Last Updated on August 20, 2021
Business incubators are rampant throughout Canada and offer plenty of opportunity for applicants for permanent residence under the Start-Up Visa program to get the support they need to qualify to immigrate and start their businesses.
By nurturing start-ups and helping them navigate the myriad of challenges to get the financial, human, and physical resources they need to survive and thrive over a period of months – and in many cases years – business incubators are key players in Canada’s economic development sector.
These business incubators help entrepreneurs right from the earliest stages, when the business is still only an idea, and provide office space, administrative support, mentorship and training, and access to investors and capital.
Run as either non-profits or businesses themselves, business incubators help entrepreneurs:
- develop relationships with financial partners, business consultants, management-level execs;
- find office space and business hardware and software, and;
- access research through relationships with universities and governmental agencies.
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Under the Start-Up Visa program, budding entrepreneurs hoping to gain permanent residence in Canada need to get the support of either a venture capital fund, angel investor group, or a business incubator.
These organizations choose which business proposals to review and each has its own intake process for proposals and criteria used to assess them.
If that organization gives the Start-Up Visa program applicant’s proposal the green light, it will provide a letter of support, allowing the prospective immigrant to continue with the process.
Business incubators that have been approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to support immigrants through the Start-Up Visa program are the following 35 organizations:
- Alacrity Foundation
- Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
- Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator
- Food Processing Development Centre
- Biomedical Commercialization Canada Inc. (operating as Manitoba Technology Accelerator)
- Creative Destruction Lab
- Empowered Startups Ltd.
- Extreme Innovations
- Genesis Centre
- Highline BETA Inc.
- Innovation Cluster – Peterborough and the Kawarthas
- Interactive Niagara Media Cluster o/a Innovate Niagara
- Invest Ottawa
- Knowledge Park o/a Planet Hatch
- LatAm Startups
- Launch Academy – Vancouver
- LaunchPad PEI Inc.
- Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship
- NEXT Canada
- North Forge East Ltd.
- North Forge Technology Exchange
- Platform Calgary
- Pycap Inc (o/a Pycap Venture Partners)
- Real Investment Fund III L.P. o/a FounderFuel
- Ryerson Futures Inc.
- Spark Commercialization and Innovation Centre
- Spring Activator
- The DMZ at Ryerson University
- Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC)
- TSRV Canada Inc. (operating as Techstars Canada)
- University of Toronto Entrepreneurship Hatchery
- Waterloo Accelerator Centre
- York Entrepreneurship Development Institute