Canada has a growing reputation as the world’s leading technology center, known worldwide as a city that embraces diversity and as a place for start-ups.
The Canadian government’s initiatives to fund, create partnerships, support entrepreneurs, and their friendly immigration policies attract talent worldwide.
However, having a supportive environment and supporting innovation can only help so far. So what makes Canada different from the rest of the world?
Why and how to move a start-up are questions that get asked. Let’s look at some of the reasons why start-ups, tech start-ups, in particular, benefit from working in Canada, and what steps you need to take to move forward.
Building An Infrastructure For Innovation
An essential contribution to the success of a technology start-up is the Canadian culture of innovation. Critical stakeholders in the Canadian ecosystem, such as government organizations and venture capital firms, play an essential role in creating an environment that supports entrepreneurs and fosters innovation.
Initiatives aimed at attracting talent, developing start-up opportunities, and creating funding have contributed to creating a culture of encouragement rather than competition.
In addition to attracting talent, partnerships among ecosystem participants are also an important part of making Canada the world’s next technology hub.
Building on the Canadian government’s commitment to creating an innovation infrastructure, Canada has attracted major tech companies such as Netflix and Amazon. With the complete modernization of Canada’s payments infrastructure and the possibility of an Open Banking System, Canada represents companies’ opportunity.
As a technology-driven city, supporting innovation in Canada has been a crucial pull factor, allowing organizations to create disruptive solutions.
Reverse Brain Drain
Over the past five years, Canada has emerged as a growing job center, and technology jobs, in particular, have attracted thousands of Canadians from the United States and Europe to their home country.
It offers a business climate that values diversity, friendly immigration policies, and equal access to entrepreneurs’ opportunities.
Outside Canada, the changing political environment had been a significant catalyst for Canadians’ motivation to return home. With the return of Canadian talent to their home country, large technology companies have begun to set up Canadian businesses.
For both current and aspiring professionals working in Canada, the influx of Canadian talent has been an essential component of their innovation success.
The diversity of talent available to companies, especially in the technology sector, has helped open up many perspectives, eliminate biases, foster creativity, and build a problem-solving system.
Together, this unique skill set has become critical for companies when conducting initial research and testing innovative solutions with customers for desirability.
Today’s Canadian consumer is diverse and demands solutions that are not currently offered in the marketplace. Combining the Canadian ecosystem and diverse talent has created a unique market opportunity to partner and create customer-centric solutions that help fill the gaps.
If you decide to explore Canada as a way to expand your business now, you can take advantage of its broader reach. Canada is called home by more than 37 million people yet has a culture familiar to entrepreneurs.
Going to the next level is relatively easy, but you can increase your target demographic instantly. Canada has millions of educated, skilled people who can help you expand into new territories. It’s also a good tactical test of whether your business is ready for international expansion in other regions.
A Stable Economy
Canada is one of the best countries for business and continues to hover around the best places. It is due in part to Canada’s steady and stable economic progress.
Canada was not hit hard by the 2008 economic crisis and continues to enjoy an impressive growth rate. If your business depends on healthy and growing economic conditions worldwide, this can be a huge advantage.
Start-up Visa Program
The program called Canada business visa (often referred to as Start-Up Visa) has been designed to attract dynamic entrepreneurs around the world, attract them to Canada and provide them with the necessary support (including funding) to build businesses that can compete globally and provide Canadians with jobs.
Entrepreneurs applying for the Start-Up Visa will go through a fast-track process; the goal is to eliminate successful applicants to Canada within a few weeks. The Canadian Entrepreneur Visa grants permanent residency status, which can then lead to citizenship.
It is thought that entrepreneurs from the high-tech sector, such as Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, who have failed to obtain residency status in the United States may be particularly interested in the Canadian Start-up Visa program. However, potential entrepreneurs from anywhere in the world are encouraged to apply.
