The Start-Up Visa Program is intended to attract foreign entrepreneurs who wish to establish new, high-growth businesses in Canada that will support innovation and job creation.
Innovacorp can recommend entrepreneurs to receive a start-up visa from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada under the business incubation stream.
Why Nova Scotia?
While it may be best known for its high tides, lobster, and apples, Nova Scotia also has every business advantage you need. A great network of experienced entrepreneurs. A thriving technology sector. A location on Canada’s breathtaking East Coast—halfway between the Pacific Coast and Europe — Nova Scotia is the perfect combination of universities, government programs, and private equity.
Needless to say, it’s an exciting time to be a start-up in Nova Scotia. Don’t believe us? Check out the following links, courtesy of Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI): Live Here, Invest in Nova Scotia, Why Nova Scotia (video), and Making Waves Around the World (video).
Citizenship and Immigration Canada Eligibility
To be eligible to receive a start-up visa, you must prove your business venture is supported by a designated organization; meet the language requirements; meet the ownership requirements; and have a sufficient settlement fund. You can find more eligibility details on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.
Companies accepted into Innovacorp's start-up visa business incubation program will receive incubation and business acceleration support for at least six months. (Companies that don’t need full-time access to Innovacorp’s incubation space may be able to benefit from Innovacorp's business guidance and other support from anywhere in Nova Scotia.)
Innovacorp Start-Up Visa Eligibility
Entrepreneurs interested in obtaining a start-up visa through Innovacorp’s incubation program must meet the following requirements:
- New knowledge-based product and/or service – The business proposition must be a unique technology product and/or service that cannot be easily duplicated. In addition, the business must be past the idea stage and have a working prototype. The entrepreneur must demonstrate early technology validation and/or customer traction.
- Nova Scotia-based – The head office is located in Nova Scotia and the business is registered in Nova Scotia once the company is accepted into Innovacorp’s incubation program and issued a start-up visa.
- Start-up business venture – Start-up refers only to sales revenue and not to the number of years in business. To qualify as a start-up, the business has generated cumulative sales revenue of less than $1 million in the most recent three years.
- People – Industry knowledge and management experience, commitment to venture
- Market – Large, growing international market
- Competition – High barrier to competitive entry
- Execution – Credible plan to reach key milestones
If accepted into Innovacorp’s incubation program, entrepreneurs will receive a letter of support from Innovacorp. Entrepreneurs then apply for a start-up visa directly to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, which will proceed with confirming that applicants meet the program’s eligibility requirements and complete the formal application process.
Please note that becoming an Innovacorp incubation client through the Start-Up Visa Program does not guarantee that you will obtain financing through Innovacorp’s venture capital fund.
How to Apply
Please complete our Start-Up Visa Program Expression of Interest form. The Innovacorp team will review the initial questions and then invite eligible applicants to submit further information.
Start-Up Visa Process