Over $50,000 Invested at the Hawk’s Nest

June 27, 2016



June 22, 2016 Neustadt, Ontario
The first ever Hawks’ Nest packed the Kincardine Beach Pavilion on Tuesday night, June 21st entertaining an audience of over 270 people.
The ‘Dragon’s Den’ inspired competition covering the areas of Grey, Bruce, Wellington North, Minto and the City of Owen Sound, saw seven entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to the Hawks or local angel investors. Hawks Ashley & Lesya Chapman from Chapman’s Ice Cream (Markdale), Kevin Kelly from Bruce Power (Tiverton), Dr. Bob McFarlane from McFarlane Health Facility (Mount Forest), Tony Solecki from Caframo Ltd. (Wiarton), and Sandy Gott from Ice River Springs Water Company (Feversham) committed to invest $5,000 in the entrepreneurs during the evening totaling a minimum of $25,000. But after hearing the presenting entrepreneur’s pitches, negotiations resulted in over $47,500 in investments including; grants, loans and partnerships, as well $3,500 was presented for the People’s Choice Award.
Entrepreneurs Kathy Ackerman & Tina Artuso pitched an expansion of their successful Schultz Bakery to Kincardine resulting in $7,500 in loans. Renata Peto from The Halliday House Senior’s Lodge wants to open similar facilities across Grey and Bruce Counties and was gifted $5,000 in grants. Also, Renata won the People’s Choice Award taking home an additional $1,370, plus $2,100 in radio advertising. Elly Ward wants to open an online store offering organic and natural nut-free food and personal care products and was offered partnerships resulting in a minimum of $20,000. Patrick Lahey hopes to inspire others to find their passion and follow their dreams through an inspirational presentation around mental illness, addiction and the dangers of substance abuse and was offered technical equipment to assist and a sponsor for an event. Melinda Leifso is looking to relocate her existing daycare and offer a licenced 24 hour, 7 day a week childcare service in the Chesley area, and she walked away with $5,000 in grants and loans to get her started. Deb Summers and Danielle Valiquette want to expand their Pony Express Girls business and were offered a $2,500 loan and mentoring to assist them. Kayli Hall Elwood and Sarah Martyn have partnered and offer art therapy and counselling services in Grey and Bruce through their business Penetangore Wellness. Their pitch resulted in $7,500 in loans and mentoring. As well, all seven entrepreneurs walked away with valuable advice and feedback from the six high profile business leaders.
The first Hawks’ Nest competition was deemed a huge success by the presenting partners. Rose Austin, General Manager for Saugeen Economic Development Corporation is “pleased
with the new partnerships formed with the Hawks and the participation of the sponsors, as without these the project would not have been so successful. Small business is the backbone of our communities and with all the people involved in the Hawks’ Nest, we can’t fail.” Barb Fisher, General Manager for Bruce Community Futures Development Corporation addressed the audience saying, “We’re thrilled with the results and hope to do it again next year.” Rose and Barb would like to congratulate all the Entrepreneurs and thank everyone who helped to make this first event a success.
Quick Facts

  • The SEDC and the Bruce CFDC are community-based, non-profit corporations that deliver community strategic planning, community economic development assistance, business financing, and business counselling services to new and existing businesses and organizations in Bruce and Saugeen,


  •  The SEDC and the Bruce CFDC are Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) in southern Ontario funded by the Community Futures Program through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). CFDCs deliver a wide variety of programs and services to support community economic development and small business growth. They employ local staff and are each governed by a volunteer board of directors, made up of local residents representing the community



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