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The 2017 RDBN Start-up Business Contest

for the chance to win big for your business.





Contest Winner Announced

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) is pleased to announce the winner of the 2017 RDBN Startup Business Contest – Amelia Mattson and Ryan Coltura of Pitter Patter Boutique located in Smithers.


Finalists announced

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako is pleased to announce the finalists in the 2017 RDBN Startup Business contest.  Entrants provided a business plan introducing their new business or business idea. The entries were judged on the strength of their business planning.  The finalists chosen by the selection panel are:

  • Happy Jacks Restaurant and Pub, Jordan Porth (Houston)
  • Honeysuckle Farm, Leanne Miranda (Burns Lake)
  • Just Boer’d N Dreamin, Donna Davidson (Houston)
  • Pitter Patter Boutique, Amelia Mattson and Ryan Coltura (Smithers)
  • Vet to Pet Mobile, Kim Hunter (Telkwa)



Contest Details

To download contest details click here.

Contest Details


  1. Entrants must be age 19 or older at time of entry.
  2. Proposed new businesses must be ready to begin start-up process within 6 months of contest closing.
  3. Existing small business must have been in business no longer than two years from start of contest.
  4. Existing business must have plans to diversify within the 6 months of contest closing.

Business must be located in one of the following communities.

  • Smithers, Telkwa, and Electoral Area A (Smithers Rural)
  • Houston, Granisle, Topley, and Electoral Area G (Houston Rural)
  • Burns Lake, Electoral Area B (Burns Lake Rural), and Electoral Area E (Francois/Ootsa Rural)
  • Fraser Lake, Endako, Fort Fraser, and Electoral Area D (Fraser Lake Rural)
  • Vanderhoof, and Electoral Area F (Vanderhoof Rural)
  • Fort St. James, and Electoral Area C (Fort St James Rural)

Following the entry deadline the selection panel will review all entries and the top five finalists will be selected from all areas within the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako. Each finalist chosen will present their concept pitch at the 2017 RDBN Business Forum in Burns Lake on September 19th, 2017.

Entry Requirements

Stage One

  • Complete and Submit Abbreviated Business Plan on the template found here
  • Submit Resume
  • Submit Financial Details

Stage Two

  • Selection panel will choose the top five finalists from across the region and notify those selected.
  • Finalists will be required to
    • submit two reference letters;
    • submit a copy of certifications indicated on resume;
    • submit business # and proof of business license if business is existing; and
    • meet with Public Speaking Mentor to review concept pitch before presentation at the Business Forum.

Stage Three

  • Finalists will present their concept pitch at the 2017 Regional Business Forum on September 19th, 2017 in Burns Lake.
    • Entrants may use PowerPoint presentations, slides, video, flip charts, internet displays, exhibits, props or posters for their pitch presentation.
    • Three (3) minutes will be allowed for each pitch.
  • Finalists will be interviewed by the selection panel during the Business Forum.
  • Winner will be announced at the Gala Dinner on September 19th, 2017.


Prize package for each finalist includes, two tickets to the Business Forum, two tickets to the Gala Dinner, and one night accommodation for two in Burns Lake.

Last contest's Grand Prize packages included a mixture of business advertising, accounting services, website services, and business goods, worth over $10,000. The 2017 Grand Prize package will be announced as prizes are confirmed. Check at www.rdbn.bc.ca/businesscontest for prize packages and contest donor updates.

2017 Deadlines

May 3rd .......................................... Contest opens
August 9th ....................................... Entry deadline
August 28th ..................................... Finalists announced
September 11th ............................... Deadline for Stage 2 requirements
September 11th-15th ........................ Finalists to review presentations with Public Speaking Mentor
September 19th (Business Forum) .... Stage 3 Concept Pitch and Interview
September 19th (Gala Dinner) .......... Announcement of RDBN Start-up Business Contest Winner

How to Submit

To enter download the entry form and submit completed form:

In person:


RDBN office located at 37 3rd Avenue, Burns Lake, BC
At your local Chamber of Commerce

By mail:


Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako,
Attention: Start-up Business Contest
Box 820
Burns Lake, BC V0J 1E0 (must be received by 4:30 p.m., August 9, 2017)

By fax:



By email:



It is the responsibility of the entrants to ensure their entries have been received.


Contest Rules

To download contest rules click here.

