By Tawnya Plain Eagle
Owner of Pale Horse Tipi Camp is participating in the annual ATB Financial BoostR Campaign.
The campaign is “an online, rewards-based crowdfunding platform where aspiring entrepreneurs can pitch ideas, gain valuable feedback and raise money in exchange for a reward.”
On Oct 20, Riel Houle was one of four entrepreneurs who participated in a live elevator pitch competition in front of 200 audience members and an additional 1500 viewers from Facebook Live.
Houle admits that his nerves started settling in just before he walked on stage to deliver his pitch.
“I was kind of getting hesitant, I listened to myself breathing through the mic and I looked up and it was just bright,” He described.
The contestants had three minutes to sell their business to the judges and audience members as a way to raise funds to help grow their business.
Throughout the live pitch, audience members have the opportunity to a “text-to-vote option,” where the crowd could donate money to their favourite pitch as a part of the overall campaign.
“This exposure is huge for the entrepreneurs who pitched. They made many new connections and received valuable feedback to further grow their businesses,” said Stephan Becker, Manager for ATB BoostR.
Through online fundraising, Houle has to come up with a goal of 10,000 dollars, which according to him will help offset costs for shower facilities at his camp.
His shower facilities will have self-contained water and biodegradable soap, with a goal to save water.
“I’m a real big fan of minimalism and living within our means, that’s what tipi camp is all about, living within our means,” Houle said.
Becker says that Houle’s business is unlike anything the ATB BoostR campaign has seen before.
“We were truly excited to see an entrepreneur come through ATB BoostR with a business model that showcases indigenous culture and history,” Becker added.
The campaign is set to end at the end of November, Houle said if he does not meet his goal, he won’t be able to take home the money he raised.
He adds that in exchange for money there is a reward that he is giving back, such as medallions, merchandise, and tipi camp bundles.
You can boost Houle at atbboostr.ca.