Business pitch competition winner announced

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(L to R) Bridges to Better Business Pitch Competition winners Bill and Emlyn Goulding from BookBuds and City of SSM Economic Development Officer Jessica Maione.

Sault Ste. Marie, ON – After a competitive process involving a number of business submissions, BookBuds has won the business pitch competition hosted by the Millworks – Centre for Entrepreneurship.

BookBuds, based in Elliot Lake, is a safe peer-to-peer guided reading service hosted through Zoom for children in grades Kindergarten to 6. Emlyn Goulding shares her passion for books and love of reading with younger children. Company owner Bill Goulding took home the contest’s grand prize valued at $17,000. The runner up, Tony Cavaliere from Kapptive Studios, received the second place prize valued at $7,000.

The entrepreneurs battled it out in a pitch off, which was scored by audience voting and an expert panel of judges. Both firms earned their way to the finals following a competitive process involving multiple submissions from business owners across the Algoma District.

Runner-up: Bridges to Better Business Pitch Competition runner-up Tony Cavaliere from Kapptive Studios and City of SSM Economic Development Officer Jessica Maione.

The pitch-off took place as part of the Bridges to Better Business event, an annual learning and networking forum hosted by the Millworks – Centre for Entrepreneurship. . This year’s forum also featured a keynote presentation from Barb Stegemann, who was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by WXN; won the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” in the emerging Entrepreneur category for Atlantic Canada; was ranked as one of Profit Guide magazine’s “Top 30 Cool and Fabulous Canadian Entrepreneurs”; and was also made the first female Honorary Colonel in the history of 14 Wing Greenwood base, Royal Canadian Air Force, completing her term in 2015.

The organizing partners for Bridges to Better Business 2020 are Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Community Development Corporation of Sault Ste. Marie & Area, Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre, and Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce. This event is powered by TD Bank Group and the support of sponsors KPMG, Laidlaw Paciocco Dumanski Spadafora & Johnson LLP, BDO Canada, FedDev Ontario, and Wishart Law Firm.