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Goulais River business owner advances to Pow Wow Pitch finals

Tiana Byrnes of Twin Equipment and Tool Rentals Ltd. will compete for $25,000 prize during final round of Indigenous business competition
Twin Equipment and Tool Rentals Ltd. Founder Tiana Byrnes is moving on to the final round of Pow Wow Pitch, a business competition for Indigenous entrepreneurs in Canada and the United States.

Indigenous entrepreneur Tiana Byrnes of Goulais River is moving on to the final round of Pow Wow Pitch for the Ontario region. 

Byrnes, who founded Twin Equipment and Tool Rentals Ltd. earlier this year, will square off against three other Ontario entrepreneurs in the final round of the Indigneous business competition next month for a cash prize of $25,000.  

“What an amazing opportunity. It’s great,” said Byrnes. “I didn’t think I was going to be one of the ones they would have chosen, but here I am.”

A total of 25 entrepreneurs advanced to the Ontario semifinals, including Ojibway Natural owner Nangoons Wabegijig of Garden River First Nation. The Pow Wow Pitch Ontario semifinal was broadcast via YouTube Wednesday night. Byrnes' pitch to judges can be seen at 49:16 of the video. 

The winners were announced at the end of the broadcast. 

“And then it said my name. It was quite the feeling,” Byrnes said.

Each Pow Wow Pitch finalist will have two minutes to pitch to a panel of judges next month, followed by a two-minute question and answer session. 

Byrnes told SooToday earlier this month that if she were to win the $25,000 grand prize, the money would enable Twin Equipment and Tool Rentals Ltd. to expand its heavy equipment rental business into Northern Ontario's mining sector.  

“Pow Wow Pitch is such a great opportunity for small businesses,” said Byrnes. “It gives great recognition, and they’re a great, great community I’m so proud to be part of.”

The final round of Pow Wow Pitch will air on its YouTube channel Oct. 20 at 6 p.m.