Yukon Innovation Week Kick-Off & Reverse Pitch


In case you missed our Kick-Off & Reverse Pitch event to celebrate the start of Yukon Innovation Week, we want to share the excellent resources we learned about! These opportunities, whether they are funding, marketing support, mentorship, are available to all Yukoners.

To start us off, we had a panel of amazing businesses who accessed the various supports available here at NorthLight Innovation.

Tarek Bos-Jabbar with ColdAcre

  • Tarek began ColdAcre four years ago and participated in the entrepreneurial supports in NorthLight (YukonU and Yukonstruct) such as the Startup Bootcamp. He continues to grow and work with the supports in the building as well as many other opportunities in the Yukon. He feels his business felt profound growth thanks to the various entrepreneurial supports in NorthLight.

Émilie Lavoie with Rhizome

  • Through Emilie’s PhD, she identified a gap that she wants to fill. She wants to support teachers in accessing resources to French school environments with accurate knowledge on people of colour. She came to Yukonstruct for her PhD studies, then connected with Yukon University’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship department, then connected with Cat Kelly (Yukonstruct’s Entrepreneurial Programming Director) and she got into the Startup Bootcamp. She is new to the entrepreneurial world and is learning a lot and really appreciates the synergy of this space and the knowledge with the Bootcamp.

Natasha Peters of Kaska Dene Designs

  • Natasha creates incredible art using traditional and contemporary designs. She learned a lot about her Kaska Dene culture from her elders, particularly her grandparents. She continues to pass this cultural knowledge on to her child. She started her business six years ago and has participated in Fashion Weeks across the world. It has brought a lot of healing to her to work with her culture, and her participation in the Business Bootcamp also brought a lot of knowledge to her.

Justin Sheridan of INSTRKT

  • Justin was learning how to crochet, and he couldn’t find enough support from Youtube videos alone. He wished he could click on a button to talk to someone to find where he’s making the mistakes. That’s when he had the idea to give makers an opportunity to monetize their time and teach people their skills. He participated in the business bootcamp and he’ll be launching his business in the next few weeks in partnership with Apprendo, another business located in NorthLight Innovation.

Now, onto the pitches!

Yukonstruct – We have supports to make in Makespace, such as mentors, workshops, and all sorts of tools. You can be connecting in Cospace with a lot of networking events, and access pathfinding sessions and other entrepreneurial supports such as the Business Bootcamp. Contact us and we’ll go from there! info@yukonstruct.com

Canadian Northern Economic Development – Their funding is project based (meaning it has a start and end date) and cannot fund ongoing operations. Their annual expression of interest is open until November 30th for a project beginning on or after April 30th. They also have repayable loan options.

Yukon University’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship – They are located in Northlight Innovation and they have non-repayable grant options for solving real problems/prototyping. They also have IncubateNorth for those who have validated sales but face other challenges, which allows mentorship access. They have the Summer Biz program for young entrepreneurs and Josee Belisle offers these same options to those specifically in the Yukon’s communities.

Mitacs – They are a national non-profit for research with undergraduate and graduate students and funds half their salaries if they work with an organization. Indigenous communities get 75% of the cost for an intern. If a student has an academic project or a business wanting to solve a problem, they’ll chat and find creative solution

Yukon Development Corporation – They have the economic development fund, which is a flexible non-repayable grant. To make your application stand out, tell them how the business will benefit the Yukon, the costing plan (how much money, and for what?) and how is your idea going to be feasible without the need for ongoing funding? They have staff that are happy to support you as you build your application.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada – Nicky Rosenberg is the single point of contact for government partners in the Yukon, and more than 1200 programs from 60-70 partners. There are advisory services and he is here to chat.

TechYukon – TechNetwork has access to resources on their website and offers programs to their members, and specific funding for projects using AI. Canada Digital Adoption programs provide participants with up to 5k for startups to solve Yukons problems.

Yukon Government Tourism Department – They offer help for tourism operators, they can fund digital activities, community tourism development projects, new businesses entering the tourism space, or navigate government programs. They fund so many different projects that it’s best to talk with them directly.

Global Affairs Canada Trade Commissioner’s Office -A free federal service for Canadian businesses wanting to find success in international business. This is based in Vancouver and covers Yukon as well. They have funding, accelerator programs, and give advice to businesses.

Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism – Best for Indigenous tourism entrepreneurs, artists, or a mix of these businesses. They have mentorship programs, access to training and networking opportunities, marketing, they do not fund but they offer advocacy for the arts, culture, and tourism sectors. Their open door policy means you can come to their office and chat any time during their open hours.

Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce – WCC is announcing a new educational program that they’ve developed in partnership and informed by Yukoners. This program is for small-medium businesses and it kicks off in the spring of 2023. Find out further details at whitehorsechamber.ca

Yukon Chamber of Commerce – They offer free services for workers compensation, concerns and issues with WCB, and more. They are here to help you, contact them and they can assist from there.

Yukonstruct Mentors, Incubate North and Startup Bootcamp Members/Alum

  • Mammoth Agency – They are a creative marketing agency that helps organizations leverage various media for their success. They do not offer funding but they help find funding, resources, and solve a number of issues for branding, websites, Amazon, distributing outside of the territory, and approach things with a growth mindset. Visit the office or contact them and they will be glad to help.
  • Pursuit Coaching Services – Tara helps businesses and leaders combine who you are with how you work. She helps you hone business and leadership skills and will be glad to meet to determine how best she can support. Communication skills, overcoming mindset, how to think differently from your current situations to come up with different solutions.
  • OUTFRNT – They are a business development agency to help businesses connect the dots when feeling lost in the weeds. They help you achieve the best things as well as designing programs, they come from finance backgrounds, grant writing, if you’re uncertain with your business, meet with them. They help find grants, loans as well.