IMPACT Startup Visa Accelerator

Move to Canada to scale your business & maximize your impact through the country’s only impact-first Startup Visa program.  


Next Cohort: April, 2020 | Application deadline: Nov 30th, 2019

Spring’s IMPACT Startup Visa (ISV) Accelerator is a comprehensive 4-month program that combines a traditional acceleration program with the processes and support to help you settle into a new life in Canada.
Spring Alumni Community

Based in Vancouver and operating under the banner of Canada’s Startup-Visa (SUV) – a program that supports innovation and job creation in the country – ISV combines the training, mentorship, opportunities, and connections you need to help unlock growth and crystallize your company’s impact on people and the planet. 

The program focuses on five key objectives: 

  • Providing you with pre-program support about moving to Canada and setting up the right foundation for your business and family
  • Introducing you to the Canadian entrepreneurship ecosystem as well as our consumer and business cultures 
  • Delivering training and mentorship that cover all aspects of doing business 
  • Helping you maximize your impact on the world through better definition & measurement 
  • Teaching you the process and providing the tools you need to successfully raise capital to fuel your efforts
Core Values

ISV is a great fit if...

  • Your company is purpose-driven, for-profit, and focused on having a positive impact on people and/or the planet
  • You want to maximize your market opportunity and impact as a for-profit entity
  • You can demonstrate that your vision will be best served by moving permanently to Canada
  • You’re able to clearly articulate the problem you solve and how your unique world-changing approach brings compelling value to the market
  • You can demonstrate measurable customer validation and progress
  • You can show that you have the financial capital to support the effort (see criteria for permanent residence or work permit)
  • You qualify to apply for Canada’s Startup-Visa (SUV) program

What's included?

Pre-arrival business advisory
Advice on business strategy, incorporation, sales, and marketing. We can connect you with local experts, law firms, and accounting firms for more detailed support should you need it.

4-month in-person accelerator program 
Includes access to online training modules and weekly learning sessions delivered by some of Vancouver’s top business trainers and experienced mentors that cover topics like goal setting, sales strategy & execution, marketing, and more.  

Access to a vetted network of local and global experts
Spring’s internal team of experienced entrepreneurs and our network of 500+ mentors, investors, and business partners are poised to help you get the help you need to propel your business forward. 

Specialized workshops and guest speaker sessions
Based on the cohort’s needs, our program management team will curate a lineup of guest experts and workshop facilitators to increase your knowledge in specialized areas like sales & marketing, growth hacking, team & leadership, legal, finance, and more. 

Introductions to relevant ecosystem players
When applicable, our team will facilitate a connection between your business and relevant partners, investors, funding opportunities, business services, and more. 

Program graduation pitch event & celebration
The applicants pitch their business ideas at Spring’s graduation event celebrating the culmination of the program. The event is attended by community stakeholders, investors, entrepreneurs and mentors. 

What's not included?

Housing accommodation 
We can make recommendations but are unable to provide designated living spaces.

Financial investment
No financial investment will be made into the business by Spring.

Cost of living and doing business
Expenses such as the cost of incorporating, business licenses, legal consultation fees, housing, and more are your own responsibility.

Legal Advice
Spring doesn’t provide any legal advice but can recommend lawyers or consultants to help you with your legal queries. 

"The Spring Startup Visa Program is a stellar incubator for entrepreneurs who want to solve global challenges."

“The program was an opportunity for us to meet other mission-driven entrepreneurs, investors and leaders. The speakers, facilitators and mentors we had access to were a great resource. It was also a great introduction and integration into the startup community in Vancouver! Overall, the experience opened up many doors and opportunities for us.”

– Raya Bidhsahri, Founder & CEO, Awecademy

Why Vancouver?

As the Canadian leader for impact entrepreneurship, Vancouver has a lot to offer for founders and their families: 

  • #1 ranked startup ecosystem in Canada
  • #15 ranked startup ecosystem in the world
  • Consistently ranked in the top 10 best and most liveable places in the world
  • Canada’s most temperate climate 
  • One of the most multicultural cities in Canada

About the Canadian Startup Visa Program

The Canadian Government Startup-Visa (SUV) Program is designed to attract and support foreign entrepreneurs to Permanent Residency. The focus is on founders who wish to move their launched businesses in Canada, which will support innovation and job-creation in the country.

