Last September Vancouver's Danny Robinson wrote an open letter to Tony Clement, federal minister of industry, explaining why Canada needed to have a better Startup Visa to try to attract talented entrepreneurs from around the world to start their businesses here.
Now that Robinson is CEO of BCIC he's turning up the heat. Together with fellow Vancouverites Boris Wertz of W Media Ventures and Maura Rodgers of the Bootup Entrepreneurial Society, Robinson has started Startup Visa Canada and is looking to the Canadian tech community to show their support. Here's what they're proposing with Startup Visa Canada:
Currently, the federal and provincial governments’ entrepreneurial programs contain minimum personal fixed asset provisions of about $300,000 and a long approval process that make it nearly impossible for immigrant entrepreneurs to start companies here. The Startup Visa Canada Initiative would create an alternate visa program that:
- would swap the minimum asset provisions with a minimum Canadian investment of $150,000.
- enable qualified Immigrants to partner with local investor(s) to expedite their temporary work permits.
- would require Immigrants to have at least a third equity position in their companies, be active in management and create at least 3 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs over the course of a 2-year program period.
Robinson is hoping to get the support of 100 key influencers in the next 30 days in order to put some pressure on the Federal Government.