2018 Canadian Export Challenge Recap

The inaugural Canadian Export Challenge supported more than 1,500 entrepreneurs across Canada to become export-ready and to connect with Canada’s global growth ecosystem. Click here to read the 2018 recap report and explore this page to see the CXC come to life.

Meet the 2018 CXC Winner

Margaret Magdesian, Founder & CEO, Ananda Devices

The National Winner is Margaret Magdesian, Founder and CEO of ANANDA (Advanced Nano Design Applications) Devices, a Montreal-based company that combines expertise in organ-on-a-chip and stem cells technology to develop mini brains and mini spinal-cords-on-a-chip, enabling more efficient testing of drugs directly on patients’ derived tissues. ANANDA Devices’ mission is to increase research capacity and competitiveness by developing and applying nano- and microtechnology platforms to improve biomedical research and diagnostics.

Regional Winners

$1,000 Prizes Awarded

Hybrid Power Solutions 

A Toronto-based company that provides fuel-free, portable, job site power sources. 

Orbitless Drive Inc. 

A Vancouver-based gearbox technology platform for motion control, robotics, electric vehicles, or wind power.

MacKenzie Healthcare Technologies 

A Halifax-based wheelchair company providing safe repositioning for independence.

Umay CARE

An Edmonton-based company  that promotes eye-health through Thermal Meditation™.

Toronto Accelerator Recap

The Toronto event took place on September 12th at the MaRS Discovery District. Check out the photos here. Click here to watch the morning session, mid day session, and afternoon session. Click here for the Toronto recap. Check out our Toronto pitch finalists below.

Calgary Accelerator Recap

The Calgary event took place on September 18th at the Event Centre, University of Calgary. Check out the photos here. Click here to watch the morning recording and here for the afternoon recording. Click here for the Calgary recap. Check out our Calgary pitch finalists below.

Montréal Accelerator Recap

The Montréal event took place on September 24th at the Club Saint-James. Check out the photos here. Click here to watch the morning recording and here for the afternoon recording. Click here for the Montréal recap. Check out the Montréal pitch finalists below.

Halifax Accelerator Recap

The Halifax event took place on September 26th at Pier 21. Check out the photos here. Click here to watch the morning recording and here for the afternoon recording. Click here for the Halifax recap. Check out the Halifax pitch finalists below.

Vancouver Accelerator Recap

The Vancouver event took place on October 2nd at the Imperial Theatre. Check out the photos here. Click here to watch the morning recording and here for the afternoon recording. Click here for the Vancouver recap. Check out the Vancouver pitch finalists below.

2018 Cohort Summary

Entrepreneur Profile

  • Attendees are CEOs and Co-Founders of their companies
  • 48 Percent are women, 16 percent are newcomers, 5 percent have disabilities, 4 percent are LGBTQ, 3 percent are Indigenous, Inuit or Métis

Company Profile

Annual Sales:

  • 50 percent have less than $1,000,000
  • 39 percent have no current sales
  • 8 percent have $1,000,000 to $9,999,999 in sales

Top industries:

  • Services – non-industrial
  • Knowledge-based
  • Consumer goods
  • Food and beverage
  • Media and entertainment
  • Med-tech
  • Clothing and textiles
  • Agriculture
  • Financial services

Export Status:

  • 41 percent sell goods, services, or make investments outside of Canada
  • 41 percent plan to sell goods, services, or make investments outside of Canada
  • 11 percent have an interest in selling goods or services outside of Canada, but do not yet have a timeframe

Employees:

  • 76 percent have 1 to 9 employees  (434 companies)
  • 12 percent have 10 to 49 employees (66 companies)
  • 11 percent have no employees (62 companies)
  • 1 percent have 100 – 249 employees (5 companies)

Global Ambitions

Top Export Destinations:

  • US (56 percent)
  • China (11 percent)
  • UK (5 percent)
  • India (4 percent)
  • France (4 percent)
  • Mexico (2 percent)

Top Challenges in going global:

  • Finding customers
  • Accessing growth financing 
  • Creating an international strategy
  • Building commercialization structure to scale

Topics of Interest

  • Access to local business networks
  • Accessing and working with agile teams
  • Building partnerships with multinationals
  • Creating contracts
  • Cross border warehousing
  • Distributors (setup, negotiations, etc.)
  • Duties, tariffs, taxes, and other logistics of shipping
  • eCommerce
  • Exporting services to other countries
  • First time product launch in export market
  • Global sales software
  • Hiring global talent
  • Impact of President Trump
  • Innovative business models and structures for global expansion
  • Insights on global opportunities
  • International distribution
  • International sales strategies
  • Growth hacking
  • Funding (non-dilutive or overseas expansion, inventory, working capital and fulfillment)
  • Marketing
  • Market access
  • Partnership pitfalls
  • Preparing to export
  • Protecting IP
  • Raising capital
  • Scaling products
  • Trade missions
  • Trade shows