Twelve Entrepreneurs Compete for $40,000 Award to Develop Business Plans Through P2P

 The Haa Aaní Community Development Fund, Inc. and The Nature Conservancy have partnered for Path to Prosperity (P2P). The goal of P2P is to develop community resiliency by supporting Southeast Alaska entrepreneurs with creating a business plan. This is the third consecutive year for the program.

Path to Prosperity (P2P) announces the12 semi-finalists for 2015 competition.

After a month of deliberation, 12 semi-finalists have been selected and will advance to round two. In round two, semi-finalists have access to business mentors, will participate in a business boot camp weekend, and receive private consulting and development of their business ideas.

Business Name                               Location   Princpal Applicant
1. Alaska Accessible Adventures       Juneau    Lindsay Halvik
2. AlaskaSmart Biodiesel                   Hoonah   Jeff Hastings
3. Columbine Farm                             Haines     Spencer Douthit
4. Micki’s House                                 Hydaburg Margaret O'Neil
5. Northern Edge Craftworks              Juneau      Reid Harris
6. Petersburg Indian Association        Petersburg Marco Banda
7. Sandbar Bed and Breakfast            Metlakatla Karen Thompson
8. Sitka Seedling Farms                      Sitka          Mathew Jackson
9. Skya’ana Coffee Co.                       Klawock    Tina Steffen
10. The Salty Pantry Market and Deli  Petersburg Mindy Anderson
11. The Sawmill Farm                         Sitka           Bobbi Daniels
12. Wrangell Cooperative Association Wrangell    Aaron Angerman

A total of 28 entrepreneurs applied to Path to Prosperity in 2015. “Thanks to the success of the first two competition cycles, P2P has built momentum across the region,” said Haa Aaní, LLC Director Ed Davis. “It is evident that entrepreneurs across the region are excited about the program given the diverse range of applicants and many applicants have been working on their ideas since last year’s competition.”

Norman Cohen, Southeast Alaska Program Director for The Nature Conservancy, is not surprised at the success the competition has seen. “The abundance of natural resources in Southeast Alaska makes this an incredible workshop for local entrepreneurs interested in finding innovative, sustainable solutions to the region’s challenges,” Cohen said. “These passionate individuals are the ones who will help invigorate our communities and ensure that our local economies thrive.”

Competition administrators and sponsors have introduced improvements to the competition for 2015. “We are lengthening and broadening our 2015 Boot Camp Weekend to provide more resources and support to our 12 semi-finalists as they develop their business concepts,” said Paul Hackenmueller, Haa Aaní, LLC economic development coordinator.

P2P Timeline

Round 1        Applications solicited March 17, 2015
                        2015 Webinar April 30, 2015
                        Applications due May 31, 2015

Round 2        Applications narrowed down to 12 finalists
                        12 finalists announced July 7, 2015
                        Business Boot Camp September 18-20, 2015
                        Business Plan Submitted December 1, 2015

Competition winners will be announced at the Innovation Summit planned for February 2016.

The P2P Selection Committee
The Round 1 selection committee was comprised of representatives from Haa Aani, LLC, The Nature Conservancy, and the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) School of Management.

Boot Camp Weekend
Semi-finalists will participate in a 3-day business boot camp in Juneau, Alaska, from September 18-20, 2015. All expenses including airfare and lodging will be covered by P2P for the businesses. The intense weekend of workshops covers topics such as business plan writing, sustainable business practices and accessing financial capital. The 12 participants will also receive a 3-credit scholarship to the UAS School of Management.

A panel of 5 independent judges from the business community 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.

P2P officials encourage entrepreneurs interested in applying for the 2016 P2P competition to fill out the contact form on the competition website at

Why Path to Prosperity?
Southeast Alaska’s rural communities are suffering from high unemployment rates, the loss of traditional jobs and a stagnant economy. Many residents leave their home communities in search of opportunities in urban areas. This outmigration threatens the very fiber of rural communities.

Learn more at

Contact Path to Prosperity Administrators
For questions or information, please email or call 907.586.9251.

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