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Terms & Conditions

  1. A contestant may not enter the contest if employed by the Canadian National Exhibition Association (CNEA), Canadian National Exhibition(CNE), Canadian National Exhibition Foundation(CNEF), 2641241 Ontario Inc. or if employed by contractors and agents of the CNEA/CNE/CNEF/2641241 Ontario Inc., if an owner of a contractor or agent of the CNEA/CNE/CNEF/2641241 Ontario Inc., a person directly involved in the competition nor any other persons directly associated with the competition, nor an immediate family members of any of the aforesaid persons nor any other persons residing in the same household.

  2. Eligible Contestant must be:
    1. Founder/Co-founder of their company or hold a key position (CFO, CIO,CEO)
    2. Business can be incorporated, a partnership or a sole proprietorship
    3. Only 1 entry per business. Business may not submit multiple entries to different categories
    4. Business must have at least a functional prototype of their product or service
    5. Business cannot be a previous winner of the CNE Emerging Innovators Pitch Competition

  3. Judging Criteria for the application:
    1. The Problem and Solution: Solution is solving a customer pain point and/or unmet market need
    2. The Market: Size of the market opportunity and size of immediately addressable market (initial target market, low hanging fruit), traction to date
    3. The Go-to-Market/Sales Strategy: Clear value proposition with overall sales strategy an definition of the sales.
    4. Competition: Who are the competitors and differentiating factors to compete, how barriers to entry can be overcome
    5. The Management Team: Relevant skills and expertise and ability to deliver

  4. Contestant selected to advance to the preliminaries will be notified mid- July, 2019.

  5. On-site Pitch Competition Requirements:
    1. Each pitch must be no more than 3 minutes in duration during the preliminary on-site pitch and no more than 4 minutes during the finals with an additional 2-3 minutes to answer questions from the judges. Timing begins with the first word, note, or action.
    2. Contestants will be responsible for their own transportation and accommodation for the duration of the event.

  6. Contestants chosen to participate on the site pitch competition will be offered a FREE booth at the CNE Innovation Garage for the duration of the event (August 23-25, 2019 10:00am – 8:00pm). Contestants with sellable products are free to use the booth to make sales, solicit new customers, do market research, etc. and reach the CNE’s general audience which is roughly 1.5 million people over 18-days. A refundable deposit of $350.00 will be collected during the selection process and upon the competition of the event the money will be refunded in full if the following conditions are met.
    1. Participant’s booth is staffed and operational during all operating hours of the event
    2. Participant meets all qualifications for onsite pitching (see note 8).
    3. Participants sets up a display in line with what they are pitching which will be staffed by the contestants and accessible to the general public.

      If the competition organizer deems the conditions have not been met and no action is taken by the contestant after one warning, the deposit will be considered forfeited and retained by the CNE Innovation Garage
  1. Pitch Contestants are required to adhere to the following in order to qualify to pitch onsite.
    1. Have their PowerPoint presentation submitted to by August 4, 2019.
    2. Attend at the stage meeting point at least thirty minutes prior to their pitch time

      Failure to adhere to the above-noted rules could result in the competitor’s disqualification.
  1. As a condition of the contestant being permitted to compete in the CNE’s Emerging Innovators Pitch Competition, each contestant
    1. Grants permission to the CNE to use, without compensation of any kind, any photograph, audio, or video tapes or other audio or visual images or recordings, including digital recordings, in such manner as the CNE may determine in its sole discretion including any promotions or advertising, and
    2. Waives any right to any fee or compensation for any of the aforesaid and
    3. Will sign the standard CNE Participation Waiver which releases the CNE and its affiliates from any loss, damage, injury or expense, which the contestant may suffer or incur as a result of his or her participation in the event, however caused.

Personal information contained on this form is collected to be used for internal administrative purposes and to facilitate future communication including e-mail mailings between you and the CNE/CNE Association/CNE Foundation including its licensees and assigns.  Questions about this collection of personal information should be directed to the CNE Corporate Secretariat at 416-263-5201 or

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