NOOKSTART is an exciting 10 week, online, entrepreneurial competition for creatives who have a hand-made product to sell. nookSTART was founded to help aspiring entrepreneurs who have limited opportunities to sell their products beyond a craft and arts market; The chance to compete for a retail nook. 3 winners will receive 1 free retail nook each for 1 year and the benefit of making 100% profit from the sale of their items. Along with the retail nook, each winner will have access to the nooks business development programs, along with free vending opportunities through out the year at the nooks flea, NOOKFEST and other nook events! The nookSTART competition provides valuable tasks for the candidates to push themselves beyond their comfort zones in realistic applications of their business knowledge and skills within the hand-made/retail industry.



  • The TOP 30 applicants were hand selected and announced on March 20th, 2017
  • The TOP 10 candidates will be announced June 10th, 2017
  • The TOP 10 present their business at the LIVE PITCH on June 24th, 2017
  • The TOP 3 winners of the competition will be announced July 1st, 2017




These participants will hone their skills through weekly challenges that test and expand their business acumen. The homework submitted is scored on a scale of 1-10 and those with the highest scores advance to the next round. The LIVE PITCH will be in front of a panel of judges from the Artisan and Retail industry. Experts such as Phil Chang, the Industry Lead and Retail Expert at Hubba, who is responsible for uncovering emerging trends and insights that impact businesses engaged in commerce.


Based on highest score over the course of the 10 week program, the top 10 will be selected to pitch their business to a panel of judges. The 10 finalists will pitch their business to a panel of industry experts and a live audience at the nookSTART pitch off, taking place on Saturday June 24th, 2017 in Toronto. The live audience will have the opportunity vote at this event.


These winners will be selected based on their LIVE PITCH and will be announced July 1st. The TOP 3 winners win a free retail space at The Nooks  for one year to sell their product(s), making 100% profit from all sales at any of The Nooks locations. “Creative entrepreneurs face significant challenges beyond making their product(s). They also have to be savvy and knowledgeable in sales and marketing. As far as we know, no one taking on this role of education, support, and real life execution for artisans. This is more than a competition - it’s helping turn the maker into a business person.” states Colleen Imrie, founder of The Nooks.



  • 1 retail nook at one of the nooks location for 1 year ( $3,000 value)
  • Make 100% profit from the sale of your products (Unlimited sale potential)
  • Access to nooks business coaching & development programs ( $1,000 value)
  • 2 hours / month of community room workshop space ($1,800 value)
  • Vending opportunity at NOOKFEST, The Nooks Flea and community events ( $800 value)