Indigenous Business Competition TV Series Coming to APTN

Tuccaro Group of Companies president and CEO, Dave Tuccaro of the Mikisew Cree Nation in Alberta

The new Bears’ Lair TV series accepting contestant applications from Indigenous entrepreneurs for a piece of $180,000 in prize dollars for their business enterprise


The call for contestants for season 1 of Bears’ Lair TV opens today, January 18, 2022.

Over the course of nine episodes, 18 emerging and established Indigenous entrepreneurs from across the nation compete for $180,000 in prize money to take their enterprise to the next level. All 18 contestants pitch to a panel of judges - The Bears - over six try-out episodes. The Bears select one $10,000 winner from each try-out episode and these six move to the semi-finals. The final four advance to the season finale, where one deserving Indigenous entrepreneur is awarded a $100,000 grand prize.

The Bears are an expert panel of four core judges plus an additional guest judge each episode. Judges bring years of knowledge, experience, and expertise to the show. Contestants receive group business training and individual coaching from industry experts to polish their business pitches and prepare for the television broadcast experience.

The core judges’ panel is made up of a group of diverse Indigenous business leaders from across the country.

The core judging panel features Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business president and CEO, Tabatha Bull, of Nipissing First Nation in Ontario; Tuccaro Group of Companies president and CEO, Dave Tuccaro of the Mikisew Cree Nation in Alberta; Steel River Group president and CEO, Trent Fequet from the Innu community of Pakuashipi in Quebec and Sparkly Frog Clan Productions Inc. Bears’ Lair executive producer and founder, Geena Jackson of the Sechelt (shíshálh) First Nation in BC.

The Bears’ Lair creates a new path in Canadian reality television with five key Indigenous twists on typical business competitions. Judges consider the entrepreneurs’ social impact and award points for purpose as they select winners for guaranteed cash prizes (as opposed to competitors pitching to investors who would take ownership in their company). Prize funds will be awarded alongside business mentorship to fuel their business.

Contestants for season 1 of Bears’ Lair apply now, at

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