As of April 1, 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.
Making the announcement, Jason Kenney, Canada’s citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism minister, said Canada is open to do business with the world’s start-up entrepreneurs. “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 said to be 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.
“My dream Canada is someone who has maybe studied at the Indian Institute of Technology and they have a brilliant start-up concept, they’ve attracted Canadian investment,” Kenney was quoted in the Globe and Mail as saying.
“Rather than starting that business in Bangalore, we are saying, ‘Come to Canada and come quickly. Start the business here, create the jobs in this country and you’ll have the venture capitalists here not just providing you with capital but mentorship, which is also important.’”
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has worked with two umbrella organizations, Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (CVCA) and the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO), to identify and designate the venture capital funds and angel investor groups that are keen to participate in the program. A full list of designated venture capital funds and angel investor groups is now available on the CIC website.
“The CVCA and our individual members look forward to the launch of the Start-Up Visa Program,” said Peter van der Velden, President of the CVCA. “Our participating funds welcome the opportunity to take part in this first-of-its-kind program, which has the potential to help them attract best-in-class entrepreneurial talent to their Canadian-based investee companies.”
Michelle Scarborough, Chair of NACO, said, “There has been significant interest from both angels and entrepreneurs since the announcement of this program … 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.”
According to 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. — New Canadian Media