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Webinar Recap: SUV Progress Reports: What constitutes Progress and How can Joorney Help?

Getting a request from Immigration Refugees Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a Progress Report is a big moment for anyone involved in Canada’s Start-Up Visa (SUV) program. These reports have to be answered properly not only to demonstrate that a business project is moving in the right direction but also to preserve eligibility for the SUV program. 

Getting these Progress Reports right is so important. That’s why we hosted a webinar named “SUV Progress Reports: What constitutes Progress and How can Joorney Help?” to help out anyone handling their own SUV documentation or immigration professionals.

Our expert panel, consisting of Joorney Partner and Global Director of Sales & Marketing Marianella Manzur, VP of Advisory Product and Strategy Matt Wolf, and Senior Project Manager Dorothea Agne, took participants on a deep dive into the topic. They answered many questions, including:

  • Why is the ongoing progress of SUV applicants that important?
  • What is the ideal roadmap for a StartUp to make progress? 
  • What kind of documentation does IRCC ask for? 
  • What are the benefits of a financial model for showing startup progress?
  • What marketing activities are good to show in a Progress Report to prove the startup’s progress?

Watch the full webinar below, or if you’re short on time, read on for the highlights.

Here are a few interesting bits and pieces from our SUV Progress Reports: What constitutes Progress and How can Joorney Help webinar.

The ideal road map for a startup to show progress

Start with market research, where you’re trying to you’re trying to validate the market. Is there a market for my product or service? What’s the strategy to approach that particular audience? When you’ve got an idea, you’ve got to formulate a business around it. How are you going to make money? Your pitch deck is the abbreviated version of all this. And you can also include your launch marketing plan, list of potential clients and suppliers, website development. 

All of these are important when you go to market and you’re actually starting to talk to customers and service providers and potential partners and things like that. Of course, website development, you need to have a website to make sure that everybody knows you exist. Also very important is funding document prep, financial modeling, financial valuation might be included in there as well. 

Completing these things shows progress in the right direction. Pursuing an investor outreach program or any outreach that you’re doing to investors is certainly going to demonstrate progress.

What kind of documentation does IRCC ask for?

What we’ve seen is, they’re asking for documents that would explain that the applicant has done something in the meantime to show that the business is progressing, that there is something happening. So what would be the documents that will show something like this?

For example, one of the main things that a startup needs to do in order to be successful is to have a team. So being able to provide a document such as an employment contract, for example, that could be proof that you actually hired someone for your startup and you initiated this process of assembling a team.

Another kind of evidence could be a lease agreement. For example, let’s say you’re a startup. You will definitely need some kind of space to operate from. You’re going to need a space to meet with clients or even the space where you will be dedicated to developing your MVP. 

And if you have a lease agreement, that really proves that you already initiated the process. There could also be some additional proof, for example, agreements with potential clients or market research done. That’s also very good and an important part of it. You can have proof of getting an investment from individuals who believe in the idea.

This would also serve as the ultimate proof that the idea is good if investors are lining up to give you money. So basically, the progress report, as we see it is just the pinnacle of all of that. It’s sort of like a report that serves as a summary of all of the efforts that you have done in the meantime.

What are the benefits of a financial model for showing startup progress?

The financial model is the mathematical interpretation of the business going into the future. It really defines what the business is financially and numerically. It helps plan. It helps define the amount of capital that you’re looking to raise, all of these things, all of these numbers, and the entire topic of numbers, which is critically important when you’re showing progress.

So the annualized income statement, the balance sheet, the cash flow statement, the sources and uses of cash valuation, early stage valuation. The cap table, the evolution of shareholding through different fundraising rounds, seed series A and each series beyond — all of these have a role to play in financial modelling financial modeling, which in turn charts the road ahead for startups.

What marketing activities are good to show in a Progress Report to prove the startup’s progress?

If you do very good market research, you will know who your target client is and who your buyer persona is.

This means establishing things like do you want to target young people, maybe like 45 plus or 20 to 30, or you have a certain age, age, uh, range that you want to target. Then you also want to determine which channels are the best to reach those people. So for example, if you’re trying to reach someone older, then you might want to do Facebook instead of Instagram as Facebook is more familiar for people with the older demographic. 

So it’s about choosing your target client, and the second part is choosing your channel and building that infrastructure, like creating your profiles on different social media platforms, creating content, posting it, gaining followers. So that’s really important to build that infrastructure for you to be able to convey your message to a large audience.

Having this organized and planned so that you can move forward is clear proof of progress in your marketing plan and for the startup as a whole.

You can watch the entire webinar on our YouTube channel, where you will find more useful content and interesting presentations. 

Disclaimer: Joorney Business Plans Canada is not an immigration consultant, lawyer, or advisor and cannot be held responsible for damages incurred from the use of this information. If you require more information about a program, please contact a registered immigration professional.

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