'Dragons in Summerside'

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Young business people vying for money and prizes

SUMMERSIDE - It’s official - Three entrepreneurial development projects have been chosen as finalists for the 2016 Acadian Dragons’ Contest.

Jérémie Arsenault of Charlottetown is launching a catering service called Simple Feast; Karine Gallant and Iain MacInnes of Charlottetown want to launch Productions Piroune to develop and operate a malt house and Charlene Doherty of Abram-Village is launching Mini Acres, a family farm that offers chemical-free products  such as fruit, vegetables, meats, eggs, soaps and jams).

The contest will happen Saturday, March 12, at 5 p.m. at the Centre Belle-Alliance in Summerside. The three will be vying for a $10,000 first prize and other gifts to help get their new business up and going.

“We began with 13 contestants, who arrived with ideas to develop an extremely wide array of business projects,” said contest co-ordinator Rachel Chappell. “We provided them with training on the best ways to pitch their project. Then, a jury of experienced entrepreneurs from P.E.I. heard their presentations and selected the three projects they felt were most viable and most market-ready.”

At the finals, these finalists will each get seven minutes to pitch their idea to a national jury of entrepreneurial and financial experts. The judges will then ask them a few quick questions.

Then, at the end of the Acadian Entrepreneurs’ Gala, which follows the contest at 6 p.m., the winning project will be announced. This project will receive a $10,000 investment contributed by RDÉE Prince Edward Island, Innovation P.E.I., RDÉE Canada and The Co-Operators (Mike Bradley Insurance Services).

As well, the winner will receive free business courses from the Collège Acadie Î.-P.-É., a $200 gift certificate from the UPEI Bookstore, plus free one-year memberships to the Summerside and Charlottetown Chambers of Commerce as well as to the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce.

The public is invited to watch the final competition of the Dragons’ Contest free of charge, but to attend the gala a ticket is needed.

RDÉE P.E.I., the provincial francophone economic development council, is organizing this contest.

Organizations: Centre Belle-Alliance in Summerside, The Co-Operators, Bradley Insurance Services Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce

Geographic location: Summerside, Charlottetown, Abram-Village

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