Being a Permanent Resident in Canada is the status you receive prior to full Canadian Citizenship. As a Permanent Resident, you gain most social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, such as health care coverage, and the freedom to live, work, or study anywhere in Canada.

The Spring Start-up Visa Accelerator provides permanent residency for you, one other team member, plus your spouse and children. Unlike a Green Card or a Working Visa (such as the H1B) from other countries, you will not have your status revoked if you have a job change or card expiration. You can also apply for Canadian Citizenship after 4 years of living in Canada with your PR.

Meet the Spring team

Learn from Vancouver’s top entrepreneurs, investors, designers and developers. With a combined experience of over 30 years in entrepreneurship, lean methodologies, growth hacking strategies and impact entrepreneurship, the Spring team delivers the highest quality of startup education.

Tiffany Shen

Program Manager

Chin Hing Chang

Program Manager

Keith Ippel

Co-founder & CEO @ Spring

Spring

 As a certified B-Corporation, Spring is a global incubator and accelerator that empowers entrepreneurs and entrepreneur ecosystem organizations to build better businesses and change the world. Through its global advisory services, it has helped more than 70 different incubators, accelerators, foundations, and governments on 5 continents enhance their capacity to maximize impact both in their local communities and globally. With their impact programs, they have helped more than 700 entrepreneurs create 350 companies and raise more than $21M in funding. 

Ready to apply? Here’s how it works.

 Step 1: Assess Start-up Visa Program eligibility (see requirements here

Step 2: Apply for the Impact Start-up Visa Accelerator (use this form)

Step 3: Go through initial screening, interviews & a due diligence process with Spring

Step 4: Selected participants receive a Letter of Support for Canada’s Start-up Visa program

Step 5: Submit your Letter of Support and the application package to the Start-up Visa program

Frequently Asked Questions

The total cost of the ISV program is CAD $25,000 + GST for the first applicant. If the applicant wants to bring in team members as applicants, additional costs are as follows:

  • $7,000 + GST for additional member which includes PR application support and attendance 
  • $3,000 + GST for additional members for PR application support only.

We do accept companies that are pre-launched but recognize that admission is competitive. Come prepared with a strong application that justifies your background and experience in the business that you intend to establish.

No. Spring doesn’t provide any legal counsel on immigration or visa related issues. However, we can recommend an immigration consultant for you, if requested.

You can bring up 5 team members as part of the Startup Visa program. If the main applicant or some of the team members have family that they want to bring to Canada, they need to file visas for them on their own. 

We are not immigration experts and cannot offer any guarantees on your visa application decision or timeline. However, our experience has shown that the timeline can vary for each applicant for a wide variety of reasons. 

We strongly recommend that you submit your visa application to IRCC at least 4 to 6 months before the program start date. In our experience, it can take 4-8 months from the time you apply to the time you officially land in Canada. Please note: each application is reviewed individually by the IRCC and we have no control over how long it will take. 

The pre-arrival support includes:

  • Application review and guidance via email
  • Letter of Support for the visa application
  • Advice on settling/arriving in Vancouver, including our welcome guide containing valuable information on neighborhoods, transportation, housing, banking, mobile plans, local tips etc.
  • Introductions to potential business associates (if needed)
  • Introduction to an immigration consultant (if needed)

Spring is neither qualified to provide legal counsel nor the services of an immigration lawyer. However, we can recommend a lawyer if you need help with your immigration application. Given the complex nature of the Startup Visa, we HIGHLY recommend all our applicants work with an experienced immigration lawyer. 

Yes. Spring provides access to desks in a co-working space at our office location in Suite Genius.

The approval period for the Startup Visa depends on a number of factors. In our experience, the application for a work permit is usually approved in 3-4 months and the application for permanent residency usually takes 6-8 months.

If you work permit or permanent residency application takes time, you might still be able to join the program on a visitor visa. Check with Immigration Services to see if this is your case. Spring cannot provide any letters of support for visitor visas. 

If your visa application is denied, we will keep an administration fee and return the rest of the program fees. You are welcome to apply to our next ISV cohort but we unfortunately cannot guarantee or hold a spot for you.

The Next Cohort Starts in April 2020
Intake is limited to only 15 companies | Application deadline: November 30th, 2019

The Next Cohort Starts in April 2020

Intake is limited to only 15 companies | Application deadline: November 30th, 2019