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Canada’s votes determine 2012 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award winner and runner-up


British Columbia guitar innovator Mike Miltimore hits a high note and wins a $25,000 BDC Consulting Internet strategy

Montréal, Quebec, June 26, 2012 - The innovation project submitted by Lee’s Music of British Columbia received the second highest number of votes in the 2012 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest. Lee’s Music co-owner, Mike Miltimore, has won a $25,000 BDC Consulting customized Internet strategy designed to boost his company’s sales and help it stand out in a competitive business environment. Zane Kelsall of Two If By Sea Café (Nova Scotia) won the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award and the $100,000 BDC Grand Prize for Innovation.

Miltimore’s project involves scaling up his Kamloops operation to produce Riversong guitars based on a new patent-pending design and streamlined manufacturing techniques. “Participating in the contest helped us make connections that will lead to new business opportunities and will raise awareness of our innovative approach to building guitars.”

“Bravo to Mike, whose project to reinvent guitar-making may one day change the music world,” says Jean-René Halde, President and CEO at BDC. “His project resonated with enough Canadians to secure second place in a contest that drew in participants from across the country. The customized Internet strategy that BDC Consulting will develop with his company will help Mike sell Riversong guitars in Canada and abroad.”

For the first time in 2012, the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest engaged the general public in choosing the winner of the $100,000 BDC Grand Prize for Innovation. The contest introduced an innovative online approach that used mobile technologies and the power of social media to enable Canadians to vote for the eight projects that competed in the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award finals.

Miltimore will continue to pursue his dream of bringing innovative Canadian guitars to the rest of the world. “I would like to thank everybody who rooted for me in the last three weeks,” he says. “Their dedication to our guitars and their determination to vote for us every day was amazing. To all my supporters, thank you for getting behind my project! You ROCK!”

About the 2012 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest
Created by the Business Development Bank of Canada in 1988, the BDC Young Entrepreneur Award contest pays tribute to successful Canadian entrepreneurs between 18 and 35 years of age. For the first time in 2012, the contest has seen finalists competing for the BDC Grand Prize for Innovation which awarded $100,000 to one young Canadian entrepreneur to carry out a specific innovation project. The Financial Post was the exclusive media partner of the 2012 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award. The contest was sponsored by Les Affaires.

The eight projects that competed in the 2012 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award finals were:

  • Anchored Coffee: Zane Kelsall, 27, Two If By Sea Café, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
  • Sole Solution: Philippe Durocher, 34, Laboratoire Bergeron, Montréal, Quebec
  • A Robot with Smarts: Miguel Clement, 30, Inovatech Engineering Corp., Ottawa, Ontario
  • Grants with a Difference: Michael Legary, 32, Seccuris Inc., Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • The Drop-in Office: Curtis Olson, 34, Shift Development Inc., Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  • A Greener Footprint: Patrick Bergevin, 35, Chinook Foot Orthotic Laboratory Inc., Calgary, Alberta
  • Star Guitars: Mike Miltimore, 35, Lee’s Music, Kamloops. British Columbia
  • Arctic Fitness: Tara Newbigging, 27, Fit 2 the T, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

About BDC
Canada’s business development bank, BDC, puts entrepreneurs first. With almost 1,900 employees and more than 100 business centres across the country, BDC offers financing, subordinate financing, venture capital and consulting services to 29,000 small and medium-sized companies. Their success is vital to Canada’s economic prosperity.