Checking In With Our 2nd IMPACT StartUp Visa Cohort

Posted on: December 11, 2018 Posted by: Keith Ippel Comments: 0

Checking In With Our 2nd IMPACT StartUp Visa Cohort

 

Our IMPACT StartUp Visa Program is now accepting applications for the June 2019 cohort!

Spring’s IMPACT StartUp Visa Program is the first in Canada to focus on global impact businesses looking to move to Canada and make the world a better place through their ventures. Vancouver is the Canadian leader for impact entrepreneurship, and is the #1 ranked startup ecosystem in Canada. Learn more about our program and apply here.

Our current cohort wanted to share their experiences in joining the Spring community, moving to Canada and growing their businesses in a new country. Our entrepreneurs have been doing amazing things and we are excited to share their big wins thus far in the program.

 

Raya Bidshahri – Awecademy

Awecademy is a future-focused educational organization that is disrupting traditional high school curricula and inspiring students to bring about civilization-level change. Through an online platform and off-line programs, we future-proof high school students, educators, and industry leaders with new smarts and critical survival skills.

Why Canada?

Canada is an emerging global hub when it comes to technology and startups. There are endless communities, accelerators, funds and conferences to tap into – and lots of innovative leaders. It also gives you access to the North American ecosystem at large. The innovation scene aside, the quality of life here is incredible. Everyone has been so welcoming!

Tell us a bit about your experience at Spring?

It’s only been about a month into the program and I’ve gained so much valuable knowledge and insight already. This includes everything from impact business models to sales and marketing – all of which will truly accelerate our growth as a company. All the advisors, mentors and program leaders have been so helpful. Overall, Spring an incredibly supportive and nurturing community for entrepreneurs who want to change the world.

Wins in the Last Two Months

  • Finalist for the Bett Global Awards for Outstanding Secondary content
  • Shortlist for Reimagine Curiosity Awards for “Cultivating Curiosity”
  • Licensed by GEMS Education (world’s largest private education provider) for its entire network of students globally
  • Endorsed by Jason Silva – emmy-nominated National Geographic Host – here’s his shoutout video.

Also if you ever need more details about me or my background – here’s my website!

 

Naitik Mehta – Next Billion

Next Billion focuses on providing mentorship and job opportunities to talented students with disabilities in tech. Naitik has received 25+ awards including the global ’25 Under 25′, Canada’s Top 3 Student Entrepreneurs by EO, and a ’30 Under 30′ award from BCBusiness for driving change in BC.

Why Canada?

I moved to Canada for a 4-year undergraduate degree in 2014. I was initially planning to study in the States but was denied 7 U.S. visas — and Canada was nice enough to give me an opportunity to come study here. It’s been a wonderful journey because Vancouver has incredible opportunities in the field of technology, design and social impact. After graduating in Summer 2018, I started working full-time on my startup.

Tell us a bit about your experience at Spring?

Keith and the Spring team have always made themselves available to support NextBillion – providing valuable connections and advice to us right from the early stages. We’ve been through a couple of different Spring programs and the larger Spring community of startups is also made available as a resource for us to lean on.

Wins in the Last Two Months

  • Secured a few large enterprise customers (to be announced soon)
  • Graduated FounderGym with 1st place and won the Susan Daniels Hall of Fame Award
  • Improved our operations and processes to effectively mentor talent with disabilities
  • We’re now ready to scale to the next stage of operations.

Click here to learn more about Next Billion!

 

Bram Eekhout – BizPearl

Bizpearl is a software/IT platform for management and harmonizing work processes. The platform focuses on employee happiness and appreciation while combining it with the HR needs of enterprise engineering, knowledge management and process management.

Why Canada?

I came to Canada because I wanted to live in place where there is actual wildlife and nature. Coming from the Netherlands, that is a real difference and is one that I love about BC and Canada. BC gives me the sense of freedom that I was missing. Canadians are generally very warm and friendly people. That friendliness and politeness was something that made us want to come over as well.

Tell us a bit about your experience at Spring?

My experience with Spring so far has been a very positive one! The program guides you from startup basics to more advanced skills and techniques necessary to succeed as an entrepreneur. The way the program is set up is very useful as well. There’s a good combination of meetings with Spring team members and speakers coming in to share their specific expertise with the cohort members. Last but not least, the Spring team members are great people and great professionals making you feel very welcome and every one of them is willing to help when you’d have any questions or want some extra advice.

Wins in the Last Two Months

  • Truly starting my company
  • Coming up with a narrowed down business model
  • Growing my network exponentially in Vancouver and in the BC Interior
  • Getting our PR’s
  • Feeling confident about sales
  • Meeting the inspiring cohort members and Spring staff!

 

Helena McShane – Little Munchkins

Skruttungen has created organic freeze dried baby food that keeps all its nutritional value while requiring no baby teeth. It is 100% melt in your mouth astronaut food!‍‍‍

Why Canada?

Canada pulled us in with social goodness. And not just the kind you find at Spring but social kindness on all levels. Getting invited to family friendly activities day after day makes everyday life so enjoyable.

 Tell us a bit about your experience at Spring?

At Spring I have learned the real value of sitting in a room with other entrepreneurs. The insight, the challenges…it all comes together around the table. Challenging aspects in the Canadian market is mainly the diverse ways in which people do business, less orderly than Sweden and more dynamic too!

Wins in the Last Two Months

  •  Finished re-branding; now Little Munchkin’s
  • Ready to land in B.C in the spring after spending the winter working with local suppliers to create an organic local fruit

If you are interested in joining Spring’s next IMPACT StartUp Visa cohort starting in June 2019, apply today!

 

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