New Startup Visa attracts entrepreneurs to Canada (Views: 1875)
On Thursday, federal Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney revealed that the new Startup Visa program will begin accepting applications on April 1st , 2013. It will fast track the immigration process for high-potential entrepreneurs and teams.
Before startups may apply for the immediate permanent resident status visa, they must be sponsored by one of the three funding options. They will need a funding commitment of at least $75,000 from a designated angel network, at least $200,000 from a designated VC fund or be admitted into a Canadian accelerator program. VC funds that manage $40 million or more in assets will be qualify automatically, while VC funds that manage less will go through a review process.
Following an October announcement that outlined the intention of the program the announcement comes in an effort to make Canada a hub of innovation for startups. “Our new Startup Visa will help make Canada the destination of choice for the world’s best and brightest to launch their companies,” said Kenney.
Initially, Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA) and the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) will be active partners. These two organizations, as well as the Canadian Association of Business Incubation (CABI), will recommend the program to appropriate members.
Boris Wertz of Vancouver-based Version One Ventures helped form the new and improved visa after rallying for its creation over two years ago. He claims foreign startups possessed ideas, endorsements and the funding but faced red tape coming into Canada in the past. “This program is sure to raise Canada’s profile within the global technology community, sending a signal to the best and brightest that we’re open for business,” said Wertz. “In addition, Startup Visa will create good Canadian jobs.”
Chris Arsenault of Montreal-based iNovia Capital lauded the Canadian government for taking the initiative to the next step. “They decided to first survey the community and then closely collaborate with the private sector instead of trying to reinvent the wheel,” he said. “The Startup Visa Canada pilot program leverages the country’s deepest expertise, knowledge and experience in backing entrepreneurs through investment and ecosystem building.”
Meanwhile David Crow of Waterloo-based accelerator Startup North commented that Canada’s multicultural status makes it a great place for this initiative. “It is the creative tension between differing viewpoints that makes Canada an amazing place,” said Crow. “The implementation of Startup Visa makes Canada an even more attractive place to recruit foreign born scientists, engineers and now entrepreneurs. I love it!”
by Joseph Czikk