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Twelve Semi-Finalists Announced for Path to Prosperity


The 12 semi-finalists for the Path To Prosperity (P2P) business competition have been selected. Of the 59 applications that were received during round one, 12 will advance to round two. In round two, semi-finalists will have access to business mentors, participate in a business boot camp weekend, and receive private consulting and development of their business ideas.


 Business  Location  Principal Applicant
 1) 7 Echoes Homestead  Haines  Carol Tuynman
 2) Glacier Ground Rocknobs  Haines  Debra Schnabel
 3) Shaan Seet, Inc.  Craig  James Carle
 4) Chilkoot Indian Enterprises  Haines  Scott Hansen
 5) Icy Straits Lumber & Milling, Inc.  Hoonah  Wesley D. Tyler
 6) Tongass Guitars  Wrangell  Stephen Helgeson
 7) South East Alaska Produce  Hoonah  Chelsea Schoonover
 8) Raven Guitars  Hoonah  Kevin Skeek
 9) The Sawmill Farm  Sitka  Bobbie Daniels
 10) Coppa  Juneau  Marc Wheeler
 11) Shelter Island Family Farm  Shelter Island  Nathan Soboleff
 12) Klehini Grange Feed and Seed  Haines  Tamsen Cassidy

P2P is a partnership between the Haa Aani Community Development Fund, Inc. and The Nature Conservancy.

“All of the applications that were submitted by the round one deadline are winners,” said Haa Aaní, LLC President & CEO Russell Dick. “I am excited to see the level of interest in the competition. The 59 applications we received in round one represent a high level of interest by Southeast residents who want to create economic opportunities in their home towns.”

“The P2P competition shows that Southeast has so much potential for creating businesses that are based upon the sustainable use of natural resources,” said Norman Cohen, Southeast Alaska program director for The Nature Conservancy. “We are so pleased to be a part of a program that is helping to unleash this entrepreneurial spirit. By attracting so many compelling business proposals, P2P has already demonstrated why the time is right for supporting budding entrepreneurs in Southeast Alaska.”

P2P has partnered with the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS). “The story here is not just about the 12 finalists,” said Rick Wolk, UAS assistant professor of marketing and entrepreneurship. “There were 59 good ideas submitted in this inaugural year. I look forward to watching finalists and non-finalists work to eventually launch and grow their businesses. Haa Aaní and The Nature Conservancy should be commended for taking the lead on nurturing sustainability entrepreneurship in Alaska.”

Business Boot Camp Weekend

Semi-finalists will participate in a two-day business boot camp weekend in Juneau, AK October 11 –13, 2013. All expenses including airfare and lodging will be covered by P2P for the semi-finalists. The intense weekend of workshops covers topics such as business plan writing, sustainable business practices, and accessing financial capital.

At the conclusion of the boot camp weekend, the 12 semi-finalists will be available to talk with interested reporters about the mentoring.


Two business plans will be selected as finalists and each will receive an award of up to $40,000 in seed funding for consulting and technical services to develop the business.
P2P officials encourage business ideas that did not advance to round two to be resubmitted in 2014 for year two of the competition.

Why Path to Prosperity

Small-scale entrepreneurship is an important form of free enterprise that can create pathways to financial self-sufficiency and promote inclusive, resilient and sustainable local, rural economies. Southeast Alaska is abundant in both environmental and cultural resources, which is evident in the subsistence lifestyle that so many of its people depend on in their daily lives. Learn more at

Important Dates and Deadlines

Boot Camp weekend October 11 – 13, 2013
Business plan submission December 16, 2013
Top two winners announced January 29, 2014
Year two of P2P begins January 30, 2014

Additional P2P timeline details

Path to Prosperity Questions

For questions or more information, please email Shawn Blumenshine or Alana Peterson at or call 907.586.9251.


Copyright 2013 Sealaska
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