Premier Wade MacLauchlan helps Nicole Allain, right, coordinator of the 2017 Dragons' Contest, present the huge $10,000 cheque to champion Ghislaine Cormier of Charlottetown, who is setting up Kaneshii Vinyl Press.
A local entrepreneur got into the groove Saturday night after winning $10,000 at the 2017 Dragon’s Contest held at the Centre Belle-Alliance in Summerside.
Ghislaine Cormier, co-owner of Kaneshii Vinyl Press Ltd., was announced the winner before a crowd of 110 people during the Acadian Entrepreneurs' Gala that was organised by RDÉE Prince Edward Island.
Cormier also won free memberships to two chambers of commerce, a free consultation on setting up or improving her website, college business courses and a $200 gift certificate at a university bookstore.
“It’s a great feeling to have the community you work with support your business,” said Cormier. “We’ve been working on this project for over two years, so it’s really great to see everything come together.”
Earlier in the evening, Cormier and two other finalists - Sylvain and Madison Gagné from Gagné Blueberries and Jérémie Arsenault from Simple Feast Catering and Meal Club - had each presented their entrepreneurial project in seven-minutes to a panel of three judges or “dragons.”
The judges then asked five minutes' worth of questions to each contestant.
It’s a great feeling to have the community you work with support your business. Ghislaine Cormier
Chamber spokesman Martin Marcoux said, "People were subject to a pre-selection process and all applicants received sales pitch training, so they could confidently face the dragons."
Kaneshii Vinyl Press is a brand new company that identified a need in the community, and took strides to provide services to a critically underserved market. The company will build on P.E.I.’s musical heritage and active music industry.
“We (Gideon Banahene and I) are a start-up manufacturer of vinyl records in Charlottetown,” explained Cormier. “And for several years we have been trying to get this business going after watching the market trend shift.”
The panel of judges were Jean-Guy Bigeau, president-executive director of RDÉE Canada, Alfred Arsenault, general manager of Evangeline-Central Credit Union representing PEI Credit Unions, and Daniel Bourgeois, executive director of La Belle-Alliance and the Institut de recherche Beaubassin.
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KVP is one of only three record-pressing businesses in Canada and the only one east of Toronto. It offers services in both of Canada's official languages, which is a distinctive advantage in markets such as Quebec, Atlantic Canada and other French-speaking communities throughout Canada.
The business collaborates with Viral Technologies, a Canadian company that has developed a new technology for producing vinyl records that drastically reduces production time, maintenance delays and production costs.
Vinyl records represent a quickly growing market, and 24 per cent of music sales in the past year were in vinyl format, thereby surpassing digital sales.
Ghislaine Cormier, co-owner of Kaneshii Vinyl Press Ltd., makes a seven-minute pitch to a panel of judges at the Dragon’s Contest.
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The vinyl-pressing house will be the first in Atlantic Canada.
“The money will be put towards computers for the company’s high-tech machine [that has the capacity to produce up to 180 records per hour - more than 1.5 million per year], as well as lease hold improvements, shrink wrappers, and waiting machines for shipping,” said Cormier.