By Jacob Dubé
Ryerson Futures, an accelerator program connected with the Digital Media Zone (DMZ), has been approved as a business incubator in the Start-Up Visa program.
“If you look at the other accelerator programs that [the Start-Up visa program] have selected for this, including Ryerson Futures, what it suggests is that they’re looking for the top accelerator programs in the country, ones with an established track record for picking successful entrepreneurial ventures and for supporting them during that process,” said Brendan Dellandrea, director of marketing and communications of the DMZ.
The Start-Up Visa program allows immigrant entrepreneurs to come to Canada and develop their businesses with the help of a business incubator.
As a business incubator, Ryerson Futures approves applicants for the Start-Up Visa program that meet with the DMZ’s requirements and provides them with financial aid up to $80,000 through their seed fund as well as mentorship and progress assistance.
“Linking immigrant entrepreneurs with experienced private sector organizations that have expertise in working with start-ups is important as newcomers often require assistance to successfully navigate the Canadian business environment,” said Bill Brown, head of Media Relations of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
To be eligible for a Start-up Visa, applicants must have their ventures supported by a business incubator, meet the language requirements and have sufficient settlement funds to afford living expenses in Canada.
“The team over at Ryerson Futures who are running the program bring in extensive experience, industry connections, great partnerships, and that’s the kind of value that you get by being affiliated with the accelerator program,” said Dellandrea.
Ryerson Futures has already supported several start-ups at Ryerson such as SoapBox, the management tool found on Blackboard, and Figure 1, a photo-sharing app designed for the medical community.