Canadians cast votes to choose 2013 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award winner

Nine finalists compete for votes to win $100,000 grand prize

MONTREAL, May 22, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Online voting begins today at www.bdc.ca/yea in the 2013 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest organized by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). Nine finalist turning point projects are competing for the $100,000 grand prize and a second prize of $25,000 in consulting services.

"We invite Canadians nationwide to start voting daily and support the entrepreneurs competing in the contest finals," says Michel Bergeron, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Public Affairs at BDC. "All the finalist projects are strong contenders and are vying for the opportunity to accelerate the growth of their business. Through their votes, Canadians have the opportunity to make these projects a reality."

Discover the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award finalists and their turning point videos on the contest's microsite, where you can vote once a day between now and June 11. The BDC Young Entrepreneur Award winner and runner-up will be announced on June 17.

The road to the finals
Selection committees across Canada met to review the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award applications. Among other elements, the judges looked at the quality and feasibility of each turning point project, as well as its potential to improve the company's growth.

The finalists
Following are brief descriptions of the nine finalist turning point projects.

British Columbia: Brand Endeavor, Max Jenke, 34, Endeavor Design Inc., Vancouver
Max Jenke and Endeavor Design, his snowboard design and marketing company, are aiming for a bigger piece of the U.S. market. Now reaching customers in some 30 countries with three complementary products, Endeavor is planning to make major inroads south of the border. Max needs to invest in marketing and systems to realize the full potential of his three brands. He's counting on a strong U.S. presence to serve as the global sales catalyst that will propel the business forward. Vote to help Max conquer the U.S. market and take his business to new heights!

Alberta: A Space with Taste, Marc LeBlanc, 33, Liquor Lodge, Jasper
Marc LeBlanc and Liquor Lodge, his boutique liquor store, aim to build customer loyalty in a very competitive market by ramping things up with unique tasting and learning events. Marc will transform a vacant space into a high-end tasting venue, where the store can host wine club meetings and special seminars for Jasper visitors and locals alike. He plans to differentiate Liquor Lodge from the competition by building a strong brand and enhancing the existing offering. Vote to help Marc grow his business by giving customers a taste for new experiences!

Saskatchewan: Equipment Edge, Joel Pinel, 28, WOW Factor Media, Moose Jaw
Joel Pinel and WOW Factor Media, his print media and design marketing company, are targeting a new growth opportunity in the booming high-rise market. Joel sees a demand for directional signage in new buildings going up on the Prairies and needs to purchase the new equipment to expand his production capacity. With the right equipment in place, WOW Factor will retain control of signage production from A to Z, maintain strict quality control standards, decrease turnaround times, create more jobs and gain an edge over the competition. Vote to help Joel point WOW Factor in the winning direction!

Manitoba: Kid City, Deena Caplette, 28, Kid City Inc., Winnipeg
Deena Caplette and Kid City, her indoor playground centre for children aged one to 12, are looking to attract a growing number of young customers to a new second facility while keeping business brisk at the original location. She plans to start a marketing campaign to promote Kid City's latest venue and to install an innovative interactive play system that will enhance the centres' appeal and create repeat business. Increased traffic will help ensure Kid City remains accessible and maintains budget-friendly entrance fees. Vote to help Deena keep Winnipeg kids coming back to Kid City for affordable physical fun!

Ontario: DealTap, Milan Baic, 26, Cordon Media Inc., Toronto
Milan Baic and his digital agency, Cordon Media Inc., aim to take the tedium out of real estate transactions with DealTap, an app that will cut paperwork and speed up the closing process by enabling all parties to collaborate directly via their mobile devices. DealTap is critical to the company's plan to scale the business and reach new customers. The company needs additional funding to get the product market ready and support launch efforts. Cordon plans to further capitalize on the opportunity to grow by solving similar problems for other industries. Vote to help Milan make his next big move and make home buying and selling a lot easier!

