Who will ‘Win this Space’?

Public invited to virtual event April 13

GUELPH – Four local entrepreneurs have been selected to pitch for prime retail space in downtown Guelph through the Business Centre Guelph-Wellington’s “Win This Space” business competition.

The contest is organized in partnership with the Downtown Guelph Business Association (DGBA) and Invest in Guelph.

“We are very encouraged by the growing interest in entrepreneurship and business ownership in our current economic climate,” said Kristel Manes, executive director of Business Centre Guelph-Wellington (BCGW).

“This competition attracted a broad range of both new and established businesses, from all industries and sectors, helping to support the diversity of our local business ecosystem.”

Over the past six weeks, Win This Space competition participants have received training delivered through the BCGW covering key aspects of business planning and development, such as marketing, operations and financial management.

Several participants competed in a pitch qualifier evaluated by the BCGW’s team of advisors, who have selected the four finalists:

– Amber Ozols Arts, an art studio/gallery (owner Amber Ozols);

– Fan/Joy, a kitchen and cooking school space (owner Pam Fanjoy);

– Noki Farm, a mushroom farm and retail space that allows customers to directly pick fresh produce in the store (owners Nykole Crevits and Karl Fellbaum);

– The Sweet Spot, an indoor cycling/spin studio (owners Samareh Goharriz Jones, Justin Jones, Madison Lambden and Jack Simmons).

On April 13 the finalists will make their final pitches to a panel of qualified judges and commercial property owners.

The prize pool is valued at more than $40,000 in cash, rent incentives, and ongoing business mentorship.

Additional prizes include a commercial e-design and space plan by Centre Staged Designs Inc. and a six-month business banking package from BMO Bank of Montréal.

“We’re looking forward to connecting this new group of business owners with some of the City’s most progressive commercial property owners to inject new ideas and creative retail spaces into our downtown business community”, said DGBA executive director Marty Williams.

The public is invited to attend the pitch competition by donation, which will take place virtually using the Zoom platform.

The event will also include a keynote talk by Laura Beauparlant of Lab Creative on why brands succeed or fail, and real-time voting for a People’s Choice Award winner, who will receive all registration donations.

To register to attend, visit https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/win-this-space-pitch-night-tickets-141869346033 or call 519-826-4701.