Twelve Entrepreneurs Compete for Award to Grow Business

Path to Prosperity announces 2016 competition finalists. After six weeks of deliberation, 12 finalists have been selected and will advance to Round 2. In Round 2, finalists will participate in P2P’s Business Boot Camp, where they have access to business mentors from around the region, and receive one-on-one consulting on development of their ideas and business plans.

Path to Prosperity (P2P) has narrowed down 44 applications to 12 finalists in the 2016 competition. P2P is a partnership between the Haa Aaní Community Development Fund, Inc. (HACDF) and The Nature Conservancy. The goal of P2P is to develop community resiliency by supporting local entrepreneurs. The leadership of these businesses is key to improving economic, social and environmental conditions throughout Southeast Alaska. 

After six weeks of deliberation, 12 finalists have been selected and will advance to Round 2. In Round 2, finalists will participate in P2P’s Business Boot Camp, where they have access to business mentors from around the region, and receive one-on-one consulting on development of their ideas and business plans.

Business Name                                                       Location                                Applicant

1. Sugar Point Lodge                                                  Craig                                      Roberto Medina      

2. Chilkat Valley Sawmill                                             Haines                                   Sylvia Heinz

3. AlaskaSmart Biodiesel                                             Hoonah                                 Jeff Hastings

4. Alder Grove Farm                                                    Juneau                                  Matthew Kern

5. Centric EV                                                               Juneau                                  Max Stanley

6. Seabright Seafood, LLC                                           Ketchikan                              Dianna Garfield

7. The Artist Workshop                                               Ketchikan                              Laura Kinunen

8. Skya’ana Coffee Co.                                                Klawock                                 Tina Steffen

9. Island Care Services                                                Naukati                                  Heidi Young

10. Sealife Compost (Petersburg Indian Assoc.)          Petersburg                            Brandon Tynes

11. Sitka Seedling Farms                                            Sitka                                       Matthew Jackson

12. Mighty Bear Roots                                                Wrangell                                Dixie Booker

 

P2P Selection Committee

The Round 1 selection committee was comprised of representatives from HACDF, The Nature Conservancy, and Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska.

Boot Camp Weekend

Finalists will participate in a three-day business boot camp in Juneau, Alaska, from September 23–25, 2016. All expenses including airfare and lodging will be covered by P2P for the businesses. The intense weekend of workshops covers topics such as business plan writing, sustainable business practices, and accessing financial capital. 

Competition administrators and sponsors conduct extensive in-person outreach in communities across the region. Over the first three cycles of P2P, 36 businesses participated in the Boot Camp weekend; two-thirds of which came from rural communities. Paul Hackenmueller, P2P program administrator said, “2016 saw applications from more communities than ever before. The entrepreneur finalists leave Boot Camp energized and motivated. The lessons learned and relationships built during P2P directly impact their businesses and home communities.”

Building Regional Capacity                                 

A total of 44 entrepreneurs applied to Path to Prosperity in 2016, representing 17 different communities in Southeast Alaska. “We are excited to continue bringing P2P’s innovative business development programming to businesses from communities across the region,” said HACDF Executive Director Ed Davis. “All of the finalists receive valuable training and business mentorship during Boot Camp, whether or not they go on to win the contest.”

The success of the program has earned international recognition by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), awarding P2P the Silver Award in the Business Retention and Expansion category for programs of three or more years serving populations of 25,000–200,000. The IEDC Excellence in Economic Development Awards program recognizes the world’s best economic development projects and organizations.

Winners

A panel of five independent judges will select two business plans as finalists. Each will be awarded up to $40,000 in seed funding for consulting and technical services to develop the business. Competition winners will be announced at Innovation Summit, February 2017.

P2P officials encourage entrepreneurs interested in applying for the 2017 P2P competition to fill out the contact form on the competition website at www.p2pweb.org.

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