· The Start-up Visa Program will enable immigrant entrepreneurs to launch innovative companies that will create jobs in Canada, and eventually, compete globally.
· The Program will provide entrepreneurs with valuable assistance in navigating the Canadian business environment which can sometimes prove challenging for newcomers.
· The Program will provide private sector firms with access to a broader range of entrepreneurs, including the best and the brightest minds from around the world.
Kenney Hits Silicon Valley with the Start Up Visa
During his time in Silicon Valley, Minister Kenney met with foreign entrepreneurs and influential figures in the start-up and tech communities, including founders of start-ups, accelerators, other business leaders, venture capitalists, angel investors and immigration experts to promote the Start-Up Visa and explain why Canada is a great place to start a business and invest.
Minister Kenney met Dave McClure, the founder of 500 Start-Ups, one of America’s leading start-up accelerators which provides mentorship and seed fund investments to help entrepreneurs become successful. He also met with members of C100, a Silicon Valley-based organization that supports Canadian technology entrepreneurship through mentorship, partnerships, and investment.
During his visit, Minister Kenney was a featured guest speaker at Stanford University where he spoke to scholars, researchers, and students who have a high potential for becoming candidates for the Start-Up Visa. While at Stanford, he also met with Dan Siciliano, a legal scholar and entrepreneur with expertise in corporate governance, corporate finance, and immigration law, and Vivek Wadhwa, Director of Research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization and author of The Immigrant Exodus, one of The Economist’s Books of the Year for 2012.
He was also the featured guest speaker at an event hosted by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, attended by many prominent entrepreneurs and investors.
Minister Kenney also officially unveiled the new Start-Up Visa billboard.
“There is huge interest in Canada’s new Start-Up Visa and in Canada’s expanding tech sector,” said Minister Kenney. “Canada’s strong economic growth, low taxes and business costs, excellence in research and innovation, and top quality of life all make Canada a top country for innovative entrepreneurs looking to build their businesses. If you are a start-up entrepreneur and want to build a dynamic company that can compete on a global scale, then Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program is for you.”
The Start-Up Visa, which opened for applications on April 1, is an important part of the Government of Canada’s plan to build a fast and flexible economic immigration system. The Start-Up Visa Program is the first of its kind in the world and provides Canadian private sector organizations with access to a broad range of entrepreneurs – including the world’s best and brightest – in whose ideas they can invest.
Canada Open for Business
The world’s best and brightest entrepreneurs from around the world, with ideas for new business ventures and financial backing from Canadian investors, can apply to the brand-new Start-Up Visa Program as of April 1, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.
“Canada is open for business to the world’s start-up entrepreneurs,” said Minister Kenney. “Innovation and entrepreneurship are essential drivers of the Canadian economy. That is why we are actively recruiting foreign entrepreneurs - those who can build companies here in Canada that will create new jobs, spur economic growth and compete on a global scale - with our new start-up visa.”
Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program is the first of its kind in the world. By providing sought-after entrepreneurs with permanent residency and access to a wide range of business partners, Canada hopes to become a destination of choice for start-up innovators which will help Canada remain competitive in the global economy.
"There has been significant interest from both angels and entrepreneurs since the announcement of this program," said Michelle Scarborough, Chair of NACO. "Our angel group members across Canada are eager to participate, and we look forward to supporting the growth of new businesses and helping them to make their mark in Canada, further expanding our economy."
To apply for permanent resident status in Canada, the foreign entrepreneur must first secure a significant investment commitment from a designated Canadian angel investor group or venture capital fund. Applicants must also demonstrate language proficiency skills at a Canadian Language Benchmark 5 in listening, speaking, reading and writing, and have at least one year of education at a post-secondary institution.
“With our new start-up visa, we are opening the door to new and exciting opportunities for Canada’s economy to grow and prosper,” added Minister Kenney. “This is part of our government’s transformational changes to Canada’s immigration system that will make it fast, flexible, and focused on Canada’s economic needs.”
The Start-Up Visa Program is a pilot program that will run for five years. It is expected that due to the narrow focus of the program, initially, the number of applications will be limited. However, the focus of the program will be on the quality of the applicants and on establishing a track record of success.
Historic Start Up Visa
Canada will launch a brand new program on April 1 to recruit innovative immigrant entrepreneurs who will create new jobs and spur economic growth, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.
“Our new Start-Up Visa will help make Canada the destination of choice for the world’s best and brightest to launch their companies,” said Minister Kenney. “Recruiting dynamic entrepreneurs from around the world will help Canada remain competitive in the global economy.”
The Start-Up Visa Program will link immigrant entrepreneurs with private sector organizations in Canada that have experience working with start-ups and who can provide essential resources. The Program is part of a series of transformational changes to Canada’s immigration system that will make it faster, more flexible and focused on Canada’s economic needs.
As a way to help these in-demand entrepreneurs fulfill their potential and maximize their impact on the Canadian labour market, they will require the support of a Canadian angel investor group or venture capital fund before they can apply to the Start-Up Visa Program. Initially, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will collaborate with two umbrella groups: Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA) and the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO). These groups will identify which members of their associations will be eligible to participate in the Program. CIC is also working with the Canadian Association of Business Incubation to include business incubators in the list of eligible organizations as soon as feasible.
“CVCA is honoured to partner with the Government of Canada in the launch of the Start-Up Visa Program,” said Peter van der Velden, President of the CVCA and Managing General Partner of Lumira Capital. “Through this Program, we want to attract high-quality entrepreneurs from around the globe and help build best-in-class companies in Canada.”
“We’re excited to be a part of the Start-Up Visa Program,” said Michelle Scarborough, Board Chair of NACO. “Working with CIC and angel groups across the country, this initiative will create Canadian jobs and position Canada as a leader in innovation.”
The Start-Up Visa is the first of its kind and will be a powerful incentive to attract individuals with great potential who will have a real impact on the Canadian economy.