Startup Canada’s 2020 Canadian Export Challenge

Startup Canada’s 2020 Canadian Export Challenge (CXC) is fast approaching, with regional pitch competitions running from September 14th to 21st.
Despite pivoting to a fully digital event series due to COVID-19, our team has been working hard to make #CXC2020 the best Canadian Export Challenge yet. With an exciting program agenda including presentations by leading experts in global entrepreneurship, the virtual growth lounge and our star-studded panels, there is something for everyone at this year’s CXC. Want to know more about the Canadian Export Challenge’s expert guests and further resources to help you on your journey to becoming a global entrepreneur? Look no further!

Welcoming new members to the Yukonstruct board

On July 22, many Yukonstruct members joined the board for the organization’s annual general meeting. The AGM was a success, and we’d like to take a moment to thank and acknowledge our outgoing board members, and welcome a few new members!


The Yukonstruct team would like to give special thanks to outgoing President, Glenn Piwowar (though he promises not to be a stranger! You’ll see him in Makespace and at Repair Café). Glenn has served the organization for many years as a board member, and has been an integral part of the Yukonstruct community since it first began. We’re so grateful for the guidance, time and passion Glenn has dedicated to the organization.


We’d also like to thank and acknowledge outgoing board members Chris O’Brien, who previously has served as both President and Secretary for the organization, and Maxim Naylor. Both Chris and Maxim brought strong guidance, humor and dedication to the startup community to our board, and we are so grateful for their contributions.

Members voted on four open seats, and 7 candidates put forward their names. We are SO excited to welcome three new board members: Antoinette GreenOliph, Erin Holm, Vernon Asp, and re-elected member Barrett Horne. 


You can read the full bios of all board members here. Antoinette brings many years of experience as a restaurateur and is well known for her love and support of the Whitehorse community. Vernon is an incredible artist, educator and mentor to many. He is currently involved with the Makespace community, and works out of one of the studio spaces. Erin has been a proud Makespace member since the day she moved to the Yukon, and currently produces her Den Designs in the woodshop. Each of these new members bring a strong depth of experience as entrepreneurs and community leaders, and we are honoured and thrilled to have them on our board.


Please join us in giving Antoinette, Vernon and Erin warm welcomes! And of course, huge thanks to the members continuing to serve: Stephanie Hawkins, Selene Vakharia, Barrett Horne, Antonio Zedda, Bob Shap, and Kathie Szpajcher. Yukonstruct’s new executive:

  • President: Stephanie Hawkins
  • Vice President: Selene Vakharia
  • Treasurer: Kathie Szpajcher
  • Secretary: Barrett Horne


Grandma Treesaw’s Yukon Bannock is getting prepared for the U.S. North West market!

2020 YUKONSTRUCT BOOTCAMP KICKOFF – Photo by Alistair Maitland Photography

Teresa Ward, owner of Grandma Treesaw’s Yukon Bannock and recent graduate of Yukonstruct Startup Bootcamp, has been invited by the Trade Commissioner Service’s British Columbia-Yukon office and Seattle office to participate in a pilot project.

Teresa is the only participant from the Yukon, along with 5 other indigenous-owned companies from British Columbia.

This is a pilot project with room for only 6 indigenous-owned small companies that are in food, beverages or consumer goods, with enough ability to produce and motivation to actively get prepared for the U.S. North West market.

This pilot-program will support the participants with a range of export services in order to establish goals and objectives for Washington State market entry, organize meetings with retailers, develop appropriate marketing material and set up an e-commerce avenue for Canadian companies to sustain follow-up sales in Washington State and Oregon.

Teresa is of the Crow Clan, born and raised with Tlingit traditions. She produces and distributes bannock mix throughout many Yukon retailers.

Teresa graduated from Yukonstruct Startup Bootcamp last spring and continues to be supported by the Yukonstruct team since then. Yukonstruct Startup Bootcamp is an intensive 3-month program for early-stage entrepreneurs to develop and validate their business idea. The next cohort will start in September, Yukon startups and entrepreneurs have until August 21st to apply. This program is funded by the Government of Yukon – department of Economic Development and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.