Startup Canada announces Toni Marlow Clothing as winner of the 2019 Canadian Export Challenge Final Showdown Pitch Competition

Toronto, ON – October 24, 2019 | Yesterday, Toni Marlow Clothing was named the winner of the 2019 Final Showdown Pitch Competition as part of the Canadian Export Challenge in Toronto. Jalisa Luces-Mendes won $25,000 and up to an additional $100,000 in in-kind scaling support. 

Ontario-based company, Toni Marlow Clothing is an underwear brand for people who redefine gender norms. Core products include period boxer briefs “T.O.M” (Time Of Month) in addition to packer boxers have a pocket specifically designed to hold a prosthesis without a harness or jockstrap. To give back, $1.00 from each purchase of Toni Marlow Clothing goes to suicide prevention.

“Winning the Canadian Export Challenge Final Showdown will help us go global by making enough inventory to meet demand, which allows us to expand and actually reinvest the profits from that and be able to offer our product in more and more countries and industries,” said Jalisa Luces-Mendes, Founder and CEO of Toni Marlow Clothing. “I’m grateful and happy and excited to finally be able to do all the work necessary to grow.”

“The fashion industry has often been viewed as a gender divisive industry. Toni Marlow Clothing is changing the trend with a product line inclusive of body types and gender norms, which is why it’s so groundbreaking,” said Rebecca Palmer, Canadian Export Challenge Lead at Startup Canada. “The entire team is so thrilled to see Toni Marlow Clothing take home the grand prize of the second annual Canadian Export Challenge Final Showdown.”

The Canadian Export Challenge is a platform to foster a national dialogue to promote Canadian entrepreneurs to own the global innovation and entrepreneurship podium while equipping entrepreneurs with collateral and support to leverage Canada as a launchpad for global market entry and growth. Earlier this year, the challenge took place in seven cities including Winnipeg, Vancouver, Edmonton, Mississauga, Ottawa, Fredericton, and Montréal, offering sessions, panels, networking and regional pitch competitions to Canadian entrepreneurs.

Presented by Startup Canada in collaboration with UPS Canada®, Export Development Canada, and the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, the Canadian Export Challenge in Toronto showcased and supported more than 300 borderless businesses to go global. 

For more information, to schedule interviews, please contact:

Matthew Curtis
Media Relations, Startup Canada
613-627-0787 ext 105

About Startup Canada
Startup Canada is Canada’s entrepreneurship organization. Startup Canada promotes and supports the success and growth of Canada’s 3.5 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

About UPS
UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. The company can be found on the web at and its corporate blog can be found at To get UPS news direct, follow @UPS_Canada on Twitter.

About Export Development Canada
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 about how EDC can help your company, call us at 1-888-434-8508 or visit

About the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service
The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) is Canada’s largest network of international business professionals – specialists with field access to global business opportunities to help Canadian companies succeed in markets spanning the globe. With over 120 years’ experience, the TCS is the go-to service for international business expertise and helps Canadian companies navigate the complexities of international markets with on-the-ground assistance available in over 161 cities worldwide. With a network of over 1,300 Trade Commissioners around the world, of which a large majority are locally engaged experts in their respective markets, the TCS also includes the Regional Business Network, which provides on-the-ground client service across Canada through 5 Regional Office hubs and Client Service Satellite offices co-located with partners in every province of Canada. By delivering tailored advice, the TCS helps Canadian businesses gain market insight, find new opportunities, connect with key contacts, and resolve business problems, so that they may make better, timelier decisions, propelling them to global growth. For more information, visit



Rachelle Desorcy
Rachelle Desorcy

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