Northern entrepreneur eager for second chance at Pow Wow Pitch success

Submitted photo.. La Ronge entrepreneur Wyatt Miller is headed to the semi-finals of Pow Wow Pitch for the second straight year.

After falling short in 2022, northern entrepreneur Wyatt Miller is looking for more success in 2023 in one of North America’s top Indigenous entrepreneur competitions.

For the second year in a row, Miller has reached the semi-finals of Pow Wow Pitch. He’ll compete against 120 other Indigenous business leaders for a spot in the finals and a chance to win $25,000 to grow his business.

“It’s a different feeling and it’s a good feeling too,” Miller said about his second year of competition. “Knowing that I got myself to the semi-finals again, I know at least I’m doing a little bit of what I should be doing correctly, so that feels fantastic.”

The La Ronge-based Miller is the owner and CEO of Sparked Apparel, a clothing line he created in January 2021. Pow Wow Pitch gives young entrepreneurs the chance to meet with mentors and hone their business goals. Miller said it’s been a great opportunity, and one he appreciates much more now that he’s in his second year.

“Last year, I was really just going into the competition to see what I could do,” he explained. “I didn’t fully understand the competition, so I was really just seeing a big number and I was getting into it, whereas this year I have a lot more knowledge about what’s going on. I want to continue on to the finals and hopefully win.”

Miller was inspired to enter the pitch competition a second time after watching Manitoba’s Erica Daniels take first place in the 2022 competition. It was Daniels’ third time entering Pow Wow pitch, but her first win, and Miller said that encouraged him to try again.

“I thought, if she’s going to join three years back-to-back-to-back, why not give it a second shop and see what happens?” If it doesn’t work out this year, I’ll continue to shoot my shot,” Miller said.

Miller began creating his own clothing line after watching Tik Tok videos of people making their own clothes. He started by taking a pair of boot-cut jeans and turning them into skinny jeans.

His was encouraged by the early success, and by the support he received from friends and family members, including his mom who bought him a sewing machine as a gift.

“I was buying used flannels and stuff and cutting those up and sewing them up again, more or less for myself but I was posting my creations on snap chat for my friends and everyone to see,” Miller remembered. “They were starting to love it and they were telling me, ‘maybe you could put a price tag on these and sell them a little bit?’ I tried that out, and of course, you don’t sell out of everything to begin with, but I sold quite a few pieces. Then my machine broke, so I was faced with my first big challenge, which was to say I tried something and failed or continue to chase the dream, and I figured, I’m going to continue.”

Miller began taking classes from the Toronto Film School with the goal of earning his Designing of Arts Diploma. While those classes have helped him improve his product, Pow Wow Pitch is helping him market and promote it.

“Knowing that I could have that $25,000 for my business just makes me feel a lot happier and a lot calmer,” he said.

Miller is one of 11 Saskatchewan entrepreneurs who will make their pitches in the upcoming semi-finals bracket. The list also includes Prince Albert entrepreneur John Halkett and his start-up Natively Vibing.

More than 2,000 Indigenous entrepreneurs competed for one of 120 spots in the semi-finals. Four finalists have already been chosen. The finals are scheduled for Oct. 19.

Visit for more information on watching the pitch stream live online.

@kerr_jas •