News & Media

Eagle Feather News Coverage of the First Annual ShopIndig Startup Challenge!

Cell phone repair idea takes inaugural ShopIndig Challenge

April 20, 2015

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Justin Scott, inaugural winner of Shopindig Start Up Challenge.

Justin Scott just received a $4000 kick start for his business Scott Repair by winning the inaugural Shopindig Start up Challenge. Scott beat out another dozen contestants and six finalists to earn some money for the cell phone repair business he has been dreaming of creating, money that will allow the entrepreneur to lever more funding.
“Winning means I’ve taken the first step to actualizing my dream and now people are aware of my determination and are ready to help me succeed,” said Scott after the win. “SIEF, Futurpreneaur, all these different programs know who I am now and want me to apply. It helps me get my foot in the door of places I need to be so I can get more support and mentorship.”

The Shopindig Start Up Challenge is the brain child of entrepreneur Heather Abbey. She participated in many business plan competitions showcasing her website that markets for Aboriginal artisans around the world and she knew the benefit of business plan competitions and the resources they provide entrepreneurs. “Just giving these entrepreneurs that chance to learn about business, to find a mentor and to win some cash to finance your business is so important,” said Abbey. “We had great supporters and sponsors for this event and it went very well and several already promised to sponsor next year so we are thrilled. The quality of the pitches was outstanding and that’s what we want to see more of.”

The dozen entrepreneurs that submitted videos received a two day business boot camp where they had access to business mentors and also worked on the five minute pitch. The six finalists Justin Scott of Scotts Repair, Cate Morris with Scout Financial, Candace Linklater and Mary-Lou Mintram with Littebow-tihk, Terry Tipewan of Belicious Bannock, Brian Dreaver of Iron Buffalo Clothing and Jean McKenzie of Sewing Gene got to pitch their businesses to a panel of judges at a gala banquet at the Dakota Dunes Casino. Kendal Netmaker from Neechie Gear, Lisa Abbott from Abbott Law, Rhonda Speiss from PotashCorp, John Lagimodiere from Eagle Feather News, and Rick Stefanowski from SIEF were the judges.

Cate Morris of Scout Financial earned second with her financial literacy business and Candace Linklater and Mary-Lou Mintram with their fashion line Littebow-tihk came third.

Justin Scott is now taking his four years experience working for a national cell phone company and he is turning that knowledge into something that will truly be his. The Shopindig Challenge certainly opened his eyes to the support out there for entrepreneurs. “This start up challenge has taught me you need to break into whatever program, system or challenges are available to get yourself noticed. If you do your due diligence and have the experience, these programs and individuals representing these programs will help you, first step is getting noticed by them,” said Scott. “The best entrepreneurs and business leaders find the best teammates and that starts by sharing your vision with the community.”