Contest Rules

Conditions of Entry

All individuals are expected to abide by the specific rules as well as the overall spirit of the Competition. The Organizer (Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako) reserves the right in its sole and absolute discretion to disqualify any individual that violates the rules, regulations or the spirit of the Competition.

The competition is for new, independent ideas which have potential to develop into a viable business. Qualifying entries include

  • proposed new businesses that must be ready to begin start-up process within 6 months of contest closing;
  • existing small business that must have been in business no longer than two years from start of contest; or
  • an existing business that has plans to diversify within 6 months of contest closing.

The Organizer reserves the right in its sole and absolute discretion to exclude entrants who do not meet these criteria.

The Competition is open to any individual meeting the eligibility requirements outlined above. Each individual is personally responsible for the content of all entry materials required for the competition but may obtain support or assistance during preparation as needed.

Finalists from the 2014 RDBN Start-up Business Contest are ineligible to enter.

Confidentiality and Intellectual Property

Business Ideas that are dependent upon licensing technologies from universities or research labs are not excluded from the Competition and will be encouraged on condition that they have not been commercialized prior to entry.

Entries should be made subject to applicable intellectual property and other regulations as set out below or in force from time to time. It is a condition of entry into the Competition that each individual: (i) ensures that no third party other than him/her has any intellectual property or rights in the Business Idea which may hinder its exploitation; and (ii) indemnifies the Organizer on demand for all liability incurred by the Organizer in connection with a breach of any third party rights. The Organizer intends that each individual that develops a Business Idea will retain all legal and equitable rights to the Business Idea at all times prior to and following the Competition except as stated below.

In no event shall the Organizer be liable for any infringement of the individual's intellectual property or other rights.

Entries in Step 3 of the competition are considered to be 'open.' Entrants should ensure that no confidential information is disclosed at this stage. All members of the selection panel with access to the entries for Step 1 and 2 will sign a confidentiality agreement. The organizer of the competition has taken reasonable measures to ensure the confidentiality of your entries. The sponsors of the competitions and the selection panel members include organizations and individuals that work with entrepreneurs and invest in their ideas. Selection panel members and mentors will agree to a confidentiality agreement. Copies of these confidentiality agreements are available upon request. The Organizers cannot, and will not, take further responsibility to protect the intellectual property or other rights of the entrants. The protection of intellectual property or other rights of the entrants is the ultimate responsibility of each entrant. Entrants must mark "confidential" on any portion of their entries that they consider to be confidential. Entrants should be careful about disclosing any patentable concepts in the entries. Entrants looking to incorporate are strongly advised to seek professional advice on the issues surrounding Intellectual Property Rights. The oral presentations and question/answer sessions are open to the public at large. These public sessions may be broadcast to interested persons through any media. Any data or information discussed or divulged in public sessions by an individual should be considered information that will likely enter the public realm, and individuals should not assume any right of confidentiality of any data or information discussed, divulged or presented in these sessions.

The Organizer may use any of the content from Stage 3 of the competition in any book or other printed or promotional materials and in any medium that it may produce. None of the material from Stages 1 or 2 will be publicized or used by the Organizer sponsors without the permission of the entrant(s).

It is a condition of entry that each entrant grants the Organizer a non-exclusive, irrevocable world-wide right in all languages, and in all media, to use or to publish the Stage 3 content in any book, other printed materials, videotapes or other medium.

It is a condition of entry that each individual agrees to allow the organizer to provide their personal information to the selection committee for the purpose of this contest.

Furthermore, the organizer will not provide personal information to the media or public use unless permission is granted by the entrant(s).

The decision of the selection panel is final and will not be open to appeal.





Prize Sponsors:


Other In-Kind Contest Sponsors:



The RDBN Startup Business Contest Winner will receive:


  • $8,500 Cash
  • $2,500 in Radio Advertising
  • ¼ Page Ad in one Black Press newspaper
  • 1 year of Small Business Essentials Security and Backup
  • $250 credit for logo design or signage
  • Office Startup Kit
  • 4 hours of Business Coaching
  • $50 gas card

Each of the 5 Finalists will receive:


  • 3 month drop in membership to Hubspace in Prince George
  • ½ hr Professional Coaching to prepare for business pitch
  • Chamber of Commerce Membership
  • $50 gas card
  • 1 night hotel September 19th in Burns Lake
  • Business Forum and Gala Dinner Registration for 2

Bonus Prize:

  • All contest entries will be eligible to be randomly selected for a 1- 2 hour Business Consultation.