The Canadian Export Challenge Launches Online Applications

By Sam Brake Guia June 3, 2020

Startup Canada announces the opening of online applications for the 2020 Canadian Export Challenge (CXC). 

CXC 2020, presented in partnership with UPS, the Trade Commissioner Service and Export Development Canada, along with Mastercard and Scotiabank, and powered by Google Canada, is the first nationwide, fully-digital pitch competition for Canadian exporters. This year applicants can apply online where they will be asked to submit their first-round pitch in the form of a 1-minute video. 

The events give Canadian entrepreneurs a chance to learn, connect, and potentially win funding to help them grow their business. Jalisa Luces-Mendes, Founder at Toni Marlow Clothing and grand finale winner of CXC 2019 said, “The Canadian Export Challenge directly impacted our ability to add inventory, something we desperately needed to do, as well as update our website. Since then, we’ve been doing really well with online sales and we have seen an increase in international sales. Hearing from the different presenters and what they offer was really useful too. Overall the experience was a reminder to persevere and always stay prepared.” 

The competition will take place in September. In each region, entrepreneurs will be pitching to win $5,000 (scale-up category), $2,500 (startup category), and a chance to win up to $25,000 and up to an additional $100,000 in in-kind scaling support at the Grand Finale in October. Segmenting the applicants into these two categories will allow early stage companies to compete against others at a similar stage and will also provide more opportunities for financial support. 

“Now more than ever, it’s great to see government, organizations, and corporate Canada all come together to support Canadian entrepreneurs. Exporting gives our businesses more access to customers and opportunities in the global marketplace, and can help them rebuild more quickly in the weeks and months to come. I encourage entrepreneurs and innovators across the country to apply for this year’s Canadian Export Challenge.” says Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade. 

In the lead-up to CXC 2020, Startup Canada will be hosting several Bootcamps and Virtual Accelerators to support export-readiness and provide guidance on mastering a pitch. 

“Startup Canada is fortunate to partner with organizations with the knowledge and expertise to equip Canadian entrepreneurs with the advice and resources they need to succeed under the current circumstances,” says Kayla Isabelle, Executive Director at Startup Canada, “The Bootcamps and Virtual Accelerators leading up to the event will bring together subject matter experts to discuss and share information on topics that are currently top of mind for entrepreneurs such as the Finance and Support Bootcamp that was held last week; the first in the Bootcamp series.” 

The free events are open to attend for all Canadian entrepreneurs, and anyone interested in learning more about the Canadian export ecosystem. Each 1-day Global Accelerator will offer opportunities to learn from and connect with Canada’s global expansion support providers and gain privileged access to market intelligence, and a partner network to help them grow. 

Entrepreneurs and encouraged to apply and submit video pitches until September 9th, 2020. Visit for tips on how to prepare for your pitch or to learn more about CXC 2020. 

Disclosure: This article includes a client of an Espacio portfolio company