Indigenous Entrepreneurs Travel to Ottawa for Business Pitch Competition
OTTAWA, Ontario, Mar. 26, 2018 – Indigenous entrepreneurs representing six start-ups and small businesses from New Brunswick will compete in a business pitch competition on March 28 at Lockheed Martin Canada’s IMPACT Centre. The Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI), a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to foster economic and workforce development for Indigenous people in New Brunswick, organizes the program and competition.
This pitch competition is the culmination of a 10-week program that helps participating Indigenous entrepreneurs in New Brunswick turn their ideas into strong businesses focused on exporting and creating new intellectual property. Known as the JEDI Business Accelerator, the program was developed as a response to a targeted strategy for Indigenous people to pursue opportunities related to Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy.
“Lockheed Martin Canada warmly welcomes the JEDI team and the seven entrepreneurs to our IMPACT Centre for this exciting event,” said Acting Vice President and General Manager of Lockheed Martin Canada RMS, Gary Fudge. “We are particularly proud of this partnership because of its focus on mentorship opportunities, especially engaging our Atlantic Canada employees to support the next generation of Indigenous entrepreneurs and business leaders who have so much to contribute to Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy.”
Lockheed Martin Canada has collaborated with JEDI on this project as a corporate sponsor since its inception in 2015. Offering business acumen, some of its employees initially reviewed the training and mentorship curriculum, providing constructive feedback to further scale the program and participated in the first training modules.
“JEDI is pleased to partner once again with Lockheed Martin Canada on our Business Accelerator and travelling to the nation’s capital for this year’s pitch competition is a great way to mark our third anniversary," said Alex Dedam, President of the Joint Economic Development Initiative. “Our longstanding partnership with Lockheed Martin Canada has been instrumental in helping dozens of Indigenous entrepreneurs turn their business ideas into successful companies.”
It is only fitting that this year’s pitch competition will be held at Lockheed Martin Canada’s IMPACT Centre, which originally engaged Algonquin College students in a competition to design a space that would help promote the growth of small Canadian businesses, advance research, support sustainability and enhance Canada’s capability for exports in defence and technology sectors. IMPACT stands for Innovation, Mentorship, Partnership, Collaboration and Technology and the pitches being presented by this year’s cohort embodies all five of these factors
This year’s JEDI Business Accelerator cohort includes a wide variety of businesses from diverse sectors:
Monty Paul is from St. Mary’s First Nation and is the founder of A1 3D Printing (Additive Marine Technologies).
Katie Lunney is from Elsipogtog First Nation and is the founder of Lunney Development (Website Developer & Social Media Management).
Cody Brooks is from St. Mary’s First Nation and is the founder of Scared Lands Eco Resort (Eco Tourism).
Adam Kennedy is from Eel River Bar First Nation and is the founder of Sma'knis Maritime Security & Safety Training (Security Services & Training)
Andrew Martin and Michael Stemm are from Esgenoopetitj First Nation and Eel Ground First Nation respectively. They are the co-founders of Down to Earth (Video Production & Drones).
Chelsea Griffith and Jenilee Paul are both from St. Mary’s First Nation and are representing PLATO Testing (Software Testing Solutions).
About the Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI):
JEDI is a not-for-profit Indigenous organization whose mission is to work with partners to foster economic and workforce development for Indigenous people and communities in New Brunswick.
For more information, visit: www.jedinb.ca
About Lockheed Martin Canada
Lockheed Martin Canada, headquartered in Ottawa, is the Canadian-based arm of Lockheed Martin Corporation, a global security and aerospace company employing 100,000 people worldwide. Lockheed Martin Canada has been Canada’s trusted defence partner for nearly 80 years specializing in the development, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The company employs approximately 1,000 employees at major facilities in Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, Calgary, and Victoria, working on a wide range of major programs spanning the aerospace, defence and commercial sectors.