2023 Wrapped with Startup Canada

Looking back on another amazing year of programming for Canadian entrepreneurs

We are wrapping up another year at Startup Canada of exciting programming, resources, and events for Canadian entrepreneurs. In 2023 we launched our cross-Canada Startup Canada Tour, produced the eighth year of the Startup Canada Podcast, awarded $70,000 in cash prizes to entrepreneurs across Canada through the Startup Global Pitch Competition, and so much more!

Check out some of our major highlights from the year in our Startup Canada 2023 Wrapped. 

Startup Women

  • We are so proud of our impact through the Startup Women program – we held 10 webinars, 22 Industry Advisory Circles, and 35 workshops. Through these events, we engaged with 4,642 women-identifying entrepreneurs.
  • This year, we had 11 women entrepreneurs from across Canada in our 2023 Startup Women Advisory Network (SWAN). Our SWAN members met in a virtual town hall, connected 1:1 with previous SWAN members, were spotlighted across social media and blog campaigns, and advocated for women entrepreneurs in their provinces and territories!
  • In 2023 we also launched our Startup Women Fund, which provided $1,000 to 15 organizations to host an event, initiative, or campaign that supports women entrepreneurs in Canada.

Startup Global

  • This year, the Startup Global program engaged 5,542 entrepreneurs and held 7 events.
  • The Startup Global Pitch Competition went across Canada on the Startup Canada Tour with our Pop-up Pitch Competitions. We had a total of 252 in-person pitch applications across our five Tour stops (Whitehorse, Halifax, Vancouver, Calgary, and Brampton). Winners of the in-person Pop-up Pitches received $3,000 and a spot in our Startup Global Pitch Grand Finale in Brampton, Ontario, on October 26.
  • We also had an additional 321 virtual applicants apply for our virtual pitch competition. To complete our top 10, we selected an additional top 5 participants from the virtual pitch competition. 
  • 10 startups advanced to the Grand Finale and pitched on the Brampton mainstage on October 26, for a chance to win a first-place cash prize of $30,000, a second-place cash prize of $15,000, or a third-place cash prize of $7,500.

Startup Gov

  • This year, the Startup Gov program hosted 5 roundtables and 3 live webinars engaging with a total of 823 entrepreneurs.
  • Through Startup Gov, we engaged with 5 different government departments and 6 international government representatives.
  • We were also fortunate to have had 9 government officials join us on our Startup Canada Tour. 
  • To learn more about Startup Gov and government relations resources and tools for Canadian entrepreneurs, check out our Startup Gov Resource Guide.

Startup Canada Tour

  • 2023 marked our inaugural year of the Startup Canada Tour, where we visited 5 cities across Canada – Whitehorse, Halifax, Vancouver, Calgary, and Brampton. 
  • Across all 5 Tour stops, we had 1,615 in-person attendees and 5,886 attendees who joined us virtually at our final stop in Brampton on October 26!
  • We also engaged 169 partners, 107 exhibitors, 126 speakers (of which 60% were women), and 98 mentors.
  • You can read more about our 2023 Startup Canada Tour in our report, A Collective Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: Insights from the 2023 Startup Canada Tour.




View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Startup Canada (@startupcanada)

  • This year, we shifted our annual #StartupChats program, sponsored by Master Card, from message-based conversations on Twitter to a series of live Instagram Q&A interviews with industry interviews.
  • Touching on topics from hiring summer students to exploring e-commerce, we hosted 8 #StartupChats sessions with 1,502 attendees.
  • You can check out recap blogs and recordings of each session on our #StartupChats webpage.

Outside of our flagship programs, this year, we also welcomed 4 new staff members to the Startup Canada Team. Startup Canada was also named a winner of Tiny Planet Digital’s 2023 Sustainable Growth Contest; our CEO, Kayla Isabelle, won Report on Business magazine’s 2023 Changemakers award from The Globe and Mail; and our Digital Production Lead, Maddie Stiles, was a finalist for the 2SLGBTQI+ Business Advocate of the Year at the 2023 CGLCC Business Leadership Awards. 

What to expect in 2024!

We have another year of exciting programming and resources for Canadian entrepreneurs planned for 2024, including bringing Startup Canada Tour to four new Canadian cities! To get the latest news and updates on all Startup Canada programs and events, sign up for our weekly newsletter.