The Canadian federal government has added Manitoba Technology Accelerator of Winnipeg as a designated Canadian entity. With this it can participate in the revised program for attracting immigrants who have bright ideas of a startup business.
Presently the MTA has a plan to use the Start-up Visa Program for making Winnipeg a primary destination for global entrepreneurs who are searching for a place for launching their startups. Its CEO, Marshall Ring, believes that the program will add to the reputation of the city to be a fine place for the startups.
In April, the federal immigration program which has a plan to attract top quality business entrepreneurs for startups became a permanent program after completing the three-year pilot. Furthermore it has a three year budget of $4.5 million.
The program demands that the applicant add the business plan to an angel investor group, a venture capital fund, or a business incubator program and all these firms have to sign a commitment certificate or extend a letter of support.
The inclusion of MTA in the program serves as an acknowledgement of a vibrant ecosystem existing in Winnipeg for fresh startups.
Initially it is getting a good grip and there is a sense of excitement regarding the potential. In case there is a good response from top applicants, the MTA will be in a position to add 30 new enterprises annually to its base.
Startups which get the support of business incubators get an exemption from the minimum fund requirements. They need self-financing.
MTA will charge a market rate for providing support and also for mentoring. Within weeks it has signed contracts with foreign companies also.
Additionally there are plans to expand the footprint. Some experts feel that it will serve as a good tool in attracting business to the city. There is a presence of companies like Bold, Skip, 24/7 and In touch in Winnipeg. They also feel that the program is market-driven and that the government relies on incubators as well as on angel network firms and venture capitalists. These all will do the front end work of selecting the companies to participate.
The incubator will examine the credentials of the company, and also see its merits of the business. In case of acceptance in the program, they will prepare the Certificate of Acceptance. Moreover, they will send an invitation to them for applying seeking immigration.