Startup Global connects a pan-Canadian cohort of entrepreneurs wanting to build global businesses with a network of international ecosystem partners dedicated to their success. This free, annual flagship program recognizes the importance that exporting plays on the Canadian economy, celebrates those making waves in the global marketplace, and empowers early stage founders to take their businesses to the international stage.
Throughout the year, beginning in March, Startup Canada will be hosting several live webinars, a Startup Global pitch competition, and exclusive in-kind help to support your journey to exporting. All of our Startup Global tools and resources can be accessed for free through the Startup Global portal.
We’re ringing in 2023 with the addition of in-kind business support for all Startup Global portal registrants. With even more partnerships confirmed for this year, you’ll have access to key export resources, tools, and networks to help grow your business!
All Startup Global portal registrants can schedule 1:1 “Ask the Expert” closed-door sessions with our array of public and private sector partners for tailored solutions and advice for your exporting questions and challenges, using the Mentorly platform. Through Mentorly, Global Pitch participants will have the opportunity to practice pitch competition techniques and get real-time feedback from other entrepreneurs as well as pitch coaches.
We’re committed to supporting you at every point of your journey to go global! That’s why we’ve updated and enhanced our clear step-by-step portal guide, which will take you through the fundamental stages of exporting. This exporters’ journey map will provide an overview for those new to exporting, and a refresher for the entrepreneurs who are continuing their export journey.
Whether you want to participate in our Startup Global Pitch Competition, register for a webinar, or meet with expert advisors for support, the Startup Global Portal is your resource gateway to make your business ready to enter the global market!
In the portal, you’ll have access to a straightforward step-by-step map of an entrepreneur’s export journey. Early stage entrepreneurs can continue to easily navigate through the exporting process and find content specific to your needs.
We’re excited about our 2023 Startup Global Pitch Competition to help you grow your business for the world. This year, we are offering two ways to participate in the Startup Global Pitch Competition - virtually, through our general online application process or in-person at one of our Startup Canada Tour locations!
Voting is now open for the People's Choice Award! Voting closes October 24, 2023.
New this year! Entrepreneurs are invited to participate at the Startup Global “Pop-up” Pitch Competition as part of the Startup Canada Tour, an in-person opportunity to win a cash prize of $3,000 at one of our below Tour stops. Registration for “Wild Card” applications at our last two stops in Calgary and Brampton are open starting July 27. In-person pitchers will have two minutes to pitch verbally (no pitch deck) to a panel of judges followed by two minutes of Q&A from the judges.
We’ll be stopping in:
To participate in an in-person Startup Global “Pop-up” Pitch Competition at a Tour stop near you, fill out the in person pitch application (located in the Startup Global portal) and then you’ll receive a special promo code to register for the Tour stop you’d like to attend at www.startupcanadatour.ca.
The winner from each Tour stop will win a $3,000 cash prize on the day plus a guaranteed spot in the Startup Global Top 10 Grand Finale, which will take place in Brampton, Ontario on October 26, 2023.
For 2023, pitch competition applications will be open only to startups (businesses with less than $1,000,000 in revenue or who have no current sales as of April 11 2023) and that have business/operations in Canada. Applications must show intent and/or ability to export and go global.
Applications will be assessed with the following guidelines: Target market, objective, solution, leadership, traction (if any), competition, and ability to go global.
The Startup Global 2023 Pitch Competition has an overall cash prize pool of $70,000 to help grow your business. See below for prize allocation:
An opportunity to vote for your favourite business! Voting will happen throughout the month of October. Keep an eye on our socials for details in late September.
The virtual applications for Startup Canada Global Pitch Competition are now closed.
All Startup Global Portal registrants will be given exclusive in-kind support from our partners and sponsors to help with your overall professional development! Furthermore, as a Global Pitch participant, you’ll have access to insightful sessions with experts and practical pitch practices with real-time feedback.
We will host a series of topic focused sessions with some of our key partners, providing you with an opportunity to network directly with each partner, learn more about how they can help your business, and gain actionable advice that can help you in your exporting journey.
We will partner with support organizations to provide more opportunities for our Global Pitch participants to practice their pitches, including real-time feedback sessions from pitch experts.
Get exclusive access to 1:1 expert advisors from a range of industries and backgrounds, who will help you prepare for the Startup Global Pitch Competition and get your business export ready. The 30-minute sessions can be booked on a first-come, first-served basis and are dependent on the schedule and availability of the experts between March and November.
Need help understanding the exporting process for your business? Throughout the year, we’ll host a series of Startup Global webinars that will walk you through the tools and resources you need to get your business export ready. Each webinar will provide you with the opportunity to connect with industry leaders and organizations and build foundational relationships for entering new markets!
