Max Jenke On Winning $25k As BDC Young Entrepreneur Runner Up

Max Jenke Takes 25k as BDC Young Entrepreneur Runner Up

Max Jenke was recently in the running for the BDC Young Entrepreneur Competition hosted by the Business Development Bank of Canada. The contest is designed to honor remarkable young Canadian entrepreneurs with growing businesses.

Jenke entered the contest, which was awarded based on online voting and had a grand prize of $100, 000, showcasing his work with Endeavor, Airhole, and Colour Wear, and implemented a serious social media push to get fans to vote for him. When all was said and done, Jenke came away in a strong second earning $25,000 for his efforts and his brands.
We caught up with Jenke to learn more about how they’ll be using the money, as well as his social media strategy for taking home the prize.

You were pushing this contest everywhere with some great social media campaigns. Tell us about some of the things you did to promote the BDC contest?

It was definitely a crash course in social media. We were going hard on three fronts; Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It was interesting to see how different images and text went viral – something we will be using in our future campaigns. Coming up with 20 days of pushing hard was definitely challenging, especially feeling like we were spamming everyone.

Scroll some of the images Jenke and his crew used to promote the contest:

You said if you won you’d use the money to increase distribution in the U.S. – what are your plans for the near term for this cash?

We’re still focussed on the U.S. market. With the BDC’s help, we have $25,000 of consulting that we will use to review our strategy and hopefully get some ideas from an outsider’s perspective. It’s always interesting to see what the business world thinks of our industry – it usually comes as a shock to them that we work on such a crazy buy/sell cycle and face the seasonal and snow-dependant challenges that we have every single year.

What do you think made you stand apart from the other brands in the contest?

We were the only globally established company in the competition, which has three unique brands under the umbrella company (Endeavor Snowboards, Airhole Facemasks, and Colour Wear) and of course we were all about snowboarding – we had a cause! #votesnowboarding

How did you get involved in this in the first place?

We have been with the BDC since day one – they were the first bank to take a risk on a 22-year-old snowboarder with a business plan. Since then, the BDC has backed everything we have needed them to support, including the Archetype Snowboard Lab.

After going through this, what tips do you have for other companies applying for grants or entering similar contests?

Programs like this are valuable – no doubt about it. Certainly for the publicity, but also for the experience of campaigning in this type of contest. Grants, tax credits, etc. are a key part of business and it’s important to take advantage of them where possible. They are available to use to help your business and in today’s economic time, it’s important to find any edge you can to help your bottom line.

Closing thoughts?

A huge thanks to everyone who voted for us and snowboarding. It was incredible the amount of support we had and we salute you for it. Thanks also to the BDC for the opportunity to participate in this program.