Quebec: Power Up Eco-Change, Jocelyn Doucet, 31, Services Kengtek Inc., Montreal
Jocelyn Doucet and his engineering firm, Kengtek, are set to revolutionize conventional waste management with a technology called Pyrowave that transforms material waste into valuable renewable energy on the spot. Funding is critical to complete production of the first commercial unit and test the new technology under a variety of operating conditions. The on-site transformation process will substantially reduce the financial and environmental costs of waste management, as well as the user's energy costs by providing a sustainable source of clean energy. Kengtek plans to cater first to the restaurant industry, then move to pursue the enormous growth opportunities that Pyrowave opens up. Vote to help Jocelyn make the world a cleaner, greener place by turning waste into valuable energy!

New Brunswick: Cool Expansion, Matt Cormier, 28, Arcticold Refrigeration, Saint-Antoine
Matt Cormier and Arcticold Refrigeration, his company that rebuilds and resells refrigeration and cooling units for RVs and off-grid use, intend to introduce a new product to the Canadian and U.S. markets. As demand is starting to surpass the supply of used units, Matt's solution is to open a new division to manufacture cooling units from scratch. He plans to launch the new units in the RV market south of the border and to distinguish the products through superior quality and competitive pricing. Vote to help Matt make Arcticold the hottest off-grid refrigeration provider in North America!

Newfoundland and Labrador: Ready to Reboot, Sarah Lynn Russell, 29, Distinctive Interiors Ltd., Blaketown
Sarah Lynn Russell and her company, Distinctive Interiors, a second-generation manufacturer of wood products, are looking to spur growth by automating conventional processes. With a booming housing market, the company has multiple projects in the works and needs the right technology to capitalize on growth opportunities. Sarah Lynn plans to introduce an inventory control and manufacturing software system that will streamline and speed up processes, boost efficiency, and increase production times to drive future expansion. By implementing the system gradually across its product lines, Distinctive Interiors will be better positioned to meet customer demand and realize its growth potential in a hot market. Vote to help Sarah Lynn reboot a proud tradition of homegrown craftsmanship!

Nova Scotia: Vine Into Gourmet Line, Timothy Stokdijk, 35, and Kimberly Stokdijk, 35, Stokdijk Greenhouses Ltd., Beaver Brook
Timothy and Kimberly Stokdijk and their third-generation agribusiness, Stokdijk Greenhouses, seek to spice up the dinner table with a new line of gourmet spreads and condiments made from their fresh produce. Facing spiralling costs and shrinking margins, the company plans to produce and market a high-quality line of gourmet products to ensure long-term viability and move into full-scale product development. The company plans to test its creations locally then bring the new line to the retail grocery, specialty and online markets, extending its reach across Canada and potentially much farther. Vote to help the Stokdijks strengthen the Canadian agrifood landscape by adding a fresh new twist to mealtime!

For updates, follow BDC on Facebook at BDC Entrepreneur, Twitter @BDC_News and LinkedIn.

About the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest
Created by the Business Development Bank of Canada in 1988, the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest pays tribute to remarkable Canadian entrepreneurs between 18 and 35 years of age. Nine finalists were short listed to compete for a $100,000 grand prize. The winner will be selected by public vote and the contest runner-up will receive a second prize of $25,000 in consulting services. The Financial Post and La Presse are the media partners of the 2013 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award. www.bdc.ca/yea

About BDC
Canada's business development bank, BDC puts entrepreneurs first. With almost 2,000 employees and more than 100 business centres across the country, BDC offers financing, subordinate financing, venture capital, securitization and consulting services to more than 28,000 small and medium-sized companies. Their success is vital to Canada's economic prosperity. www.bdc.ca

SOURCE: Business Development Bank of Canada

For further information:

Maria Constantinescu
Senior Advisor, Public Relations
Business Development Bank of Canada
(514) 496-7146
maria.constantinescu@bdc.ca


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