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8 crucial tips for entrepreneurs from BoostR Stage contestants

By ATB Financial 16 November 2018 3 min read

Have you ever watched an episode of Dragons’ Den, and said to yourself, “Man, I have an amazing idea that I could pitch—I could totally do that”? Four Alberta-based tourism entrepreneurs thought so too, and earlier this month they got their chance pitch their ideas to the “dragons”—well, almost.

ATB BoostR Stage events are kind of like Dragons’ Den episodes, but a little nicer. Entrepreneurs with existing BoostR crowdfunding campaigns get three minutes each to pitch their campaign to a live audience and a panel of experts. The audience votes for their favourite campaign, and the percentage of votes determines how much of the prize money each entrepreneur will receive to go towards their crowdfunding campaigns.

In front of the iconic backdrop of the Canadian Rockies at the Fairmont Banff Springs, these four entrepreneurs pitched their businesses and ended up sharing some incredible knowledge—and it’s too good not to share with you.

Here’s what we learned.


History Cycle YYC, Adam Noble-Johnson

History Cycle YYC offers BYOB (bring your own bike) guided tours of Calgary.

Find creative ways to create infrastructure

Bring your own bike sounds great in theory, but what about making sure that everyone interested has two wheels to get around? Adam took steps to partner with a local non-profit, Two Wheel View, to make sure that kids have access to bikes for the tours. To get visitors to Calgary their own set of wheels, he’s been working closely with the city’s new bikeshare offering.

Reach out to people who have the resources that you don't. As you fill in the gaps of your business, you get to meet each other's needs and form meaningful partnerships.


Pale Horse Tipi Camp, Riel Houle

Pale Horse Tipi Camp is an authentic, all-inclusive Indigenous cultural camping experience.

Share the “why” behind your “what”

“Reconciliation is a bonding between two different cultures, a pulling and drawing close,” Riel told the audience during his pitch. “There’s a real connection that comes with reconciliation.”

Riel passionately shared his heart for reconciliation, and explained that it’s not something that happens instantly or from a distance. It takes leaning in, wanting to learn, participation. And that’s exactly what his immersive cultural experience offers guests. In sharing his passion, suddenly a camping trip takes on a whole new—and incredibly impactful—meaning.


Mystery Towns, Andrew Nickerson

Mystery Towns provides self-guided, fast-paced scavenger hunts throughout Albertan cities through its app, connecting visitors and residents with local businesses in the process!

When pitching, it’s not about you

When Andrew explained his business and his campaign, he constantly talked about value added for others, whether it was customers or local businesses. He never focused much on Mystery Towns itself. He was all about the experience for the audience and for local businesses, and that made his pitch so persuasive. With that kind of passion, it’s no wonder Mystery Towns ended up being the audience favourite!


Moose Trail Overland, Mike Kearns

Moose Trail Overland offers adventurous, small-group camp experiences in the backcountry of the Rockies, complete with heated tents, chef-cooked meals and an outdoor hot tub!

Know what kind of company you want to have—and live it

Mike explained that when he and his partner first started Moose Trail Overland, they took the time to figure out what they wanted their business to represent—and they knew they wanted to give back. They’ve ingrained this core value into their business through regular participation in Bow River cleanups, and working with nonprofit Right to Play to give Indigenous youth an authentic encounter with the mountains.

Do you have an incredible business idea you’d like to see come to life?

We’d love to help you get started with your own BoostR campaign.


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