skip to Main Content
Reading Time: 7 minutes

What are the key elements of a Start-up Visa program business plan in Canada?

– Immigration| Business Plans | Industry Insights

The Canadian government values innovation highly — a value which is reflected in its proud history of providing a welcoming environment for foreign entrepreneurs. Through its Start-up Visa Program, Canada seeks to attract the best and brightest emerging innovators from all over the world. Start-up founders who are interested in taking advantage of Canada’s Start-up Visa Program need only to meet a few basic requirements, including owning a qualified business, meeting the language requirements, having sufficient funds to settle in Canada, and receiving a letter of support from a designated organization.

What Is the Canadian Start-up Visa Program?

The Canadian Start-up Visa Program is an initiative launched by the Canadian government that seeks to attract talented and innovative entrepreneurs from around the world. The program offers a unique opportunity for foreign entrepreneurs to immigrate to Canada and launch their innovative, scalable, and globally competitive ventures in a supportive and dynamic business environment.

One of the primary goals of the Canadian Start-up Visa Program is to help foster economic growth and job creation in Canada. By welcoming innovative entrepreneurs with the potential to create and grow successful businesses, the program aims to create new employment opportunities for Canadians and help drive the country’s overall economic development.

Canada’s Start-up Visa Program is structured around a unique approach through which entrepreneurs are connected with designated organizations that support and mentor them as they establish their businesses in Canada. These designated organizations play a crucial role in the program by providing entrepreneurs with the guidance, resources, and connections they need to succeed.

Please note that we are not immigration lawyers or consultants. For detailed information about the requirements and application process for the Canadian Start-up Visa Program, please refer to the official Canada Government page.

How to Apply to Canada’s Start-up Visa Program

One of the most unique and important requirements of applying to the Canadian Start-up Visa Program is the letter of support. To be eligible for the program, you must receive a letter of support from one of the program’s designated organizations. These designated organizations include investors (such as venture capitalists and angel investors) and incubators who have the means to support your business idea. A letter of support from one of these organizations proves that you have a qualified backer behind your entrepreneurial venture and serves to legitimize your start-up.

Before you can secure a letter of support from investors or incubators, you need to convince them that your start-up is worth supporting. The Start-up Visa Program’s designated organizations will typically assess your venture by analyzing your business plan and pitch deck to determine whether or not your business has the right elements to succeed in the program. This means that an effective business plan and pitch deck are absolutely critical for start-up founders who want to be accepted into the program.

Please note that we are not immigration lawyers or consultants. For detailed information about the requirements and application process for the Canadian Start-up Visa Program, please refer to the official Canada Government page.

The Key Elements of a Start-up Visa Business Plan

At Joorney Business Plans, we specialize in helping you prepare the best possible business plan and pitch deck, for designated investors, angels/vcs or incubators to have what they need to make a decision of providing a letter of support. 

Below are the four essential elements that every Start-up Visa Program business plan should include.

1. Problem and Solution

To build a successful business plan and pitch deck, you first need to conduct thorough market research. Your research should validate your business idea and identify the specific problem your business aims to solve within a particular market. Through careful analysis of your industry and market, you can gain insights into potential competition, target customers, and trends that can help you prove to investors or incubators that your business is poised for success.

The business plan and pitch deck you show to potential supporters should clearly highlight the problem you’ve identified and present your business as the ideal (or better yet, inevitable) solution to that problem. Situating your venture as the perfect answer for a pressing market need, as well as addressing relevant competition and market trends, shows potential supporters that you’ve done your due diligence and highlights the long-term viability of your business idea. By presenting a compelling case for your business plan that’s based on supporting industry data, you can inspire confidence in investors and incubators that your business has a solid future ahead of it.

Market analysis is crucial, but it’s rarely easy. If you’re not sure how to get started, Joorney Business Plans can provide resources and services to help you analyze your industry’s customer trends and competitive landscape — even in markets where analysis may not be straightforward. Trustworthy, contemporary market and industry analysis is imperative for a complete Start-up Visa Program business plan.

