IMPACT Startup Visa Accelerator

For purpose-driven entrepreneurs seeking to anchor their business in Canada.

Move to Canada, scale your business, and maximize your impact through the country’s only impact-first startup visa program.

Spring’s IMPACT Startup Visa (ISV) Accelerator Program is a comprehensive 4-month program that combines traditional business acceleration with processes, support, and connections to help you solidify Canada as the home base for your business. 

Our team at Spring comes from diverse backgrounds and we know immigration and moving countries can be a challenge, especially if you’re taking your business with you. Let us help you make it easier so you can create an even bigger impact as an entrepreneur working to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals!

Spring Alumni Community

Based in Vancouver and operating under the banner of Canada’s Start-Up Visa (SUV) — a program that supports entrepreneurs seeking to immigrate to Canada to accelerate innovation and job creation in the country — our Impact Startup Visa Program 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 on setting up the right foundation for your business in Canada
  • Introducing you to the Canadian entrepreneurship ecosystem and to our consumer and business cultures 
  • Delivering training and mentorship that cover all aspects of doing business, with a focus on Canada
  • Helping you maximize your impact on the world through better impact definition and measurement
  • Teaching you the process and providing the tools you need to successfully raise capital to fuel your efforts

Interested in Learning More?

Attend our next information session to find out more and for an opportunity to ask questions. The session is being held on November 19th at 9 AM PDT as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2020!

Why Immigrate to Canada?

The environment you choose to grow your business in matters towards achieving growth and success. In 2019, Canada was recognized by the Thomson Reuters Foundation as the best country for social entrepreneurs among the world’s 45 largest economies. With the infrastructure to help support impact businesses, Canada has seen an uptick in success for purpose-driven entrepreneurs.

Why Consider Vancouver?

Though you can live and work anywhere in Canada with a Start-U visa, Spring Activator is based in Vancouver and we love it! 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

Why Choose Spring as Your Designated Organization?

A certified B-Corporation, Spring is a global incubator and accelerator that empowers entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial ecosystems to build better businesses and change the world through innovation. Through our global advisory services, we have 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 our impact programs, we have helped more than 700 entrepreneurs create 350 companies and raise more than $24M in funding.

Are you an immigration lawyer looking to learn more about the Spring’s IMPACT Startup Visa Program on behalf of your clients? Sign up to receive more information here.

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"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

Is Our Impact Startup Visa Program the Right Fit?

  • 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 the criteria for Canadian permanent residence and work permit applications)

  • You qualify to apply for Canada’s Start-up Visa (SUV) program (find more information in the Program Pack)
Core Values

What's the Application Process?

Step 1: Assess your eligibility for the Start-Up Visa Program (includes having a qualifying business, meeting the language requirements, and bringing enough money to settle — see the full requirements here)

Step 2: Apply for the Impact Startup Visa Accelerator Program (use this form)

Step 3: Go through initial screening, two rounds of interviews, and a due diligence process with Spring (please note that the process can take up to two months)

Step 4: Once accepted, selected participants receive a Letter of Support from Spring as their Designated Organization for Canada’s Start-Up Visa Program

Step 5: Submit your Letter of Support and the application package to the Start-Up Visa Program (we advise applying minimally 4-6 months in advance of your preferred start date to allow sufficient time for the application process and for the submission of all documentation)

When's the Next Intake?

The next cohort begins in April 2021.

We accept applications on a rolling basis. Those received immediately prior to an upcoming intake will be considered for the following cohort. 

Cohorts begin generally in the spring and fall, and one intake is limited to 15 companies.

Ready to Apply?

We’re looking forward to receiving your application!

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 each additional member, includes PR application support and accelerator attendance 
  • $3,000 + GST for each additional members for PR application support only

The program runs for a period of 4 months during which you’ll be expected to attend virtual training sessions 2 days per week. 

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.

We often work with immigration lawyers who have clients that qualify for the Impact Startup Visa Program. For a more comprehensive understanding of our process, you can download an information pack here

For the full list of FAQs, click below.