...with its geographic proximity to well-heeled SiliconValley investors, cultural similarities, and lack of a language barrier, Canada is emerging as an attractive option for foreign-born founders seeking a foothold in North America.
That’s not by accident.
Canada began pitching itself to entrepreneurs back in 2013, when the United States Congress was in the throes of a bitter debate over a comprehensive immigration reform bill that included, among other things, a startup visa.
That bill died in the House of Representatives, but America's neighbors up north took notice, piloting their own startup visa program that very year.
It extends permanent residency visas to anyone who receives funding from a list of designated venture capitalists and angel investors or admission to Canadian businessincubators.
So far, 60 startups have launched in Canada using this visa.
The pilot program ends in 2018, but the government may renew it before then.
In June, Canada also launched its Global Skills Strategy, which helps entrepreneurs secure work permits for highly skilled foreign workers within two weeks.
This comes as the Trump administration vows to crack down on the use of H-1B visas for highly skilled foreign workers in the United States.
"We don't have a monopoly of good ideas. We recognize that companies need access to global talent and a global talent pool," says Navdeep Bains, Canada’s minister of innovation, science, and economic development.
"We’re betting on people. We're betting on diversity."
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