Twenty One Toys wins Mississauga Canadian Export Challenge Pitch Competition and moves onto National Final Showdown

Mississauga, ON – June 7th, 2019 | Yesterday, Ilana Ben-Ari, Founder and CEO of Twenty One Toys was named the winner of the Mississauga Canadian Export Challenge Pitch Competition. Ben-Ari won $2,500 and the opportunity to participate in Toronto where she will compete head-to-head against six regional finalists for the grand prize of $25,000 and up to $100,000 in in-kind scaling support.

Ontario-based Twenty One Toys is an award-winning social enterprise that teaches empathy, failure, and other key 21st century skills using toys and playful workshops. The company offers play-based workshops for organizations and training to facilitators who are exploring themes like learning from failure and empathy in their work.

‘This is a surreal experience. I did not expect to see so many entrepreneurs in the room… It was both really overwhelming, intimidating, and exciting. It’s a continual challenge for entrepreneurs: ‘how do you export?’” said Ilana Ben-Ari, the Founder, CEO, and Lead Designer of Twenty One Toys. “This is the perfect time to have support come in to really help us be strategic and focused with our execution.”

“With the rise of AI and societies tightening grip on computer-based technology, it’s encouraging to see Twenty One Toys rise up to provide the human-skills for not only children, but the adults who are shaping the world in which we live,” said Rachelle DeSorcy, Canadian Export Challenge Lead at Startup Canada. “We’re delighted to see Twenty One Toys win the Mississauga Canadian Export Challenge Pitch Competition and know they will proudly represent Mississauga entrepreneurs in Toronto in October at the Final Showdown.”

Presented by Startup Canada in collaboration with UPS Canada®, Export Development Canada, and the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, the Canadian Export Challenge in Mississauga showcased and supported more than 100 borderless businesses to go global.

Ben-Ari is set to compete in Toronto to represent Mississauga’s global companies in October during Small Business Week, where they will have the opportunity to pitch to win the grand prize and title as Canada’s 2019 Global Entrepreneur, receiving a host of support and funds.

Follow the Canadian Export Challenge as it makes its other stops in Fredericton and Montréal in the upcoming weeks.

For more information, to schedule interviews, and to secure your media pass at the Pitch Competition Final Showdown, please contact:

Rachelle DeSorcy
Media Relations, Startup Canada

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

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