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Dave Hopkins
Dave Hopkins
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Entrepreneur

 

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I co-founded a startup that is based in both Waterloo region (downtown Kitchener at Communitech) and in Toronto.

Waterloo region is better for an early startup:
- cheaper
- engineering talent pool
- far easier to connect with people and get support (ie people more more helpful and open)
- tech is the big industry in town

Where Toronto excels:
- need to raise money (more Canadians with money live here, VCs...)
- partnerships: Canadian head offices are normally in Toronto
- connecting with prominent people beyond tech
- have a bit of traction and need to grow (more of everything available if show a little success)
- pool of creative people beyond engineers (marketing...)
- Toronto is more interesting, this attracts people even though it costs
 more,  Kitchener-Waterloo  remains a nice  glorified suburb where you 
must have a car to have much of a life (light rail and other pending 
projects are changing this slowly)

In order to be eligible, applicants for a Start-Up Visa must meet the following requirements:

  • Meet minimum language requirements in English or French (CLB 5 in all abilities);
  • Have sufficient funds to settle in Canada;
  • Plan to settle in a province other than the Province of Quebec;
  • Pass Canadian security and medical clearances;
  • Prove your business is supported through a designated organization; and
  • Show your business meets ownership requirements.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has designated a number of venture capital funds, angel investor groups, and business incubator organizations5 to participate in the Start-Up Visa program.

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