch to our volunteer judges. This series of 2–3-hour evening workshops begins within the first few weeks of the Enterprize Challenge. This step includes the creation of a Business Model Canvas.

  • STEP 4: Mentoring.

    You and your team are assigned a mentor to help prepare your presentation and coach you throughout the competition. Mentors are members of the North Okanagan business community who operate a business or support a business.

  • STEP 5: First business pitch.

    Your first pitch happens behind closed doors. In this 15-minute presentation, you will provide judges a description of your business and an overview of your industry and competition. Once the judges have heard all presentations, seven entrepreneurs will be named Enterprize Challenge finalists.

  • STEP 6: Financial viability.

    A financial mentor will aid you and your team during this step. In this stage of the challenge, finalists must provide judges with a Business Model Canvas and financial overview that communicates the details judges need to determine if your business idea could really make it.

  • STEP 7: Finale.

    This is your time to shine. The Enterprize Challenge culminates in a final pitch to the judges before a live audience. Throughout the challenge, you will work with your mentor and coaches to polish your final presentation. Finalists have five minutes to convince the judges and the audience that they deserve to win. First, second, and third prizes, as well as the People’s Choice, will be awarded at the end of the event.

What About Judging?

Members of the North Okanagan business community will judge your pitch. They alone decide the winners of the Enterprize Challenge. Judges base their criteria on:

Enterprize 2021 Schedule & Prizes

Stay organized and up-to-date with the Community Futures North Okanagan Enterprize Challenge.

Registration opens – January 4, 2021

Registration deadline – NOON, February 5

Introduction & Orientation Workshop – February 11, noon to 1:30pm

Operations & Financials Workshop – February 16, 5 to 7pm

Marketing Workshop – February 18, 5 to 7pm

Open Session (Round Table) to ask questions and get support – February 23, 5 to 6pm

Business Model Canvas Workshop – February 25, 5 to 7pm

Presentation Skills Workshop – March 2, 5 to 6pm

First Presentation – March 30 & 31, 2021

Finalists Pitch, Awards & Challenger Showcase – April 28, Live stream from the Vernon & District Performing Arts Center

Prize Packages

All Enterprize Challenge participants will receive six months of FREE business banking services from VantageOne Credit Union!

1st Place Winner: Prize Package valued at $19,389

  • Start-up capital & FREE Business Banking for 1 year
  • Legal Package
  • Accounting Package
  • Marketing/Web Package
  • Radio and Print Campaign
  • Business Consulting
  • Graphics Package
  • Business Mentoring
  • Digital Advertising Package
  • Chamber of Commerce Voucher
  • Tuition Credits

2nd Place Winner: Prize Package valued at $9,139

  • 1 year FREE Business Banking
  • Legal Package
  • Accounting Package
  • Marketing/web Package
  • Radio and Print Campaign
  • Graphics Package
  • Chamber of Commerce Voucher
  • Tuition Credits

3rd Place Winner: Prize Package valued at $5,449

  • 1 year FREE Business Banking
  • Legal Package
  • Accounting Package
  • Marketing/web Package
  • Radio and Print Campaign
  • Graphics Package
  • Chamber of Commerce Voucher
  • Tuition Credits

Past Enterprize Winners

2021 Enterprize Challenge winners

First place—Amanda Homeniuk, Kaleco (https://www.shambhalaclothing.ca/)

Second place—Tessa & Olivier Asselin, OTA Gear Rental (https://otagearrental.ca/)

Third place—Jessica Bosman & Bryn Davis, DOUBL (https://doubl.ca/)

2019 Enterprize Challenge winners

 First place—Teresa Sanders, Fill (https://fillvernon.ca/)

Second place—Kayley Letendre, Sugarbee’s Icecream Company (https://sugarbeesicecream.com/)

Third place—Marilyn Courtenay, The Boarding House Café (https://www.facebook.com/TheBoardingHouseCafe/)

People’s Choice—Ashley & Michael Reina, Therabyte Inc. (https://therabyte.app/)

2018 Enterprize Challenge winners

First place—Julia Allen & Kate Johnson, Locality (https://www.iamlocality.com/)

Second place—Dan Proulx, Think Tank

Third place—Richard & Danielle Toperczer, Steakholder

2017 Enterprize Challenge winners

First place—Martin Paris, Jolly Good Spudz

Second place—Juanita Miller, Juanita Miller Nutrition

Third place—Rebecca Hackman, Bites Creative

2016 Enterprize Challenge winners

First place—Jaye Coward, Farmbound (https://farmbound.ca/)

Second place—Diane Kelm, Healing Arts Finder

Third place—Matt Parks, Parks Sustainable Design Build (http://www.woodwaterdevelopments.com/)

2015 Enterprize Challenge winner

First place—Bernie & Maylene Ramis, Rollin’ Spring Rolls

Registration is now closed for the 2021 Enterprize Challenge. See you in January, 2022!

Are You the Next Enterprize Winner?

Whether you have an idea or a small business that started in the last year, you could be eligible to participate in this year’s Enterprize Challenge. You may be an Enterprize challenger if you:

  • Are or will operate their business in the North Okanagan
  • Can participate individually or in a team
  • Have a business idea that will launch this year or that began last year. Proof of business registration is required
  • Your project will be or is a qualified business or social enterprise
  • Are available to work with mentors from the community
  • Ready to complete the tasks to create two pitches

Eligibility and Rules

You must be kind, courteous, and operate in the North Okanagan. No one presenting insulting or illegal content will be allowed to participate.

Multi-level marketing businesses, franchises, non-profits, and prescribed or controlled businesses cannot compete.

Pre-Screening

We may not be able to let everyone participate. If we have too many applicants, we will pre-screen everyone based on the information provided on the registration form. Make sure you:

  • Provide a clear description of your business
  • Clearly how your business will operate
  • Explain your customer and/or target market
  • Identify your competition