Launch Wood Buffalo 2018

On November 3rd, 2018, in partnership with the Wood Buffalo Regional Innovation Network and Youth Computing, we hosted the first annual Launch Wood Buffalo entrepreneurship conference at Keyano College. The full day event included speakers, workshops and panel discussions and concluded with a community pitch competition with a chance to win a cash prize!

The day kicked off with a panel discussion from local entrepreneurs with expertise in branding and marketing, Melanie Galea of Discover Fort McMurray and Elliott Pierre of AuraKey Digital Agency. They discussed the importance of branding and marketing for entrepreneurship. Check out the full discussion here.


We then went into our workshops with business planning by Evan Dizak of the Wood Buffalo Regional Innovation Network. See his full workshop here.

Then we had Elliott Pierre of AuraKey Digital Agency return to do a workshop on digital marketing. See the video of his workshop here.

We then had a lunch panel featuring entrepreneurs in finance and business operations, including Diana Noble who is a serial entrepreneur and business owner of snapd Wood Buffalo, Seller Direct Fort McMurray and Noble Choice Coaching. We also had Jon Close of Community Futures Wood Buffalo and founder of the UpClose Team, as well as Hichem Aidi of Aidi-inc. See their panel discussion here.


After lunch, Jon Close came back to discuss specific financing options for entrepreneurs. See his workshop here.

Then Babs Weber of Fuse Social and D’Andre Wilson-Ihejirika of BrainSTEM Alliance had an interactive workshop on Social Entrepreneurship. See the full workshop here.

Throughout the day there were also technology focused workshops hosted by Youth Computing and FMPSD on Logo Animation and Web Design, technical skills that are very helpful to any entrepreneur!

Finally we closed of the event with a pitch competition! There were 10 amazing pitches from an eclectic group of both budding and seasoned entrepreneurs. Check out the contestants below and see their pitches here.

The competition was fierce and judged by an excellent panel including Melanie Galea, Elliot Pierre, Babs Weber and Nermin Zukic of Keyano College.

But there could only be one winner and that was… Cheese Sleeve! They had an amazing product and brand, and won $5,000 to take their business to the next level! We can’t wait to see what they do next!

See you next time at the 2019 Launch Wood Buffalo but hopefully before that at the upcoming Community Code Day!

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