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‘The Pitch’ aims to take one new business to the next level

19 entrepreneurs are vying to win a grand prize of 10 thousand dollars
Contestants participating in one of the workshops.

The Sarnia-Lambton Business Development Corporation (SLBDC) wants to award one new business ten thousand dollars and they are having a friendly competition to do it.

“The Pitch is a business plan pitch competition, in a very tiny way like ‘Shark Tank’ or ‘Dragon’s Den’ might be. What it does is give people an opportunity to pitch their business plan to a panel of judges,” SLBDC’s CEO Sarah Reaume tells the Journal.

While applications have now closed, there were strict requirements for those wanting to apply. Reaume explains, “To be eligible you’re either a business that hasn’t been in operation for a year yet so you’re still brand new or you haven';t opened yet but you will be up and running by the end of December this year or you’ve been doing the business as a side hustle and by December this year you will have it up and running as a full-time business.”

Now 19 businesses are taking on the challenge, which includes attending four mandatory workshops, submitting a detailed business plan by May 17th, and creating a short video for the People’s Choice award.

“Our judging panel receives all the business plans and they choose the top 7 business plans, which are scored on a matrix we share with our contestants, then the top 7 do an in-person live pitch to a panel of judges, and the winners are selected from those 7 finalists,” explains Reaume.

The People’s Choice Award rewards one pitch with a one thousand dollar prize courtesy of Bluewater Power. This award area residents are encouraged to watch the videos and vote for their favourite. On Thursday, June 13th, the public can come to the live pitch finals and show their support.

“The first prize is ten thousand dollars, the second prize is 3,500 dollars and the third prize is 1,500…the winner also receives a free one-year membership with the Chamber of Commerce and 250 dollars from Manley’s Basics for office supplies,” says Reaume. Adding, “We keep saying to our contestants the pot at the end of the rainbow, yes it is the money if you win, but really what we are aiming for is that all 19 participants come out the other end of this process with a really solid business plan they can take out into the community and realize their entrepreneurial dreams.”

The SLBDC has been around since 1988, with the intent of helping entrepreneurs realize their business goals by providing access to funding, business counseling services, and resources to help their businesses thrive. And while The Pitch has been around in past years in different iterations, going forward it will be known as ‘The Pitch.’ Reaume has high hopes for the businesses running in the competition this year and believes Lambton County will support their endeavours.

“All you have to do is live in this community to understand why it’s an incredible place to live and work. Sarnia Lambton tends to support Sarnia Lambton in terms of small business…The wonderful folks who live in Sarnia Lambton tend to look locally as much as they can and support businesses locally and that certainly makes it a welcoming environment for new businesses to thrive in.”

For more information visit: The Pitch 2024 – Sarnia Lambton Business Development Corporation (

Businesses Running in The Pitch

Wale Aderoju - 1000791255 Ontario Inc. (Children's Play Place)
Wayne &Tracey Dionne - All Out Ninja
Janet Handy & Rachel Hornblower - Village
Jaime Sidock - @cedarwoodcollective
Craig Mejias - Clean Bins Sarnia
Ashley Tanguay - @yourelementalcoach
Markus Desantos - @gladwebs
Andrew Nantais - Joe Beef Meatsmiths
Sarah Bastien - Medamorphous
Debra Cooke - Pura Vida Vitals
Taylor Murray and Olivia Piazza - @taylor.revivewellness
Stephanie Demelo - @sugaringco.beautylounge
Taiga Industrial Ltd.
Jonathan Manning - @thewaffleunion
Adrian Ayodele - @tripleeh.brews
Kevin Johnson - @valleydronetechnicalservices
Adreena Benner - @withasideoffun
Sandra Bailey - @yemaya_natural_products

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