How The Program Works
Suppose you want to immigrate to Canada under this program. In that case, you should have the support of a Canadian venture capital fund, like the angel investor group, or a business incubator who is willing to invest in your new business.
The Canadian government must designate the Canadian venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator to participate in the Start-Up Visa program.
So the first step is to convince one of these designated groups or funds that your business idea is worthy of their investment. The catch is that different funds or groups have different application processes for this program.
Therefore, you will have to contact any venture capital fund or angel investor group you decide to pitch your idea to find out directly what documents they need and what you need to do to pitch your business idea to them.
It is a good idea to spend some time researching the different groups. The various venture capital funds, business incubators, and angel investor groups have different goals and often prefer to invest in specific businesses.
It would be best if you visited their websites. You may be able to find a brief description of the application process you need to follow to propose your idea to them on their website as well.
Suppose the investor, business incubator, or angel investor group decides to support your business idea. They should then provide you with a letter of support and send a completed Certificate of Commitment directly to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
The Certificate of Commitment contains the relevant details of the commitment between you and the investment organization.
You can receive support from more than one organization, which is known as syndication. In this case, the organizations supporting you will come together and give Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) a single Commitment Certificate, and you will receive one Letter of Support.
Once you receive your Letter of Support, you will be ready to apply for your Head Start Visa, as long as you meet the other eligibility requirements. You cannot apply for a Canadian Entrepreneur Start-Up Visa without a Letter of Support.
Your Eligibility For A Canadian Entrepreneur Visa
To obtain a Canadian Entrepreneur Start-Up Visa, you need to complete the following steps:
Prove A Designated Investor Organization Supports Your Business Idea.
You will need a letter as proof of support from one of the designated groups stating that they should be funding your business idea.
You must provide a minimum investment of $200,000 if it comes from a Canadian venture capital fund or a minimum investment of $75,000 if it comes from a designated Canadian investor group.
If your application is accepted into a Canadian business incubator program, you do not need to receive any investment in your new business.
You Should Meet The Language Requirements
You should be able to communicate and work in English, French, or both. Please note that you must prove your language skills to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.
It means that you must take a language test at an agency approved by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and meet a minimum level of the Canadian Language Criteria in French or English for the following:
Once you have taken the appropriate language test, there will be charts that you can use to determine your Canadian Language Benchmark level.
Have Proof That Your Business Meets The Ownership Requirements
While up to five people may own one business when applying for a Canadian business visa, each applicant must have at least 10 percent of the business’s voting rights, and the designated entity and applicants must jointly own more than 50 percent of the voting rights in the business.
Have Sufficient Settlement Funds
It means that you must prove that you have enough money to support yourself and your family once you arrive in Canada, as the Canadian government does not provide any financial support for immigrants under the Start-Up Visa program.
When you look at the table of required funds (under “have enough money to settle down” on this page), you will see that the amount of money you have to set aside to support your family relies on the size of your family.
However, the Canadian government recommends that you bring as much money as you can when you arrive – businesses do not make money overnight. You will need money to find housing and pay for your family’s living expenses during that time.
The Application Process
If you have met all of the requirements, you should be ready to submit your application. Once you complete the application process and submit your application, it will either be verified as complete and processed or sent back unprocessed if it is incomplete.
Once your application is accepted for processing, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Central Intake will contact you and let you know what you need to do next.
Hopefully, at this point, it will be time to prepare for your new life in Canada. You should keep in mind that the Canadian government appreciates that being an entrepreneur is a risky business – if your business fails, it will not affect your permanent resident status.
To Sum Up
Moving an existing company abroad can be both challenging and rewarding. As an immigrant destination, Canada remains an attractive choice for entrepreneurs, business immigrants, and workers. Canada has the 2nd largest land area in the world and the 10th largest economy.
Coming to Canada has many benefits, such as the opportunity to explore new markets, enjoy business-friendly laws and regulations, and take advantage of government incentives.
You can be sure that big and small technology and the public sector are working together to create a more sustainable and successful business ecosystem in Canada.