Have A New Business Idea?

WE’RE Accepting Applications for 2019!




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.




KIM AITKEN • Aitken Frame Homes

Based in Bracebridge, Aitken homes is Canada's first "winter build" home construction company, using a proprietary new build method to deliver affordable homes at half the cost of traditional build methods.



2018 Finalists

Aitken Frame Homes
Kim Aitken

 Kristi MacDonald & Sheena Redpath

Best Golf Trips Muskoka
Jordan Mulligan


Dot the T Productions
Jan Jacklin

Lettie's Plant-Based Cheese
Colette Lalonde

Muskoka Republic Apparel
John Graham


Stone House Tiny Farm
Jennifer Pimentel

Surftek Surfboards
Brad Anderson

The Shipyards Muskoka Marketplace
Tim Webb & Dave Campbell


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.