Designated Organizations for the Start-up Visa Immigration
The Start-up Visa Program targets entrepreneurs and innovative business people. It is a federal immigration program for those who intend to immigrate to Canada, and their destination is anywhere but the province of Quebec. A vital component of the Start-up Visa program is to receive a Letter of Support from a designated organization by IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada). These organizations fall into three major groups:
- Venture capital funds – According to bdc.ca, “a venture capital (VC) fund is a sum of money investors committed for investment in early-stage companies. The investors who supply the fund with money are designated as limited partners. The person who manages the fund is called the general partner. The general partner decides which early-stage companies the fund will invest in based on criteria established by the fund partners.” A valid letter of support from a designated venture capital fund means they agreed to invest your idea in a minimum amount of CAD 200,000.
- Angel investor groups – A group of angel investors create an angel investor group. According to bdc.ca, angel investors “are wealthy, experienced business people who invest their time and money in your high-growth business in exchange for equity.” IRCC expects a minimum of CAD 75,000 along with a letter of support from a designated angel investor group to consider the letter acceptable.
- Business incubators – According to bdc.ca, “a business incubator is a program that gives very early-stage companies access to mentorship, investors and other support to help them get established.” Business incubators usually do not invest capital in a business but offer their services to them. Acceptance by a business incubator and a letter of support without any investment is good enough for IRCC.
You only need one letter of support from one designated organization. For example, if you receive a letter from an incubator, you do not need a venture capitalist or angel investor letter.
The following lists show the existing designated organizations for the Start-Up Visa program. I copied them verbatim from the IRCC website on December 9, 2018, and updated the list on December 27, 2020. Please visit their website for the official version. The following list is not official and is not endorsed by IRCC.
<<Read: What is happening with the Start-up Visa and Self-employed Class applications 2021>>
Venture Capital (VC) Funds
- 7 Gate Ventures
- Arete Pacific Tech Ventures (VCC) Corp
- BCF Ventures
- BDC Venture Capital
- Celtic House Venture Partners
- Extreme Venture Partners LLP
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- Alacrity Foundation
- Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
- Biomedical Commercialization Canada Inc. (operating as Manitoba Technology Accelerator)
- Creative Destruction Lab
- Empowered Startups Ltd.
- Extreme Innovations
- Genesis Centre
- Highline BETA Inc.
- Innovation Cluster – Peterborough and the Kawarthas
- 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
- 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
Read the following article for more information about the Star up visa immigration.
Let us help!
If you need our help with your Start-up Visa process, fill out the following form:
Update: May 28, 2021
*Note: For the official list of designated organizations for the Start-up visa program click here.
If you wish to visit or move to Canada, please fill out our free assessment form. We will review it for free, but we will contact you only if we find an opportunity for you. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free, but you will receive formal advice from a licenced practitioner.
Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada
Fill our Free Canada Immigration Assessment Form in your language!
This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.
The characters and places in the articles:
All the characters and locations in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Therefore, any resemblance in names, dates, and places is coincidental.
For our official addresses, trust this website only. We currently do not have offices outside Canada. Therefore, anyone who claims to be our agent is committing fraud. Also, note that we do not issue any work permits or study permits or similar documents. The government of Canada has the sole authority to issue such material.