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Webinar Recap: Joorney Business Plan and Think8 Global

We have been getting many questions from our partners about designated organizations: 

  • What do they stand for?
  • What are they expecting from applicants? 
  • The support they provide or what their incubation programs entail.

A designated organization is a third party in the SUV application process that must assess and evaluate a startup before considering their business idea potential for Canada. These designated organizations have a set of separate conditions. They have requirements for certain fields or types of innovations. Some designated organizations require the applicants to establish their company and themselves in certain locations, while others do not, so there are variables that change for each Designated Organization.

Even though we’re focused mainly on providing the business plan for this program, we wanted to bring an expert to provide the information firsthand. 

Our guest this time was Mark Shekter, owner of Think8 Global Institute, a designated organization and author of Think8 methodology. 

We loved the webinar’s emphasis on the applicant, the program and their motivation to assist international entrepreneurs in taking their first steps toward launching their startups in the Canadian market.


Here is the full webinar recording: 

Here are Mark’s answers about Think8 Global Institute as a designated organization, their requirements, collaboration opportunities for immigration professionals, and how Joorney helps Think8 applicants.

Q: What is the purpose of the designated organization, and how does an applicant or an immigration practitioner get that support from the designated organization?

A: The Canadian government has designated an organization to offer the opportunity for individuals to incubate their ideas in Canada. To be part of this program, individuals must go through the incubation process and receive approval from the designated organization. The idea can be at any stage of development, including just an idea, a minimum viable product, or even revenue-producing. If the idea has merit and the necessary background immigration checks are completed, the individual can enter into the business incubator funnel.

The process for entrepreneurs to participate in a six-month incubation program in Canada starts with a review of their business plan and pitch deck. This is followed by an interview to determine if there is a fit between the entrepreneur and the program. If both parties feel comfortable, a Letter of Support is provided, and a contractual agreement is established. The program is designed to help entrepreneurs grow and incubate their businesses, with specific steps and milestones to meet. Successful completion of the program can be part of their application for permanent residency in Canada. Our program has very specific steps and milestones that they hit, and they’re in good shape after that as part of their application for permanent residency, which is to have all of the requirements.

Q: What are the industries that Think8 is looking for? Is there a profile specific for a candidate or start-up ideas for which you want to align a Letter of Support?

A: We are actually open to any good idea. The program is receptive to innovative ideas, regardless of industry or field. However, ideas that are similar to existing ventures, such as opening another donut shop, may not be considered. Think 8 Global Institute is not limited to high-tech or deep-tech ideas as long as the concept and value it brings to consumers are progressive and exportable. The team has specialists who can evaluate various ideas, including those in fintech, biotech, and business model design. The primary consideration is the potential of the idea to grow and generate jobs in Canada and beyond.

Our team has extensive experience working with a wide range of industries, including banks, start-ups, AR companies, high-tech, media companies, and many more. We have been involved in technical and semi-technical operations in local and international markets for years. As a result, we have developed a deep understanding of the market and are well-equipped to handle any challenge that comes our way.

We pride ourselves on being open-minded and accepting of any solid idea, provided that the people behind it are genuine and committed to making it a reality. Our team is passionate about turning innovative concepts into tangible results, and we are always eager to take on new challenges. Whether you are a start-up or an established company, we have the expertise and resources to help you achieve your goals.

Q: Are you open to working with immigration consultants and lawyers and not only with the applicants? Other designated organizations talk to applicants only.

A: Fair question. Obviously, we get a lot of interest from applicants directly. That’s welcomed. We also appreciate when an agency or a consultant says, “We have somebody special we feel that they would qualify. What do you think”? We wouldn’t close the door on that at all because that’s somebody wanting to come to Canada. Our criteria remained the same, as I stated earlier in this webinar. If they satisfy certain requirements and are consistent with what we do for the applicants, we’re not changing it for the immigration consultants.

Our government’s standards for acceptable applicants remain consistent, and we apply the same criteria to all potential immigrants. We believe in fairness and equality for all. Therefore, if an applicant satisfies our requirements and is consistent with our values, they will qualify for consideration, regardless of whether they came through an agency or consultant.

We are committed to ensuring that those who genuinely want to come and have the knowledge base and ideas worthy of development have the opportunity to do so. It’s essential to ensure that the clients are well-served, and we work in partnership with agencies and consultants to achieve this goal. Through collaboration and a shared commitment to excellence, we can incubate talent and support the growth of our economy.

How Joorney helps with the application for the designated organization Think8?

At Joorney, we have determined a Start-Up Visa package specifically for Think8. This service includes what Think8 requires from their applicants: 

Within the business plan and the pitch deck, we are integrating the questions that Think8 has in their questionnaire. That way, Think8 will have everything they need to decide whether they will provide the Letter of Support or not. Of course, that in no way guarantees that they’re getting a Letter of Support or that the idea is eligible, but on our end, we want to make sure that all the documents are in line.

Designated Organizations, such as Think8 Global Institute, make the ultimate decision and issue a Letter of Support while preparing the start-up team for their transition to Canada. 

Many thanks to our attendees and special gratitude go to Mike – thank you, Mike! Looking forward to new collaborations! 

Stay tuned for the next webinar – it’s coming soon!

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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