OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 22, 2013) - Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney concluded a productive visit to Silicon Valley to promote Canada's new Start-Up Visa, the first of its kind in the world.
"The message was delivered loud and clear to the entrepreneur community in Silicon Valley that Canada is open for business," said Minister Kenney. "The new Start-Up Visa will help Canada attract the world's best and brightest entrepreneurs to build businesses, create jobs, and fuel economic growth."
During his time in Silicon Valley, Minister Kenney met with foreign entrepreneurs and influential figures in the start-up and tech communities, including founders of start-ups, accelerators, other business leaders, venture capitalists, angel investors and immigration experts to promote the Start-Up Visa and explain why Canada is a great place to start a business and invest.
Minister Kenney met Dave McClure, the founder of 500 Start-Ups, one of America's leading start-up accelerators which provides mentorship and seed fund investments to help entrepreneurs become successful. He also met with members of C100, a Silicon Valley-based organization that supports Canadian technology entrepreneurship through mentorship, partnerships, and investment.
Minister Kenney also took time to visit Plug and Play Tech Centre which houses business accelerator programs for entrepreneurs designed to strengthen the growth of their ideas and start-ups.
Minister Kenney attended TiEcon 2013, the world's largest conference for entrepreneurs, where he spoke with many international entrepreneurs, angel investors, and venture capitalists first-hand.
During his visit, Minister Kenney was a featured guest speaker at Stanford University where he spoke to scholars, researchers, and students who have a high potential for becoming candidates for the Start-Up Visa. While at Stanford, he also met with Dan Siciliano, a legal scholar and entrepreneur with expertise in corporate governance, corporate finance, and immigration law, and Vivek Wadhwa, Director of Research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization and author of The Immigrant Exodus, one of The Economist's Books of the Year for 2012.
He was also the featured guest speaker at an event hosted by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, attended by many prominent entrepreneurs and investors.
Minister Kenney also officially unveiled the new Start-Up Visa billboard.
"There is huge interest in Canada's new Start-Up Visa and in Canada's expanding tech sector," said Minister Kenney. "Canada's strong economic growth, low taxes and business costs, excellence in research and innovation, and top quality of life all make Canada a top country for innovative entrepreneurs looking to build their businesses. If you are a start-up entrepreneur and want to build a dynamic company that can compete on a global scale, then Canada's Start-Up Visa Program is for you."
The Start-Up Visa, which opened for applications on April 1, is an important part of the Government of Canada's plan to build a fast and flexible economic immigration system. The Start-Up Visa Program is the first of its kind in the world and provides Canadian private sector organizations with access to a broad range of entrepreneurs – including the world's best and brightest – in whose ideas they can invest.
At the same time, the program provides immigrant entrepreneurs with valuable assistance in navigating the Canadian business environment, which can be a challenge for newcomers, and enables them to build innovative companies that can create Canadian jobs and compete on a global scale.
Visit cic.gc.ca/startup for more information on the Start-Up Visa program.
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Photos of Minister Kenney available at: www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/photos/high-res/index.asp and http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/photos/2013/2013-05-17/photo.asp?
Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada's economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.