• Win Your Space YK

  • About Win Your Space YK

    Win Your Space YK is a business incubation competition aimed at inspiring Yellowknifers to start or expand their business, while preparing them with business development workshops, providing access to useful network connections and resources, as well as revitalizing the downtown area which currently shows the highest commercial vacancy rate in Yellowknife (7.8% vs 2.3%). The project addresses Council’s Goals of Downtown revitalization and strengthening and diversifying of the economy.

    Win Your Space YK is a partnership between GNWT - Industry, Tourism and Investment, the City of Yellowknife, the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce, CDETNO, BDIC, Futurpreneur and Akaitcho Business Development Corporation.

    Thank you to our generous sponsors!
    • GNWT - Department of Industry, Tourism & Investment
    • CloudWorks
    • Diavik Diamond Mine
    • Aurora College
    • McLennan Ross
    • Crowe MacKay LLP
    • De Beers
    • Northland Utilities

    How does it work?

    Residents of Yellowknife, Dettah and N’Dilo over the age of 19 can submit their business ideas and a panel of judges will select up to 10 semi-finalists to proceed to the next round of the competition.  These 10 semi-finalists will participate in free business development workshops, including business plan writing and financial management training. Finalists will also learn how to pitch their business. The semi-finalists will develop and submit their business plans, and the Jury will select 5 finalists to advance to the Grand Finale. At the Grand Finale, the top 5 finalists will pitch their business to the Jury in true Dragon’s Den style, and the Grand Prize Winner wins one year of free leased space in downtown Yellowknife. The Grand Prize winner will be able to choose their location from the list of participating spaces. In addition the Grand Prize Winner will be fast tracked to receive up to $10,000 in start-up money under BDIC’s Business Development Project Fund.

    Existing business owners are also invited to participate provided the application is

    1) unrelated to your existing business, or

    2) introduce a new element not promoted at your existing business, or

    3) expand upon an element that would be removed from your existing business, or

    4) your current location is not located in downtown Yellowknife.


    Contest opens

    April 28 (tentative)

    Contest closes

    May 28 11:00 P.M.

    10 semi-finalists are announced

    June 6, 2017

    Mandatory Business Development Workshops for 10 finalists

    June 12 8:30 A.M. – 4:30 P.M.

    June 13 9 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.

    June 14 7-9 P.M.

    June 15 5-7 P.M.

    Final business plans submitted by 10 finalists

    July 16 11:00 P.M.

    5 finalists are announced

    Week of July 24, 2017


    Dragon’s Den style event with 5 finalists

    August 2, 2017

    Latest start date of lease

    October 1, 2017

    Latest date for Grand Opening of business

    December 1, 2017



    On August 2, the Jury will select 3 winners from the top 5 finalists:

    Grand Prize

    • One year of free leased space in downtown Yellowknife, up to a value of $4,000 per month. That’s up to $48,000 total value!
    • Up to $10,000 in start-up money under BDIC’s Business Development Project Fund, provided all eligibility requirements are met (check here)
    • Free business development workshops for up to 10 finalists.
    • Business Licensing fee waived
    • One year Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce membership

    Second Prize

    • $5000 lease credit to use towards an available commercial space in Cloudworks ‘ building. Depending on the space chosen this will cover approximately 6-10 months.

    Third Prize

    • 1 year unlimited Good Company co-working membership, $2400 value
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