Comments on the Visa idea to stimulate the startup industry in Canada


2010-02-24 update on US Startup Visa Bill (link to article) The Startup Visa: Create Jobs, Get A Green Card

A bill was introduced today in the Senate by Democrat John Kerry and Republican Richard Lugar proposes a new type of visa for immigrants who create startups supported by a group of 160 venture capitalists and angel investors, including Paul Graham, Brad Feld, Fred Wilson, Dave McClure, Ron Conway, Mike Maples, Reid Hoffman, Chris Sacca, Jeff Clavier, Bijan Sabet, Josh Kopelman, and Chris Dixon.

How will this affect the Canadian Startup Visa position is yet unknown.

December 13 2009

Lately, I’ve been reading allot about different ideas and initiatives to stimulate the startup industry as well as re-energizing the venture capital/angel investing industry in Canada.  Paul Kedrosky and Brad Feld came out with a pretty intense article in the wall Street Journal a week or so ago titled: Startup Visas Can Jump-Start the Economy

“One good idea to make this process easier is to create a new visa for entrepreneurs, something that is increasingly being called by venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and angel investors a “start-up visa.” It might work like this: If immigrant entrepreneurs want to start a company in the U.S. and are able to raise a moderate amount of money (perhaps as little as $125,000) from an accredited U.S.-based venture capital firm or qualified U.S.-based angel investors, we should let them start a company here. It could be a couple of founders with an idea—that’s it. We would give visas to the founders and welcome them in to our country.”

In a nutshell, they believe that by attracting foreign entrepreneurs to the US, immigrants aren’t taking jobs away from Americans, they are helping create more job openings and drive innovation.

Danny Robinson of Bootup Labs published a similar idea, titled: Startup Visa Canada where a VC firm would “sponsor” an entrepreneur in order to accelerate the immigration process and enable the launch of new innovative companies here in Canada. This is how is could he says it could work for us:

1. VC Firms and Investors apply to become “Sponsors”

2. Founders apply to Immigration Canada along with an accepted Term Sheet from the pre-approved VC Firm

3. A temporary work visa is approved for the founders with certain conditions:

1. They incorporate a Canadian company within X days of Landing in Canada and become employees of that company.

2. They close on the financing.

3. They cannot work for another company.

4. They can apply for a more permanent status after a “probationary period” of some amount of time.

While it may not be necessary to create a new visa category, the Canadian government could broaden the existing Entrepreneur Program to allow VC financing to replace the net worth and experience requirements. I think that this is a great initiative. Synergies are drive innovation, but most importantly I think that the need for a dynamic open environment to let innovations flow is critical to our economy. Though I think the visa opportunity/issue is more of a US concern than a Canadian one (to get a working permit in the US is nightmare), I support the initiative and think it can only help build a stronger web of knowledge, of entrepreneurs and investor base. I don’t think it will reduce any available funding for strong Canadian start-up initiatives nor will it take away jobs, on the contrary, this type of initiative should energize our economy boost innovation and help get ideas and research to markets at a faster pace.

Montreal Start Up (MSU) and other partners are also well advanced in putting in place an initiative to attract talent, entrepreneurs and ideas to Montreal. Creating links between industries, sharing knowledge, enabling people to have the capacity to go to market with their innovative ideas. Again, in an ever-changing extremely competitive technology enabled global market, we need to play more offensive and drive change than ever before.

Good job guys!

The Startup Visa Canada initiative is only one of many initiatives required to boost our economy, from the grounds up that is. I applaud and invite more entrepreneurs to take action instead of remaining passive commentators.

More links to similar initiatives:

· Startup Visa Canada – Danny Robinson Bootup Labs

· Start-up Visas Can Jump-Start the Economy – Wall St. Journal

· The Founders Visa Movement – Brad Feld

· The Founders Visa – Paul Graham

· The Startup Visa And Why The Xenophobes Need To Go Back Into Their Caves – Techcrunch

· Does Canada need a startup visa – TechVibes

· Want to create jobs? Import entrepreneurs‘ –

· Immigrate to Canada and start your business within a year! – Felipe Coimbra

· Just How Pressing Is the Immigrant Entrepreneur Issue? – Suzanne Dingwall

· – TechCrunch



One Response to “Comments on the Visa idea to stimulate the startup industry in Canada”

  1. Follow up blogs to read:
    Want to create jobs? Import entrepreneurs’ –
    Immigrate to Canada and start your business within a year! – Felipe Coimbra
    Just How Pressing Is the Immigrant Entrepreneur Issue? – Suzanne Dingwall

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