The Start-Up Visa program was launched by Citizenship and Immigration Canada on April 1 2013, with the participation of the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO). Its focus is for companies only that want to expand into Canada. It does not supply individual immigration options. Any questions about this program can be answered by Citizenship and Immigrations at: 1-888-242-2100 or http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/business/start-up/index.asp
If you are still interested in information about the Start-up visa (SUV) program, the overwhelming number of applications we receive makes it impossible for us to respond to all of the enquiries. The information below is being provided so you can understand what it takes to successfully attract angel investment dollars in Ontario.
Any foreign company that is interested in moving or expanding into Canada may apply to Angel One Network, Golden Triangle Angelnet or First Angel Network for funding. If they are successful in attracting a minimum of $75,000 from member investors in good standing, they may obtain a Certificate of Compliance from the investors and apply for Start-up visas for up to 5 of their full time employees who will be moving to Canada. The SUV Program is not applicable to individual immigration applications.
Please keep in mind that our analysis process offers no preferential treatment to applicants to the SUV program. The merits of the business are compared to all of the domestic businesses we are considering and presenting to our investor network. Applicant companies should take into consideration the following eight areas of strength that our angel investor members are looking for.
1. Management team: Angel investors look for teams of high-quality entrepreneurs with a track record of leadership and performance - either in the company’s specific industry or in prior entrepreneurial ventures. We also look at your team’s passion for and commitment to the new business idea, and your ability to inspire confidence among future stakeholders, including employees, potential customers, and investors. As the investors will be working with you as partners, your team’s credibility is essential. In addition, your team must be open to and comfortable with receiving input provided by angel investors.
2. Market opportunity: Angel investors typically invest in solutions that address major problems for significantly large target markets (i.e. a $100+ million market). Your company must demonstrate a strategy to claim significant share of a meaningful market (i.e. 20%+). There are plenty of great business ideas - but not all businesses will generate returns that justify angel investor financing. Therefore, providing a solution to a problem with a large potential market is essential.
3. Use of proceeds: Funds must be used to accelerate your company’s achievement of key milestones that increase the company’s value. Angel investors will fund activities that include research and product development, building a sales and marketing infrastructure and hiring key executives.
4. Growth potential: Angel investors look for companies that can grow quickly and manage the scale necessary to succeed. Your company must demonstrate a plan to generate significant profits beyond the initial product idea. Do you have a strategy to achieve multiple sources of revenue? Investors also require well-conceived financial projections, based on sound assumptions, demonstrating consistent profits and cash flow growth.
5. Competitive advantage: Your company must have some proprietary features that distinguish you from potential competitors or provide barriers to entry that prevent other companies from capturing your customers with a similar offering. Attributes that convey competitive advantage include intellectual property protection, exclusive licenses, exclusive marketing and distribution relationships, strong brands, scarce human resources (i.e. knowledge and skills), and access to scarce raw materials.
6. Fit: Our group members - all accredited individual investors - have significant executive experience in a variety of fields. One of the benefits of working with angel investors is the active coaching and contact network that such investors can provide. As such, there must be a fit between members of our group and your idea.
7. Technology: Angel investors typically prefer to invest in first-of-a-kind new ideas, rather than incremental enhancements to common products and services. Is this a nice-to-have, or a need-to-have product or service? However, we approach highly complex, esoteric technologies with caution. The concept behind the technology must be proven and verifiable. Few investors support science projects therefore your project needs to demonstrate a clear path to commercialization and potentially some early customer adoption. Any breakthrough innovation must be accompanied by a strong business plan.
8. Exit strategy: Our members typically seek returns of at least ten times their initial investment within eight years. This level of return-on-investment is essential due to the high risk and likelihood of failure among early stage ventures. Thus, a clearly articulated exit strategy - how angel investors will extract such returns - is essential. For example, do you plan to sell the company to an established corporation in your industry? Or will your exit be through subsequent rounds of financing - venture capital or the public markets? Angel investors are not just interested in the strategy you select, but more importantly in the how you will achieve your stated goal and some realistic indications in your business of how you will achieve the exit.
Sectors and industries of NO interest to Angel One investors include: - Food processing - Service based companies (personal support workers, nannies, care givers, dry cleaners, house cleaning, etc.) - Retail stores - Tourism agencies and tourism services - Educational materials and private schools - Franchising and distribution business models - Art schools and art galleries - Journalism, publishing, TV, radio and newspaper businesses - Real estate brokerage and services - Any type of consulting services or consulting agencies
If you feel that your business meets the stipulations above and if you have a business that is based on a patented or protected proprietary technology, you are welcome to apply to Angel One Network for consideration at Angel One GUST Company Applications. Upon receiving your GUST application we will assess your business and will contact you if we think it is a suitable investment opportunity for our members.