Five Lessons Learned from our Journey with the Canadian #StartupVisa Program

Startup Visa Program

In 2019, Global Startups proudly became a designated entity in the Canadian Startup Visa program, embarking on an exciting journey of entrepreneurship and innovation. Our role in this prestigious program has allowed us to support numerous startups, guiding them through the complex process of establishing and growing their businesses in Canada.

Over the past four years, we’ve had the privilege of accepting 44 companies into our accelerator through the Startup Visa program. Of these, 15 have successfully navigated the program’s challenges, with 14 securing Permanent Residency (PR) in Canada. This achievement underscores our commitment to fostering a vibrant and successful startup ecosystem.

Our approach to the Startup Visa program is rooted in ethics and transparency. We firmly believe in upholding our core values, ensuring that our clients receive honest and clear guidance. Our objective aligns with the Canadian government’s goal of attracting scalable tech companies with intellectual property potential, which can contribute significantly to the global market. This requires us to meticulously assess each application, ensuring that we can genuinely assist each startup in realizing its potential.

Five Lessons Learned:

  1. The Importance of Work Permits: Obtaining a work permit is crucial for founders. It allows them to relocate to Canada and actively contribute to their company’s growth. Delays in work permit processing, especially during the pandemic, have highlighted the need for expedited processes to avoid hindering company progress.
  2. Focus on Established Businesses: The Startup Visa program is better suited for existing businesses rather than mere ideas. Startups with a solid foundation have a better chance of successfully entering and thriving in the North American market. Therefore, we prioritize supporting established businesses from emerging markets.
  3. Selective Suitability: The program is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It targets companies with the potential to scale rapidly and adapt to mature markets. Obtaining PR is a bonus, but the primary focus should be on developing a robust business that can sustain and grow in a competitive environment.
  4. The Role of Newcomers in the Economy: Startups bring investment and innovation, vital for the Canadian economy. It’s important to recognize that the competition for talent is global. Attracting startups requires more than just the allure of PR; it demands creating an environment conducive to business growth.
  5. Need for Education and Promotion: There is a pressing need for better understanding of tech startups within government circles and beyond. Education about the realities of startup growth, including its challenges and non-linear trajectory, is essential. Additionally, promoting the economic benefits of the Startup Visa program to international startups is crucial for attracting the right talent and investment.

As we continue our work with the Startup Visa program, we remain committed to our values of integrity and transparency. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the founders who have achieved PR status this year and are diligently contributing to their companies’ growth.

Lightouch (Brazil); Smartconcil (Mexico); Colmakers (Colombia); RecoAI (Poland); WeddingHero (Turkey); Easytem (Brazil); MountX (Mexico); SafetyDocs (Brazil); NearbySkills (USA); Telica (Colombia)

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