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  • ENGAGED: Tourism start-up event: Creating innovative business ideas in the tourism sector

    Wednesday, May 10, 2023
    News Releases
    Winning team Forever Gaming pitch their idea to the judges.

    Participants in Navigate's recent Tourism Start-up Event came up with everything from gaming to henna application to picnic lunches as business ideas in the tourism sector.

    The event, which was held at the Centre for Research and Innovation, saw about 25 people gather to brainstorm business pitches that were shaped with the help of seasoned mentors in the tourism industry.

    "I'd like to send out a huge thank you and congratulations to everyone who pitched a business idea at the event," said Dr. Brennan Lowery, acting manager of Navigate. "They all worked very hard and it was exciting to hear the great ideas they had to grow the tourism sector in this region."

    Teams included:

    • Baskets on Wheels: Natalie Toba and Gail Barnes. A unique picnic-based experience that will give cruise ship passengers a gourmet home-cooked dining experience in scenic locations around the Corner Brook area
    • Forever Gaming: Wayne Joyce and Coby Joyce. A mobile retro video game experience that brings vintage video games to events big and small to share the passion for gaming with people of all ages (first-place winner)
    • Having a Time: Anahita Mireslami. Bringing local Newfoundland cuisine to you with street food-style cuisine in downtown Corner Brook
    • Leap Ltd.: Kosuke Toba and Andrew Mosher. Connecting English learners from Japan with an authentic Newfoundland experience of immersive language learning and cultural tours (third-place winner)
    • Newfoundland Craft and Henna: Zuairia Kamal. Sharing the traditional art of henna with you at local events through a live art experience (photo below)
    • Starfish Site/Starlynn Counselling: Starlynn Shears-Osmond. A trauma-informed art therapy retreat centre in Gros Morne National Park informed by traditional healing practices and art (second-place winner)


    The event was successful thanks to the support of the mentors, judges and sponsors, who made the weekend engaging, fun and productive. 

    The event began with an icebreaker led by "Barry the Unity Guy" of Epic Engage, followed by entrepreneurs Kevin Vincent (Newfound Sushi) and Jake Dicks (Jake Dicks Photography), who shared stories about their start-up journeys.

    The talented and knowledgeable mentors who guided the pitch teams through the weekend included:

    • Abdul-Latif Alhassan, AbbaTek Group Inc. 
    • Joe Dicks, Marble Inn 
    • Prof. Lynn Kendall, Grenfell Campus 
    • Allan Kendall, Appalachian Chalets & RV
    • Carole Spicer, Spicer Facilitation 
    • Rob Thomas, NL Indigenous Tourism Association 
    • Mark Tierney, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency 
    • Grant Wheeler, Humber Motors Ford 

    The judges, who had their work cut out for them as they deliberated carefully to choose the winning teams, offering valuable feedback to all teams, included:

    • Lauralee LeDrew, Upper Humber Settlement 
    • Lexie McKenzie, Go Western Newfoundland 
    • Sharon McLennon, NL Workforce Innovation Centre 
    • Samantha O'Brien, Atlantic Edge Credit Union 
    • Glenda Simms, City of Corner Brook 

    "And of course none of this could have happened without the awesome support of our sponsors," said Dr. Lowery.

    Sponsors included:

    • Atlantic Edge Credit Union - $1,000 cash – first prize
    • CBDC Humber - $250 cash – second prize
    • Everoutdoor Adventures – Guided kayak tour for four – second prize
    • Spicer Facilitation - $300 business consulting – third prize
    • Madison's Restaurant – $100 in gift certificates – third prize

    For more information about Navigate, visit https://navigatesmallbusiness.ca/.

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