CXC 2020: The Road to the Grand Finale

Ottawa, ON – October 15, 2020 | Last month, the winners of the regional Canadian Export Challenge Pitch Competitions were announced. Throughout the week, it was inspiring to see Canadian entrepreneurs share their innovative products and solutions with the startup community and develop the skills they need to enter the global marketplace. On October 20th, all regional startup and scale-up winners will have the chance to compete head to head at the CXC Grand Finale. Additionally, applications opened back up for 3 wildcard pitchers to be chosen to compete against the regional winners. The national winners will take home $5,000 (startup category) and $25,000 (scale-up category) and up to $100,000 in in-kind support.

In the Atlantic region, Halifax-based company The Cultured Coconut won in the startup category for handcrafting the most powerful non-dairy probiotic on the market. Based in New Brunswick, Parados Cerebral Solutions Inc. took home the scale-up category award for developing a mouth guard with sensors that will alert an athlete to possible concussions, revolutionizing the way we monitor and measure brain injuries. These two companies should signal to companies across Canada that consumers are looking for thoughtful, innovative solutions that simultaneously serve a social purpose.     

Red Deer-based company AGvisorPRO, winner of the Prairies regional startup category, promises to connect the world’s agricultural community through their pay-for-service app that offers instant assistance from industry experts across all areas of crop and livestock management. Based in Calgary, Nanotess brought home the regional scale-up award for their biocompatible and bioselective wound dressings for chronic wounds in both humans and animals. Both AGvisorPRO and Nanotess are incredible examples of Canadian entrepreneurs pushing the limits of their industries and creating innovative solutions that can drastically help the product’s users. 

The Ontario regional winners provide modern-day solutions to common problems. Toronto-based business WeavAir won in the startup for their high accuracy HVAC monitoring system which measures 22 different metrics with 95% accuracy – drastically improving safety and reducing building maintenance costs. The Ontario scale-up winner, Braze Mobility, has redefined the standards of wheelchair safety through their blind spot sensor system, providing the driver with customizable feedback on the location and proximity of obstacles. Not only will Canadians benefit from these innovative solutions, but they can be used globally to spark efficiencies in the healthcare technology industry. 

The British Columbia & North regional winners showed us the importance of integrating earth-friendly design elements into innovative and inspired products. Based in Courtenay, Nyoka Design Labs has reimagined the toxic plastic glow-stick and replaced it with the Light Wand – a bioluminescent, non-toxic, reusable glow-stick. Victoria-based company BinBreeze, winner of the regional scale-up category, has remodelled the traditional compost bin for a more user-friendly experience free from fruit flies and food waste odor. 

Finally, Quebec’s regional winners showed us that technological innovation can lead to thoughtful and socially impactful solutions, no matter the industry. Sherbrooke-based business DeLeaves has reimagined plant sampling technologies to utilize unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), allowing forestry companies and leading research groups to access previously unreachable vegetation. Dorval-based LFAnt Medical, winner of the regional scale-up category, has revolutionized point-of-care detection and prevention of sexually transmitted infections. Their portable tool ‘The Compact’ accurately and rapidly detects chlamydia and gonorrhea from the comfort of your own home – drastically reducing the workload of STI diagnostic clinics. 

In addition to the regional winners, the three Wildcards will make for even tougher competition.

The first Wildcard pitcher is Adam Bent, Co-Founder & CEO of Scout, a North American Craft Cannery & Purveyors of Sustainable Seafood. Scout is modernizing the outdated $3B North American seafood CPG category. Scout creates craft seafood products with a transparent supply chain and a commitment to climate action. They reinvest in ocean health projects with a mission to educate consumers on ocean sustainability.

Next in the Wildcard roster is Amanda Nguyen, Founder & CEO of Boardball Inc. Boardball started out as a fun hobby in an empty squash court. Inspired by elements the team’s favorite games, Boardball lowers the barrier to playing volleyball by reducing the extensive setup required. All you need is 4 players, a board, and a ball. Using your bump-set-spike skills, Boardball still maintains the same fun, competitive level of play.

The final Wildcard addition is Lisa Walsh, CEO of Indigena Skincare, a 100% natural skincare created with wild grown botanicals hand harvested in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador – a blend of pure ingredients sustainably distilled from sea botanicals and Indigenous northern boreal extracts. 

Want to support these Canadian entrepreneurs and find out who will win the grand prizes? Register now to attend! We will send you a reminder so that you don’t miss out. 


About Startup Canada

Startup Canada is the national rallying community and voice for Canada’s 2.3 million entrepreneurs. Since launching in 2012, Startup Canada has grown to represent more than 200,000 entrepreneurs and 50 grassroots communities from coast to coast to coast. Through digital programs and flagship events, Startup Canada is the network promoting, inspiring, educating, connecting and giving a voice to Canada’s entrepreneurs; supporting them to start, operate and scale businesses that build a better Canada for the world today and for future generations. For more information, visit


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Lauren Hicks

Media Relations, Startup Canada