2019 Impact Awards + Founders Circle Gala


APRIL 11 JW MARRIOTT - The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa



1st Place

KATHERINE HOMUTH • Sheertex Founder & CEO

Based in Bracebridge, Sheertex started off in 2017 to reinvent pantyhose from the ground up to create the world’s strongest pair of sheers. Named on Time Magazine’s 50 Best Inventions of 2018. Sheertex is a relentlessly inventive and transparent apparel company redefining wearable knit technology.


2nd Place

MELINDA ZYTARUK • TookTree Passive Homes President & CEO

Tooketree Passive Homes believes in a better, healthier and more sustainable future for Muskoka and beyond. They build homes that last – high-performance homes that help mitigate and adapt to climate change. Tooketree Passive Homes are comfortable, safe, sequester carbon and have very low operating costs. 

2019 TOP Finalists

Kevin Parchment

The Gamble Farm
Alexandra Gamble

Muskoka Mead
AnnMarie Boehm-Tapley

Katherine Homuth

Tooketree Passie Homes
Melinda Zytaruk


2019 TOP Finalists – EXTENDED CUT




1. Apply

DUE: FRI, MARCH 1, 2019

All applications will be evaluated by the Founders based on the following 5 criteria:

  1. Regional Economic Impact

  2. Scalability

  3. Profitability

  4. Innovation

  5. Demand

Up to 10 qualifiers will be selected to move on to the next stage.

2. Interview

SAT, MARCH 16, 2019

Video Day – Up to 10 qualifiers will be selected and notified to attend a video recording session where they will present their business idea in front of a video recording crew.

The Selection Committee will then score the video presentations based on the 5 criteria.

TUE, MARCH 26, 2019

Meet the Founders – Top 5 qualifiers will individually meet with a group of Muskoka Founders for a Q & A session.

3. Attend

Thu, APRIL 11, 2019

All 5 finalists will receive 2 free tickets to attend the IMPACT Awards Night, at the JW Marriott in Minett.

Finalists will be recognized for their achievements and vignettes of video presentation will be shown. At the end of the evening, the first and second Founders Circle prize winners will be announced.

Buy online tickets to Awards Night 2019 here.


Muskoka Grant Program

Founders Circle

Founders Circle is a group of Muskoka-based individuals and business working together to promote economic development in Muskoka.  The group’s first initiative, The Founders Choice Awards, identifies and rewards entrepreneurs with promising new business ideas.

In the 2019 contest, the grand prize will be $15,000 and second prize $5,000.

The Founders are community leaders who have invested in a $20,000 prize to be awarded to an individual or group with an innovative idea that will help improve the local economy. Aside from screening applications, interviewing finalists, and presenting the prize, the Founders aim to provide significant assistance to finalists who do not win through video production, marketing, and introduction to investors.