Intellectual Property Values Rising at Empowered Startups

Intellectual Property Values Rising at Empowered Startups

Empowered Startups has added another world-class amenity to its Canadian incubation program, and founders are already taking advantage of it. Steadfast in its commitment to provide its entrepreneurs with exceptional resources, Empowered Startups recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) to promote awareness, knowledge, and use of IP among Canadian businesses and innovators.  This agreement strengthens and formalizes a long-standing collaboration between the two organizations in supporting startups to develop IP strategies that enhance their ability to innovate without committing excessive resources.

Last week, numerous entrepreneurs seized the opportunity to meet with Dumitru Olariu, an Intellectual Property Advisor with CIPO, who Empowered Startups welcomed to its Vancouver office. Through these sessions, the entrepreneurs were able to discuss the IP strategy for their startups in addition to receiving advice and feedback on filing IP in Canada. Everyone within the Empowered Startups Start Up Visa program will have access to the people and information that will make launching their business, product, or both that much smoother.

“Given that we work with startups operating at the leading edge of technology, the how and when of pursuing IP is an important topic. I’m grateful to have this partnership with CIPO so that we can connect our entrepreneurs with a dedicated IP advisor that works with them one-to-one,” said Matthew Pattinson, Incubator Manager, Canada at Empowered Startups.

CIPO is a special operating agency within the Government of Canada that delivers intellectual property (IP) services. Innovators coming to Canada may not be aware of all services available to protect their intellectual property, however, there are many elements that CIPO helps businesses navigate including copyright, patents, trademarks, and more. Through this new partnership, each organization will facilitate access to subject matter experts and business networks via the web, training programs, and other services. The two entities will also collaborate to create new products and services to bring even more value to those within the Empowered Startups incubation program.

“Partnerships such as this are a key component of the way we assist our entrepreneurs understand the intellectual property regime in Canada, as they launch and build new innovative businesses anchored in Canada,” says Chris Lennon, President and General Counsel at Empowered Startups.

Learn how to apply for the Start Up Visa program with Empowered Startups today

Navigating the Canada Start-up Visa: Why You Don’t Need an Agent to Secure the Support of a Designated Entity

Navigating the Canada Start-up Visa: Why You Don’t Need an Agent to Secure the Support of a Designated Entity

Above all else, what you need to qualify for Canada’s Start-up Visa (SUV) Program is the support of a designated organization. Every designated organization is clearly listed on IRRC’s website. We were one of the first designated business incubators to enter the program back in 2014, but there are many others.

Don’t be fooled by the recent influx of agents and consultants claiming to be SUV experts with the ability to get you the support of a designated entity. You don’t need an agent to contact a designated organization, and some agents may decrease your chances of being accepted by a designated entity.  All active designated organizations have clear application processes in place. Being represented by an “expert” consultant that promises to get you into a designated entity (and often makes other promises they have no ability to keep) will only make you appear disingenuous to the designated entity evaluating your credentials.

One of the principal roles of designated entities is to seek out and scrutinize legitimate entrepreneurs who have a genuine intention to start and build an innovative business in Canada. If that describes you, then contact the designated entities directly.

What is the Canada Start-up Visa?

The Canada Start-up Visa is an immigration pathway specifically designed for innovative entrepreneurs and investors who aim to build and grow businesses within Canada’s thriving startup ecosystem. To participate in the program, the applicant must work with a Government of Canada Designated Organization (that’s us) to help them create and develop their business in Canada.

Designated Organization/Start-up Visa Business Incubator:

You should choose to work with a Designated Organization (incubator) that specializes in handling Start-up Visa ventures. The professionals in that incubator will know all the details about the program and will also understand the requirements you need to satisfy within the program. The best incubators are ones that can support you immediately in your process. There is no need to approach them through an agent. In fact, that approach is often detrimental because many agents and consultants are promoting the program as a passive investment program and with guarantees that they have no ability to provide. You can easily contact a Designated Organization on your own to initiate the process. If you legitimately qualify, your application is more likely to be approved if it doesn’t come through one of the agents or consultants that market themselves as Startup Visa “magicians” or “experts.” If they aren’t a designated entity, you don’t need them before being accepted into a designated incubator.

Once you’ve been accepted by a designated business incubator, an immigration lawyer or licensed immigration agent can help prepare, represent, and submit your immigration application. But they aren’t needed until after you’ve received the support of a designated entity. And you definitely want to steer clear of unlicensed agents or other consultants claiming to be SUV experts without any official designation.  In fact, IRCC recently issued a warning about unlicensed agents.

There is much to consider as an entrepreneur looking to immigrate to Canada. Knowing where to start with the Start-up Visa program is the first step in making the process as smooth and successful as possible.

Contact Empowered Startups directly about the Canada SUV program:

Photo by Daniel Joseph Petty

Empowered Startups Incubation in Action: How AmiChat Leveraged Empowered Startups’ Methodology, Network, and Mentorship

Empowered Startups Incubation in Action: How AmiChat Leveraged Empowered Startups’ Methodology, Network, and Mentorship

How AmiChat leveraged Empowered Startups’ methodology, network, and mentorship to rapidly advance its startup in Canada

Moving to a new city, country, or continent shouldn’t mean losing touch with friends and family. That’s why AmiChat Innovation Ltd. is launching a mobile app that makes it easy to connect, share, and meet with loved ones across time zones around the world.

