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Seven finalists in the running for North Okanagan Enterprize Challenge

The winner will be decided after a Dragon’s Den-style pitch in Vernon May 18
Mother-daughter duo Hannah and Pamela Janek are in the running for the 2023 North Okanagan Enterprize Challenge for their business, Fieldnotes Market. (Submitted photo)

The finalists for the 2023 North Okanagan Enterprize Challenge have been named with little over a month to go before the winner is decided.

Presented by VantageOne Credit Union and Community Futures North Okanagan, the Enterprize Challenge will culminate 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 to refine their business plans.

“More than ever before, this year’s Enterprize Challenge has seen remarkable innovation from new businesses across the entire region,” said Kazia Mullin, business services manager with 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 will be decided by a panel of volunteer judges at the end of the final pitch, and will take home start-up capital and more than $30,000 in business services prize packages.

Here are this year’s finalists:

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 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

Lauren Vincent is a Red Seal chef creating custom meal prep for her clients. Her new venture will see fully prepared meals delivered straight to customers’ doors. Whether a person is looking for dinners for a family of five for a week or just need a little extra help in the kitchen some days, Vincent will work with their family to create the perfect menu.

Hannah and Pamela Janek, Fieldnotes Market

Run by a mother-daughter duo, 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, pre-loved housewares and specialty local and European pantry food. Fieldnotes Market strives to help locals reconnect with their European roots.

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 3x3 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 is an Armstrong-based marketing company that specializes in videography and photography. It helps local businesses grow by producing high quality, targeted content to engage 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

For those looking to detect and reduce electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation, look no further than Vernon-based Spectra Shielding. 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 reductions strategies, such as adjusting Wi-Fi networks, shielding a wall or a room with conductive materials and installing shielding materials during renovations and construction for homes and businesses.

The public can join this year’s finalists for a night of live pitching in front of a panel of judges on May 18 at the Performing Arts Centre. Doors open at 5 p.m. and pitches start at 6 p.m. with the winners announced before the finale ends at 9 p.m.

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Brendan Shykora
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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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