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    Canada today revealed that it plans to create a new class of visa, 

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    Canada today revealed that it plans to create a new class of visa, according to Reuters.

    Officials hope it will attract technology entrepreneurs to immigrate to the country to start new companies.

    The immigration department consulted with Canadian venture funds, including Boris Wertz's Vancouver-based Version One Ventures.

    Quote Reuters:

    It has put a moratorium on issuing its existing entrepreneur visa, which only required an immigrant to hire one person for one year, and intends to initiate a visa that would be issued to people identified by venture capital funds as candidates to create start-up firms in Canada. The venture funds would be required to invest in the start-ups. The start-up visa is one of several changes being undertaken by Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney in what he says is an effort to make the immigration system more responsive to Canada's economic needs.

    "Canada seeks young, ambitious, innovative immigrants who will contribute to Canada's job growth and further drive our economy," Kenney's press secretary, Alexis Pavlich, is quoted as saying. "The start-up visa is an initiative that the government of Canada is exploring to assist in transforming our immigration system into a fast, fair and flexible system that will meet the needs of our economy and help grow our country."

    Venture investment funds would choose entrepreneurs in whom they would invest, and the government would try to clear them for entry into Canada within weeks. The idea is to unite Canadian money and foreign brains. An initial source of candidates could be frustrated foreigners in the high-tech sector in the United States who have not been able to land resident status there.

    "This program will link brilliant, job-creating, immigrant entrepreneurs with Canadian investors. We want the world's best and brightest to come to Canada - to start businesses and to create jobs in Canada," Alexis added.

    The program is expected to be unveiled in detail later this year. According to the report, the government will set aside 2,750 visas a year. Last year it issued 700 visas under the old entrepreneur class. The problem with it was that an immigrant could buy a corner store and hire one person then abandon the business after a year.

    "There are never enough brains in a country," Version One Ventures founder Boris Wertz is quoted as saying. "Every country's going to compete for the best brains in the world."

     September 12, 2012
  • Article

    Thirty companies were selected to pitch at Startup Riot in Seattle this week. Five won. Two were Canadian.

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    Thirty companies were selected to pitch at Startup Riot in Seattle this week. Five won. Two were Canadian.

    Among of the top five judges' picks were PayrollHero from Vancouver and QuoteRobot from Nanaimo.

    PayrollHero, currently in beta, "optimizes work productivity with happiness." The startup offers consumer friendly time, attendance, scheduling, and payroll in the cloud for web and mobile. It also rates the moods of employees via clock-in photos to establish "an array of business intelligence to your companies companies corollaries between productivity and mood."

    QuoteRobot creates web design proposals quickly and easily. It's a rapid quote generation tool designed for freelancers and agencies who want to send high quality proposals to clients and is versatile enough to work for virtually any industry, not just web design. It's also competitively priced, offering "unlimited everything" for $10 per month.

     August 13, 2012
  • Article
    Posted by  see more Posted by Techvibes Newsdesk on 2012-07-30 8:30:00 AM

    We're all aware that Canada regularly bleeds startups and entrepreneurs, who flock south to seek superior funding opportunities south of the border in hotspots like Silicon Valley and New York.

    But a new upsurge in funding on our side of the fence may finally be turning the tides.

    “There seems to be an announcement a week about another fund being raised,” Jennifer Evans, chair of the Information Technology Association of Canada and founder of digital strategy agency Sequentia Environics,told the Financial Post. “So it certainly looks like the landscape in this country is changing.”

    And a recent study reinforces this change, revealing that both the quantity and amount of angel investments are on the rise across the country.

    Further, after a weak year of venture capital fund-raising in 2011—where VC firms raised $1 billion, a paltry 2% increase over 2010—Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association reported in May that new capital committed to domestic funds totalled $742 million in the first quarter of this year. That's more than double the amount from the same quarter last year.

    The numerous new VC funds popping up in 2012 are cross-country and from a wide array of firms, including Omers Ventures, Rho Canada, iNovia Capital, and more.

    We'll never equal the US: with 10 times our population, there's always going to be more angels and venture capitalists in America. But tech startups generally don't need nearly as much money as they used to, so quantity is becoming less crucial. Canada still has a long way to go to break out of its conservative shell, but there's less and less reasons these days for Canadian entrepreneurs to flee south.

  • Article

    In February 

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    In February Techvibes covered a Canadian startup with plans to tap the growing co-working and "collaborative consumption" trend by building an office sharing platform. We tagged their plans "Airbnb for workspaces." Today they officially launched in beta.

    Vancouver-headquartered ShareDesk has built as slick platform that includes hundreds of office spaces worldwide—of which 650 are easily bookable online.  

    As far as we know ShareDesk is the only Canadian company tackling workspace rentals online—their biggest competitor is US-based Loosecubes.

    According to co-founder Kia Rahmani, SharedDesk is more flexible than other solutions and allows desk surfers to book multiple days, weeks, or months in a single transaction.

    Nomad workers can search for shared spaces by city or even provide ShareDesk with the address of a convenient location where they would like to work.

    And if you have a spare desk in your office, you can add it to ShareDesk in minutes by creating profile to showcase your space and start accepting bookings

     August 01, 2012