On March 28, Indigenous entrepreneurs of six start-ups and small businesses from New Brunswick will faceoff in a business pitch competition at Lockheed Martin Canada’s IMPACT Centre. The program is organized by the Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI), to promote economic and workforce development for Indigenous people in the eastern province.

This competition comes at the end of a 10-week program that assists the entrepreneurs to “turn their ideas into strong businesses, focused on exporting and creating new intellectual property,” according to a press release. The program, known as the JEDI Business Accelerator, was developed in reply “to a targeted strategy for Indigenous people to pursue opportunities related to Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy.”

“We are particularly proud of this partnership because of its focus on mentorship opportunities,” said Gary Fudge, Acting Vice President and General Manager of Lockheed Martin Canada RMS. “…to support the next generation of Indigenous entrepreneurs and business leaders who have so much to contribute to Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy.”

Since the inception of this program in 2015, Lockheed Martin Canada has partnered with JEDI.

“JEDI is pleased to partner once again with Lockheed Martin Canada on our Business Accelerator and travelling to the nation’s capital for this year’s pitch competition is a great way to mark our third anniversary,” said Alex Dedam, President of the Joint Economic Development Initiative.

The JEDI Business Accelerator group for this year’s competition includes:

Monty Paul – St. Mary’s First Nation – Founder of A1 3D Printing (Additive Marine Technologies)

Katie Lunney – Elsipogtog First Nation – Founder of Lunney Development (Website Developer & Social Media Management)

Cody Brooks – St. Mary’s First Nation – Founder of Scared Lands Eco Resort (Eco-Tourism)

Adam Kennedy – Eel River Bar First Nation – Founder of Sma’knis Maritime Security & Safety Training (Security Services & Training)

Andrew Martin and Michael Stemm – Esgenoopetitj First Nation and Eel Ground First Nation – Co-founders of Down to Earth (Video Production & Drones)

Chelsea Griffith and Jenilee Paul – St. Mary’s First Nation – Representatives of PLATO Testing (Software Testing Solutions)

This year’s pitches will incorporate the five factors that formed IMPACT, after which, the Lockheed Martin Canada’s IMPACT Centre is named: Innovation, Mentorship, Partnership, Collaboration and Technology.