Entrepreneurs and investors will unite at a forum during the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer this week.
Entrepreneurs from across the province will make their pitches at the Edge Investment Forum in a Dragons’ Den-style event Wednesday.
But that’s not the sole objective of the all-day event, says Pam Steckler, managing director of international engagement for Central Alberta Access Prosperity, one of several organizations hosting the exchange.
“That’s one of the bonuses of the event is to connect entrepreneurs with the investment community, but I would say it’s equally weighted entrepreneur to an investor, and an investor to an investor.”
There will be seven pitches from entrepreneurs in the morning and another six in the afternoon, along with various speakers and an evening reception.
The event takes place when the CFR is in the city to capitalize on the people that will already be here for the rodeo.
“Generally, when people are coming from other places, there has to be some sort of tourism component connected to it. If people are going to invest in businesses from Alberta, they want to get a real general sense of the culture, which is why we have hinged it on the CFR,” explained Steckler.
The forum is the second one this year. The inaugural one was held in February, during the 2019 Canada Winter Games.
About 120 entrepreneurs and investors attended the February gathering from Western Canada, and about the same number or more are expected at Wednesday’s event.
Steckler said one of the entrepreneurs who made a pitch during the February forum will be speaking at this week’s event.
Brandi Buss is the founder of Beelieve Lifestyle and Apparel, a travel clothing line company in Ponoka.
Buss gained investment that allowed her to establish a bricks-and-mortar operation, said Steckler.
The companies making their pitches are looking for all levels of funding, starting at a quarter of a million dollars to several million dollars.
The co-operation among investors is critical to funding bigger projects, said Steckler.
“They alone would not be able to provide the capital needed for some companies, but collaboratively, when they’re working with other investors, they can actually move the needle forward for some of the larger projects.”
For more information about the event, or to register, go online at edgeinvestment.ca.