Date: Thursday, October 12 at 1PM (EDT)
Event Description/Learning Objectives:Discover the vast opportunities created by Canada’s 15 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) covering 51 countries and 1.5 billion consumers worldwide. The webinar will explore key chapters and trade policy topics, shedding light on how FTAs can open doors to new markets and avenues for growth for your business.
Date: Thursday, November 9, 2023 at, 1pm (EST)
Event Description/Learning Objectives: Entrepreneurs will be introduced to some of the tools, and surveys they can use to assess their export readiness. By the end of the webinar, participants should feel more confident in knowing which resources to access to determine their suitability for export at this time.
Date: Tuesday July 25 at 1pm (ET)
Event Description/Learning Objectives: To help break down the market entry barrier, we will facilitate conversations between entrepreneurs, partners and support organizations to support export-readiness for Canadian entrepreneurs.
Date: Thursday, June 8, 2023 at 1pm (ET)
Event Description/Learning Objectives: As more startups explore international opportunities, market segmentation helps entrepreneurs send the right message, every time, by efficiently targeting specific groups of consumers.
Date: Thursday, April 13, 2023 at 1pm (ET)
Event Description/Learning Objectives: This webinar will explore the importance of intellectual property rights in international trade and exporting. Participants will assess the nature and scope of intellectual property rights and look at the relationship between intellectual property rights and innovation.
Date: Thursday, March 2, 2023 at 1pm (EST)
Event Description/Learning Objectives: Barcodes are everywhere – from the food we buy, to the clothes we wear. This webinar will demystify barcodes by explaining why unique product identification is important, when your product should get a barcode, and how to set up and manage your barcodes for business.
See Startup Global (formerly the Canadian Export Challenge) in action over the years.
“It was amazing! Getting on the stage wasn't easy, but it really helped us communicate our vision and business concisely, and with confidence. This was a really important milestone for us as a business and helped me grow personally. Not only that, but we gained resources that will be pivotal for our business, and connected with some amazing Canadian entrepreneurs that are doing incredible things in so many different industries. I can't wait to follow their journey over the next few years, and I can't wait to see who will be on the stage next year!"
"Arbre is so excited to have won 3rd place in the Startup Global pitch competition. We will be using this prize money for R&D for our next sun protection product. Thank you to Startup Canada for organizing an amazing event. It was such a great experience meeting entrepreneurs across Canada, and learning about all the resources available to Canadian startups."
Whether you want to participate in pitch competitions and events, gain access to exporting guides, meet with expert advisors for support, or simply interested in selling overseas as an entrepreneur, Startup Global is your go-to portal to make your business ready to take the global stage. Get on the mailing list to be notified by filling the form below and selecting "Startup Global" in the program list.Register now
Yes, if you submitted a virtual pitch application but were unsuccessful you are welcome to pitch in person.
Yes – during the application process, you will be able to indicate whether you would like to submit your application in English or in French. If pitching in-person at one of the Tour Stops, applications will be able to pitch in either English or French
Yes you can! We’re excited to travel across Canada this year with five Startup Canada Tour stops. There will be two application form options for the Startup Global Pitch Competition, one for general online applications and a separate option for entrepreneurs who would like to pitch in-person at one of the Startup Canada Tour locations. The winner of each Startup Global Pop-up Pitch gets a cash prize and an automatic spot in the Top 10 to compete at the Grand Finale. Entrepreneurs who are unable to pitch in-person at our Tour stops, may still participate through our virtual application and will have their online application adjudicated in June.
If you were a Semi-Finalist in 2022 but were not selected to be in the Top 10, you can apply again this year. If you were a Top 10 Finalist in 2022, you cannot apply to the Startup Global pitch this year. However, you are welcome to participate in the Startup Global programming (i.e. access the portal, attend webinars, and be a sounding board for other entrepreneurs).
Our criteria focuses on answering one important question, “What is your potential to scale globally?” To help answer this question, our panel of judges will assess your business under the following criteria:
You are welcome to participate in Startup Global programming, but your business must be based in Canada to be eligible for the Startup Global Pitch Competition.
Yes! Startup Global is 100% free.
Win from an overall cash prize pool of $70,000 to help grow your business.
No. Every entrepreneur is able to access the portal and its content without pitching. If you’re interested in pitching, the application to register for the Startup Global Pitch competition is located in the portal and will go live in May.
To join you must register for the Startup Global portal. We’ll ask you a few short questions so that we’re adding content that will be relevant to you and your business.