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Path to Prosperity: 12 Entrepreneurs Compete for $40K Award to Grow Business

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Path to Prosperity (P2P) has narrowed down 2014 applications to 12 semi-finalists. P2P is a partnership between the Haa Aaní Community Development Fund, Inc. and The Nature Conservancy. The goal of P2P is to support individual entrepreneurs and communities to improve economic, social, environmental conditions and in order to ensure prosperous futures.

A total of 27 entrepreneurs applied to Path to Prosperity in 2014. “Last year the competition was brand new and not everyone knew what to expect, but it turned out to be quite a success.” said Alana Peterson, Economic Development Coordinator for Haa Aaní, LLC. “This year applicants had more time to work on their submissions and understood the goals of the competition. As a result we received many quality applications.”

RELATED: Southeast Alaska Business Competition Path To Prosperity Kicks Off Year Two

After a month of deliberation, 12 semi-finalists have been selected and advance to Round 2.

1. Tonka Seafoods, Inc.; Petersburg, Alaska

2. Port Chilkoot Distillery; Haines, Alaska

3. Sea Fur Sewing; Sitka, Alaska

4. Edens Marine Resources; Wrangell, Alaska

5. Petersburg Indian Associations SeaLife Compost; Petersburg, Alaska

6. Coppa; Juneau, Alaska

7. Fairweather Ski Works, LLC; Haines, Alaska

8. The Sawmill Farm; Sitka, Alaska

9. Cultural Campus & Naay I waans Whale House Tours; Kasaan, Alaska

10. Keku Products, LLC; Kake, Alaska

11. SeaMonster Seafoods and Sweet Meats; Juneau, Alaska

12. The Annaken House; Gustavus, Alaska

Over the summer the semi-finalists will receive private consulting and mentorship and participate in a business boot camp weekend. 

“The Path to Prosperity contest for entrepreneurs has shown that sustainable business ideas abound in Southeast Alaska,” said Norman Cohen, who directs the Southeast Alaska program for The Nature Conservancy. “We live in a region of abundant resources and the sustainable use of these local resources can fuel the rejuvenation communities are seeking to create.”

Competition administrators and sponsors made changes to the 2014 competition. “Last year’s competition was a success, and we have implemented a few changes to make it even better for this year,” said Peterson. “A maximum of two businesses from any one community could make it into the second round of the competition, this allows for diverse representation of businesses around the region. We also brought on a third ‘People’s Choice’ award that will determine a third winner of the $40,000 award. The other important change is that we have given additional time for the top 12 to work on their business plans, this year they will have from now until December 1 to complete their business plans.”

About P2P and Timeline

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Round 1:

Applications solicited Monday March 17, 2014

2014 Webinar Tuesday April 8, 2014

Applications due Friday May 30, 2014

Round 2:

Applications narrowed down to 12 semi-finalists

12 semi-finalists announced Monday July 7, 2014

Business Boot Camp September 19-21st, 2014

Business Plan Submitted Monday December 1, 2014

Final Round Two winners announced Thursday January 29, 2015

People’s Choice Competition February 2015

The P2P Selection Committee:

Ed Davis, Operations Manager at Haa Aaní, LLC

George Yandell, Conservation Finance Lead at The Nature Conservancy

John Blanchard, Dean of the UAS School of Management

Business Boot Camp Weekend

Semi-finalists will participate in a three-day business boot camp weekend in Juneau, Alaska, from September 19-21, 2014. All expenses including airfare and lodging will be covered by P2P for the semi-finalists. The intense weekend of workshops covers topics such as business plan writing, sustainable business practices, and accessing financial capital. The twelve will also receive a 3-credit scholarship to the University Of Alaska Southeast School of Management.


A panel of 5 independent judges will select two business plans as finalists. Each will be awarded up to $40,000 in seed funding for consulting and technical services to develop the business.

A third winner from the remaining 10 semi-finalists will be determined based on an online popular vote in February 2015. This third winner will also receive $40,000 to be used for consulting and technical services.

P2P officials encourage entrepreneurs interested in applying for the 2015 P2P competition to fill out the contact form on the competition website at