Hsin-Ya Hung, AmiChat’s Founder and CEO, created the business model in Empowered Startups’ Global Startup Accelerator, and then entered the incubator in Canada to launch her startup and build a minimum viable product. Based in Vancouver, BC, Hsin-Ya worked with a Startup Leader from Empowered to develop both a launch brand and a strategy to validate the business model through prototypes via user feedback. As her startup advanced, Hsin-Ya utilized Empowered’s extensive network to get support in app design and user testing. She also regularly met with her Startup Leader to discuss progress, next steps, and ask any questions she had about building a successful company as well as living in Canada.

“In the incubator, you learn step-by-step how to build a startup based on your unique business model. I got to co-create a plan that is based on my budget and then develop next steps to move my business forward.” – Hasin-Ya Hung, Founder and CEO of AmiChat Innovation

Hsin-Ya has taken advantage of the resources and opportunities Empowered Startups’ incubator provides to help entrepreneurs get off to a great start in Canada. She employs Empowered’s incubator space as her workstation and regularly uses its meeting rooms. “The workspace is a great place to do my own work and I can ask the Startup Leaders lots of questions,” explained Hsin-Ya. In addition, she attends Empowered’s regular social events and webinars, where she meets, shares and networks with other entrepreneurs. “The events are great and a good time to meet other entrepreneurs who are new to Canada,” states Hsin-Ya.

“Inspired is the word I would use to describe my experience in the Empowered Startups’ Incubator. It is great to have someone who can help you think about your business. Sometimes I would have narrow thinking and feel stuck. Working with a Startup Leader helped me to find more options and opportunities to move my startup forward.” – Hsin-Ya Hung, Founder and CEO of AmiChat Innovation

Since completing the app design and integrating user feedback for AmiChat, Hsin-Ya has selected a development partner to build the launch version of her app. With that process well underway, she continues to develop and refine her marketing plan to ensure a successful launch in 2024. But while AmiChat continues to evolve, Hsin-Ya has the comfort of knowing one thing remains the same. She can rely on Empowered’s mentorship, resources, and opportunities for connection throughout the entirety of her incubation program.

Pivoting for Prosperity in Portugal: Empowered’s HQA Featured on IMIDaily

Pivoting for Prosperity in Portugal: Empowered’s HQA Featured on IMIDaily

Pivoting for Prosperity in Portugal is the most recent topic of discussion on IMI Daily. Empowered Startups’ most recent piece of thought leadership outlines the proposed end of the non-Habitual Residency (NHR) tax, and the elimination of the real estate core of Portugal’s Golden Visa program. The truth is, transnational entrepreneurs are well positioned to benefit from the country’s policies both at present and in the future.

Read the full feature here on IMI Daily 

Chris Lennon Featured on IMI Daily

Chris Lennon Featured on IMI Daily

President and General Counsel of Empowered Startups, Chris Lennon, is the most recent subject of IMI Daily’s “10 On The Weekend” feature that provides further insight into notable professionals in the world of migration through investment.

Investment Migration Insider is an industry-leading hub for the latest news, trends and opinions on immigration through investment.  Lennon responded to the ten recurring questions for the feature, which grants readers a more personal and informal view of prominent figures within the industry.

As part of the wide-ranging Q & A, Lennon shed light on why Empowered Startups continues to garner international attention from governments and entrepreneurs alike for its innovative approach to business migration. The article has him revealing everything from his business goals for the upcoming year to the industry accomplishment he’s most proud of to his unique reading genre.

Read the full feature here 


Scholarist Experiencing Rapid Growth Following Summer Launch

Scholarist Experiencing Rapid Growth Following Summer Launch

It has been another successful launch for a startup in incubation at Empowered Startups. In August, Scholarist Technologies Inc. launched its language learning marketplace, which connects teachers and students. Although Scholarist only launched two-months ago, it has been well received and is seeing a growing number of teachers and students using the platform.


Scholarist provides a unique experience for students looking to prepare for language exams. While finding a great match on other online language learning marketplaces is based on trial and error, Scholarist uses the students’ language learning goals, schedule, budget, preferred learning style, and a language assessment to match them with the most suitable teacher. This ensures that lessons are tailored to address the goals of the student and they can learn faster rather than having to try several teachers before finding an ideal match. For teachers, Scholarist reduces the stress and unpredictability of finding students by promoting and matching them with students. This enables teachers to focus on what they do best: teaching.


It has been a tremendous amount of work for the team to get Scholarist to where it is now. It was essential for us to build relationships with our early teachers and students on the platform so that we can take their valuable feedback and enhance our platform and the learning experiences. We are seeing that work paying off now with testimonials and feedback about how much both students and teachers enjoy Scholarist.” – Roy Sam, Co-Founder and CEO of Scholarist Technologies Inc.


The rest of 2023 and 2024 look bright for Scholarist. Its developers continue to make improvements to the app as they have a growing pool of teachers and students on the platform to gather feedback and data from. The team is also growing. It has hired it first two employees to grow its marketing and teacher recruitment efforts.


At Scholarist learning is part of our DNA. We are excited about our growth and very excited to continue to learn from our users and make a better product that helps students to learn faster and achieve their language goals.” – Roy Sam, Co-Founder and CEO of Scholarist Technologies Inc.


Experience what effective language learning looks like and sign up to take a class on the Scholarist website.


About Scholarist

Scholarist Technologies Inc, founded in 2023, is a technology startup passionate about helping people to achieve their language learning goals. Its education platform serves as a marketplace for students and teachers to connect based on their specific needs and services. Scholarist is developing the best platform for students preparing to write language exams.

Contact Information

Roy Sam – Co-Founder and CEO
Email – [email protected]
Website –
Facebook –
Instagram –

To apply for the Canada Startup Visa Program Visit: