Founder Institute Image

Startup Canada, in collaboration with UPS​, Export Development Canada​, ​and the Canadian ​Trade Commissioner Service has launched its second annual Canadian Export Challenge to showcase and support 1,500 entrepreneurs and small businesses to go global, through one of five 1-Day Accelerators across Canada and a national pitch competition with up to $25,000 in prizes. 

Founder Institute Montreal Director Sergio Escobar will host the Canadian Export Challenge in Montreal on June 17th.

Although there are 2.3 million entrepreneurs in Canada and more than 1 million businesses, fewer than 10% of small and medium-sized businesses in Canada export, yet those that do are more likely to survive and scale.

Following a successful pilot in 2018, this year the Canadian Export Challenge is scaling to more cities to support more entrepreneurs, with stops in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Mississauga, Ottawa, Montréal, and Fredericton in May and June, and a Final Showdown in Toronto in October.

Entrepreneurs can apply to join the 2019 Global Entrepreneur Cohort through the rolling admissions deadlines of April 30th and May 31st. Accepted entrepreneurs have the opportunity to pitch to win $25,000 in cash and up to an additional $100,000 in support, attend a 1-day Global Accelerator to learn from and connect with Canada’s global expansion support providers, and gain privileged access to trade missions, market intelligence, global accelerators, and a digital and in-person partner network to help them scale-up in 2019.

Paul Gaspar, director of small business at UPS Canada, says, 

UPS Canada remains strongly focused on supporting Canadian entrepreneurs and encouraging them to leverage opportunities for growth in global markets. With the increase of buying power from around the world, it is important for Canadian businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises to be ready and open to a global mindset. The Canadian Export Challenge provides the support entrepreneurs need, to take the first step in competing on a larger scale.

Entrepreneurs are invited to apply early with rolling acceptance. Visit to learn more and apply. Click here to read the 2018 recap report, and click here to watch the highlights. 

The Canadian Export Challenge is a Startup Canada Program in collaboration with UPS, Export Development Canada and the Trade Commissioner Service to support entrepreneurs to become export-ready, connect with the trade and global growth ecosystem, and to gain global exposure through a series of 1-day accelerator events, digital programs, pitch competitions, and an online community. Learn more at

Startup Canada is Canada’s entrepreneurship organization. Startup Canada promotes and supports the success and growth of Canada’s 2.3 million entrepreneurs, with a mandate to foster economic growth, competitiveness, and prosperity through entrepreneurship. Since launching, Startup Canada’s programming has directly supported more than 200,000 entrepreneurs and 50 grassroots Startup Community organizations. Working with over 750 ecosystem partners, including accelerators, incubators, research parks, educational institutions, economic development agencies, associations, and government programs, Startup Canada serves entrepreneurs from all backgrounds, industries, and stages of development, with a network reflective of Canada’s diverse population. Learn more at

Export Development Canada (EDC) helps Canadian companies of all sizes go, grow, and succeed in their international business. As a financial Crown corporation, EDC provides financing, insurance, bonding, trade knowledge, and matchmaking connections to help Canadian companies sell and invest abroad. EDC can also provide financial solutions to foreign buyers to facilitate and grow purchases from Canadian companies. For more information visit  


*  *  *

Graduates of the Founder Institute are creating some of the world's fastest growing startups, having raised over $800M in funding, and building products people love across over 180 cities worldwide.

See the most recent news from our Grads at, or learn more about their stories at

Related Insights

More insights
Founder Institute Image

We are joining ICT Spring and 3 reasons why you should too!

By Ivo Radulovski on 2019-04-22
Founder Institute Image

Montreal FI Director Sergio Escobar to Host Canadian Export Challenge

By Dustin Betz on 2019-04-12
Founder Institute Image

Startup Weekend's Social Impact Edition comes to Silicon Valley

By Drew Zias on 2019-03-21

Are you ready to join the world's premier startup launch program?

Join the Program