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Applications are now closed. Thank you to all who applied!
We are currently reviewing applications.
Stay tuned for updates!

What is The Pitch?

Since 1988, the Sarnia-Lambton Business Development Corporation has been helping entrepreneurs across our community realize their dream of opening and running a successful business. One of the community economic development events that we sponsor in support of new entrepreneurs is an annual business pitch competition.

In the spirt of Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank, “The Pitch: Is Your Business Idea a Winner?” is open to aspiring entrepreneurs in Sarnia and Lambton County.

Every competition contestant will receive support from business professionals in the crafting of a top-notch Business Plan. Finalists will have the opportunity to pitch their winning business idea to a panel of discerning judges at a live finale event for a chance to win more than $15,000 in cash and prizes to assist in their business start-up.

What Are The Prizes?

*The awarded funds will be solely be allocated to the startup or operational expenses outlined explicitly in the Business Plan, with disbursement of prize winning upon presentation of corresponding invoices.

What Are the Expectations for Contestants?

As a contestant on The Pitch, you’ll need to:

  • Attend four (4) mandatory workshops;
  • Submit a detailed Business Plan,
  • Create a 30 to 60-second video for the People’s Choice Award, and;
  • If chosen as a finalist, participate in the live finale event to pitch your business to our judging panel.


  • Is 19 years of age or older
  • Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents
  • Business operates or is headquartered in Lambton County
  • Business is open and has been in operation for less than 12 months (at the time of application)
    • or Business will be fully open and operational by December 31, 2024
    • or Business was a part-time side-hustle that the owner wants to scale up into a full time, fully operational company
  • Business is (or will be) operating in a permanent location with a minimum 2-year lease
    • or the business has start-up/operating costs that are clearly identified in the Business Plan and which can be paid on receipt of invoices
  • Will generate a minimum of 1 FTE (FTE = Full Time Equivalent. A minimum of one individual must be employed full-time by the company)
  • Participant must commit to attend four (4) mandatory, in-person, 90-minute information sessions each of which provide support for the development of a business plan and operation of a successful business
  • Participant must agree to all other of the terms and conditions of participation


  • Businesses that are not operating or headquartered in Lambton County
  • Businesses that will have been in operation with at least 1 FTE for more than twelve (12) months when application is submitted.
  • Businesses that will not be open and operational by December 31, 2024
  • Franchises
  • Not-for-profit organizations
  • Registered charities
  • Multi-level marketing companies (e.g., Avon)

Key Dates

  • March 1st – Applications Open
  • April 1st – Applications Close
  • April 5th – Applicants Approved/Notified
  • April 8th – Applicants Receive Pre-Session Primers, Links & Materials
  • April 11th – *Workshop#1 – Business Concept & Business Plan
  • April 18th – *Workshop#2 – Business Plan Financial Documents
  • April 25th – *Workshop#3 – HR/Insurance/ Legal Roundtables
  • May 2nd – *Workshop#4 – Marketing Roundtables
  • May 17th – Deadline for Submission of all Business Plans & Videos
  • May 21st – Internal Review by SLBDC of Business Plans
  • May 22-31st – Judges Review and Score Business Plans
  • May 24th- June 9th – On-Line Voting for People’s Choice Award
  • June 3rd – Finalists Notified – Top 7 contestants selected based on Business Plan scores.
  • June 13th – Finale

* = All workshops are mandatory, in-person and 90-minutes in length.
Workshops will be from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Have Questions?