2. Innovation, Job Generation, and Global Scalability

Your business plan and pitch deck should also communicate to the designated organization the ways in which your start-up is particularly innovative, highlight how it will generate Canadian jobs, and demonstrate that it’s scalable globally.

To make your start-up stand out, you need to present as much technical detail as is possible at your current stage of development. Depending on how far along your business is, this could look like anything from a labeled sketch or blueprint to a fully functioning MVP (minimum viable product). The stage of technical development investors and incubators expect to see often depends on the type of product your start-up is creating. If your product is extremely complex or expensive to build, just the blueprint may suffice to win a designated organization’s support. However, for simpler products, the organization may want to see a prototype that’s a bit further along.

No matter what kind of product you have, you need to show the designated organization something tangible to prove that your idea is actually feasible — and, more importantly, that you have a reliable plan to execute. Additionally, including technical specifications in your pitch deck provides potential supporters with a more detailed image of what you’re creating and helps them visualize the value you’re bringing to the table in a more impactful way. Going into technical detail about your product also offers insight into what kinds of jobs your start-up will create and what types of avenues toward global expansion might become available later on.

3. Team and Talent

It’s also essential to include information about your start-up’s founding team in the pitch deck you present to investors and incubators. While your business plan itself is obviously a major determining factor in whether or not potential supporters choose to provide you with a letter of support, the quality of your team is also an enormously influential variable. Be sure to mention each team member’s relevant background and current role at the start-up; it’s critical that each team member has a vital and clearly defined part to play in the venture at this early stage.

A strong founding team is critical because start-ups are inherently risky ventures with high failure rates. Investors and incubators know that the resourcefulness, determination, and combined experience of a founding team can make or break a start-up as often as the value of the business idea. Therefore, it’s essential to demonstrate that your team is worth believing in and capable of overcoming the many challenges that will doubtlessly arise during the start-up journey.

It’s important to note that the Canadian Start-up Visa Program accepts up to five individual applicants per start-up. This means that you can bring along a diverse range of talents and perspectives to form a team that’s exceptionally capable of achieving your business goals. Highlighting the relevant strengths and experiences of each team member in your pitch deck will help your team stand out and increase your chances of securing a letter of support from a designated organization.

4. Why Canada?

Canada’s Start-up Visa Program is intended to be a mutually beneficial arrangement — the Canadian government is looking for foreign ventures that have high potentials for profitability and global expansion in the hopes that these immigrated businesses will generate Canadian jobs and bolster Canada’s economy.

With this in mind, it’s in every applicant’s best interests to explain why they would like to settle their business in Canada specifically, and to highlight how their start-up will contribute to the country’s economic health. Clearly communicating your purpose for doing business in Canada and drawing attention to the positive economic outcomes you expect to achieve will give your start-up a better chance of receiving a letter of support from a designated organization.

Professional Business Planning

Receiving a letter of support from one of the Canadian Start-up Visa Program’s designated organizations is a key step in getting your business accepted into the program. To convince a designated investor or incubator to provide you with a letter of support, you need to prepare a business plan and a pitch deck that includes the four essential elements we’ve mentioned.

If you want help building the perfect business plan and pitch deck, contact Joorney Business Plans. Joorney is currently collaborating with over 1,000 immigration lawyers and immigration consultants to prepare more than 250 business plans each year for the Canadian Start-up Visa Program, so you can rest assured our experts have the necessary experience to help you craft a business plan that sets your venture up for success.

Disclaimer: Joorney Business Plans Canada Inc. is not a law firm nor an immigration consulting firm and all information provided in this document should not be considered as legal advice or any advice or recommendation on any immigration application program. All information provided in this document should be verified by a licensed or certified immigration professional before the reader can act on this information. As such, it is understood that Joorney Business Plans Canada Inc. shall not be liable for any loss or damage of whatever nature (direct, indirect, consequential, or other) whether arising in contract, tort, or otherwise, which may arise as a result of your use of (or inability to use) this document, or from your use of (or failure to use) the information on this document.

Latest News: More News
Back To Top