North Forge East in Pinawa hosted their first ever Ramp Up Weekend on May 26-28, 2017. The weekend provided entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their business ideas and build that business in a couple of days.

Mentors were in attendance at the event to help guide competitors through the development of their business idea and to coach them as they prepared their pitch. There was also time for networking with like-minded entrepreneurs and local business people.

The brainstorming for the last two days gave me so many new ideas and possibilities for new businesses. ~ Leilei Du, Founder of East Bamboo Beef Jerky

Out of nine ideas originally pitched, six teams were formed and competed for the prize at The Pitch Competition on May 28th. At the end of the weekend, winners were announced as follows:

  • First Place – Leilei Du and Jing Feng of East Bamboo, a company that makes Beef Jerkey flavoured with Chinese Spices.
  • Second Place – Ryan Sandulak and Robert Tiede of Ram-Helix who created a new design for augers for grain and snow movement.
  • Third Place – Brett Swope, David Teffaine, Carson Milberg and Sam Cohn of Connexus who developed an app to make university resources more accessible to students.

The next North Forge East Ramp Up Weekend is expected to be scheduled for late fall.