(Advocate file photo).

Hockey and fashion entrepreneurs win big at RDC’s Breakthrough Your Business competition

The organizer of a competitive shinny hockey league and the designer of high-end couture gowns won the top prizes in Red Deer College’s version of Dragon’s Den.

Mike Bolton received a first prize of $6,000 at RDC’s Breakthrough Your Business event for starting Red Deer Rookies, a non-contact, competitive shinny league. Since initiating Red Deer Rookies in 2015, Bolton has seen a strong interest from participants, with more than 150 players from 18 to 60 years old participating in Red Deer.

He credits his success to creating a fun atmosphere and eliminating barriers to adults playing hockey. Bolton is now looking to expand his market to other cities, which was the focus of his recent pitch at Breakthrough Your Business.

Beth Anne Pedersen received a second prize of $4,000 for Beth Anne Couture, her high-end brand of couture gowns that she designs and creates in central Alberta. With networks in New York, Pedersen’s goal is to continue building her brand by expanding her line of gowns and hiring qualified staff who specialize in couture sewing.

Her pitch at Breakthrough Your Business detailed this plan, as well as her goal to create a diverse product line that includes plus size gowns – an area currently under-represented in the fashion industry.

Breakthrough Your Business provided new opportunities for local entrepreneurs on March 9, when aspiring entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges (local business owners).

Darcy Mykytyshyn, Dean of the Donald School of Business said, “It was great to hear the creativity and passion they all have for their proposals.”

Each winner also received a $500 tuition voucher for RDC’s School of Continuing Education.

Support for Breakthrough Your Business comes from local entrepreneurs, Joan and Jack Donald, who have sponsored $20,000 to the event since it was first created, and have dedicated their time through mentorship.

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