Business Incubators for Startup Visa Program in Canada

Canada is performing better in attracting immigrant entrepreneurs through the StartUp Visa program than other Countries like America, the UK, and Singapore. Canada’s Startup Visa Program was launched in Year 2013 and has become permanent in 2018. Since its start in 2013 around 200 Startups have become permanent residents there.  

Education Startup ApplyBoard founded by Martin, Massi, and Meti Basiri who hailed from Iran to Canada for schooling is now employing around 500 people through their Startup.   

Canada is offering foreign citizens who have been approved in StartUp Visa Programs a permanent residency with citizenship. This brings a great opportunity to foreign national entrepreneurs or investors to contribute to Canada’s economy by starting a new company thereby allowing entrepreneurs to earn themselves too. A business incubator brings a new way to begin one’s startup through Canada Startup Visa Program.  

What Is a Canada Startup Visa Incubator? 

A business incubator is defined as a non-profit organization to assist startups and budding companies expand rapidly through various assistances. They offer important services like office space, mentorship for guidance, management training, and skill enhancement along with startup investment.  

If an incubator finds your project worth investing in, they believe in your business concept and support you in achieving your success rapidly.  

Role of Incubator in the Application process 

The business idea with which you want to apply will yield profits in the future is the main concern of the Canadian government for StartUp Visa applicants. If your project gets accepted into the incubator program in Canada, you have to prove that the esteemed organizations have faith in your project since they would provide certain facilities for your project.  

The basic difference in getting assistance from business incubators or angel investor groups or venture capital funds is that with the former, there is no financial support is involved. If you intend to get support from a venture capital fund, the minimum investment is Can$200,000. If you are getting support from an angel investor then you have to invest a maximum of Can$75,000. But if you apply through the Canada Startup Visa incubator program, no financial investment is required. The incubators will give you a letter of support to ensure that they are willing to support your entrepreneurship. The incubator only confirms your acceptance in their accelerator program after which this process is complete.  

Criteria for Incubator Accreditation 

If you want to start a business in Canada, you can meet an incubator and submit a proposal to them. Among the list of incubators provided in the list by the Canadian government, you have to choose one of them. There are around 30 odd designated incubators accepted by the government. A business incubator needs to be a member and has to acquire approval from the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) for accreditation. 

StartUp Visa Application through Incubator 

Find a suitable Incubator that meets your business idea. 

Some programs are focused on a specific sector, while others are focused on a particular location only. While some programs begin startups that are nothing more than a business concept, some of them demand a profitable firm. So, every program has its admittance and acceptance criteria. The common most among all these programs is that they are very competitive. You can apply to more than one suitable business incubator that fits your business idea- but prior application research has to be done.  

Get accepted 

Once your proposal is accepted into a business incubator program then certainly you will be granted a Canadian StartUp visa. The government and your legal advisor will start the processing of necessary paperwork for which the waiting period might be between 12 to 16 months.  

Arrive in Canada 

If you are residing in Canada, arrange a short interview with the immigration office to check your documentation, verify your address, and get confirmed that you meet all requirements.  

If you are arriving in Canada post-acceptance, you would have to go through a similar procedure with a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer.  

You may be allowed to get a temporary work permit, which makes you keep working while your application is under further processing. If you are intending to immigrate to Quebec, you’ll have to apply through the Quebec Immigrant Entrepreneur Program.  

The increasing popularity of the StartUp Visa Program in Canada. 

Under this Program since 2019, the number of new foreign permanent residents reached 510 marks, that number is twice those admitted in 2018. This figure is increasing steadily over the five years before the coronavirus pandemic. 

Those candidates who want to apply under the StartUp Visa program arrive in Canada on a work permit supported by a designated Canadian investor before their application for permanent residence is finalized. 

List of designated organizations – start-up visa 

Venture Capitalist where you have to invest around $200,000 to get the support from these listed ventures for acceptance in Startup Visa Program. 

7 Gate Ventures 

Arete Pacific Tech Ventures (VCC) Corp 

BCF Ventures 

BDC Venture Capital 

Celtic House Venture Partners 

Extreme Venture Partners LLP 

First Fund 

Golden Venture Partners Fund, LP 

iNovia Capital Inc. 

Intrinsic Venture Capital 

Lumira Ventures 

Nova Scotia Innovation Corporation (o/a Innovacorp) 

PRIVEQ Capital Funds 

Real Ventures 

Red Leaf Capital Corp 

Relay Ventures 

ScaleUp Venture Partners, Inc. 

Top Renergy Inc. 

Vanedge Capital Limited Partnership 

Version One Ventures 


Westcap Management Ltd. 

Yaletown Venture Partners Inc. 

York Entrepreneurship Development Institute (YEDI) VC Fund 

Angel investor groups 

Angel Investors require an investment of about $75000 to be part of their StartUp Visa Program  

Canadian International Angel Investors 

Ekagrata Inc. 

Golden Triangle Angel Network 

Keiretsu Forum Canada 

Oak Mason Investments Inc. 

Southeastern Ontario Angel Network 

TenX Angel Investors Inc. 

VANTEC Angel Network Inc. 

York Angel Investors Inc. 

Business incubators that do not require investment.

You must be accepted into one of these programs: 

Alacrity Foundation 

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry 

Agrivalue Processing Business Incubator 

Food Processing Development Centre 

Biomedical Commercialization Canada Inc. (operating as Manitoba Technology Accelerator) 

Brilliant Catalyst 

Creative Destruction Lab 

Empowered Startups Ltd. 

Extreme Innovations 

Genesis Centre 

Highline BETA Inc. 


Innovation Cluster - Peterborough and the Kawarthas 

Innovation Factory 

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 

Pacific Technology Ventures 

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  


The above article tells the process to be part of the StartUp Visa Program in Canada. If you are moving to Canada and intend to start a business there.