Document Checklist to apply for a Letter of Support
General Info on Start-up Visa and Designated Incubators
The incubators look for an innovative idea that both satisfy the local market and also offers an international outreach. In exchange for this idea, they are offering mentorships, use of facilities, labs and even access to the Universities around Canada. However, they are also buying shares from the proposed company, yet, some Incubators might even fund the project.
The innovative idea needs to be either a new idea that the owner holds the IP or it can be a product that is improved from the previous versions, or a product that has not been marketed in the targeted market.
The Canadian government aims that with this permanent program, they can bring businesses in Canada that are innovative, creates jobs for Canadians and can compete on a global scale.
Here’s a breakdown of the key numbers with the Start-up Visa program:
- 2,750: Number of applications the IRCC accepts each year;
- 114: Number of applications the IRCC received from April 2013 to September 2015;
- 100: Number of people who’ve come to Canada under the program, including dependents, as of Jan. 17, 2016;
- 4: Number of people who came to Canada under the startup visa program by the end of 2014;
- 22: Number of startups that have been developed in Canada with the help of the application by the end of 2015.
The first successful applicants come from Australia, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, India, Iran, South Africa and Uruguay. Startups are launched or will be launched in Vancouver, Victoria, Sydney, Whistler, Calgary, Toronto, Mississauga, Waterloo, Thunder Bay, Halifax, Fredericton and other communities across Canada. The new businesses will be developed in different industries, including food product manufacturing, technology, education, medical research, banking and advertising.
General Documentation Requirement from Incubators
- Articles of Incorporation
- Shareholders Agreement
- Share Certificates
- Financial Statements Business
- Personal Financial Statements
- Passport Copy
- IELTS Test Score
Due Diligence Documents
- Customers & Suppliers
- Corporate Financing
- Material Contracts
- Control of Intellectual Property
Requirements for the applicant after being accepted from an incubator:
- Demonstrate potential viability from both a financial & market perspective;
- Incorporation in Ontario;
- Show they have access to sufficient working capital to meet the initial needs in the market;
- Clearly articulate the market opportunity for the product/service;
- Demonstrate early technology validation and/or customer traction;
- Have relevant education, experience and expertise for the business;
- Effectively communicate and work in English or French language.
The common questions on the Incubators admission forms:
- What’s your company name?
- Approximately how much is your total bank debit balance?
- Approximately how much is your total liquidity worth?
- Are you currently generating revenue?
- How much is your Average Annual Revenue?
- Have you payed your taxes for the last four years?
- Are your assets currently liable under any loans from a financial institution? If so, please specify the amount.
- How many customers have you sold to? If not, what was the feedback on your product?
- Give us an idea of your traction to-date, including users, revenue, etc.
- How many employees are currently working for your company?
- How long has your company been active?
- Have you been involved in any startups before? Please specify?
- What problem are you trying to solve?
- How much investments have you been collecting for your startup? (other than from family and friends)
- How much investment are you willing to make for your startup?
- Are you able to find investors for your startup?
- How long will your startup last without new fundings?
- How long have you known your startup team?
- Do you have relevant education or work experience?
- Do you have a business plan? If not, are you able to write one?
- Explain how your previous education or work experience can help you to develop new ideas.
- Who are your competitors and who could become your competitors? How will you win against them in the market?
- Do you consider yourself as an innovative person?
In some instances, the incubators also ask for a video and a pdf of the pitch deck.