When polled, three-quarters of Canadians stated that Canada needs to stay ahead of the U.S. in attracting entrepreneurial talent and two-thirds of Canadians think America has the right idea with its Startup Visa Bill.
The Canadian start-up visa campaign wants to upgrade the immigration program to make it easier for people who want to create science and technology companies in Canada by reducing the funding needed to enter the country on the conditions that they have Canadian investors and can create new jobs within a couple of years.
“The end result should be more jobs for Canadians, stronger economic growth and a larger number of science and technology companies in Canada both large and small,” said Eric Brooke, a campaign spokesperson. “There is a opportunity here for Canada to get ahead of the game, as the US political system does not seem to have the collective will to take this issue by the throat and encourage technology or science entrepreneurs from other countries to create businesses and jobs in the US.”
“Its’ worth remembering that 52% of start-ups in the Silicon Valley are founded by immigrants,” said Boris Wertz, an investor and co-founder of GrowLab (and investor in Techvibes). “With an effective start-up-visa program maybe we can convince foreign entrepreneurs and job creators to build their companies here in Canada instead of the US. We are already falling behind countries like Chile, Singapore and Britain who have already upgraded their programs, but I believe we can learn from their programs and make ours better.”
One of Canada’s’ leading venture capital associations, CVCA, is on board with the idea. “The direct experience of a number of our member funds that have been launched by immigrants in Canada; these funds have made enormous contributions to our industry as well as to portfolio companies and to the economic well-being of Canada,” said Chris Arsenault, Director at CVCA. “Our belief that we must promote a culture of entrepreneurship in order to successfully compete in the new global economy; Canada can become a beacon, attracting the best and the brightest from across the globe.”
Started by Vancouver’s Danny Robinson, Maura Rodgers and Boris Wertz in September 2010, Startup Visa Canada is an initiative designed to encourage the brightest entrepreneurial minds from around the world to choose Canada as the best place to start a company, which in turn will create jobs and provide more investment opportunities in Canada.