How to Choose Your Business Incubator – Canada Start-Up Visa

How to Choose Your Business Incubator – Canada Start-Up Visa

There are a lot of business incubators out there. For a small sample, you can view the list of all of the Government of Canada Designated Business Incubators here. The number of incubators worldwide has been steadily growing over the past few years, and it’s easy to understand why. Having mentorship and access to an experienced team at your fingertips when you start a business can make all the difference in terms of success – Not to mention the connections and knowledge of government resources and grants that come with being a part of an incubator.

So how do you choose the right one to work with?

One thing that should be noted is that not all incubators are created equally. It’s extremely important to consider your business and personal needs when deciding which incubator best suits you.

Below is a small list of things to consider:

Support & Programming. Sure, a cool space and a great office vibe is valuable, and everyone loves free snacks and a coffee bar…but do vibes grow a business? Make sure that the incubator you choose has the ability to support you and will work with you to grow your business – not just act as a cool space for networking events. Make sure you have access to a mentor, that the program is tailored to support you specifically, that the incubator team is communicative, that the programming is interesting, and that the incubation can be tailored to fit your needs.

Competing Priorities. Most of us have many competing priorities. It’s important that when you do your evaluation of startup incubation programs that you take note of your needs in terms of flexibility. Do you have family obligations? Do you have other businesses that you are active in? Perhaps you do charitable work, coach your kid’s soccer team every Tuesday & Thursday night, or have a side hustle that is helping pay the bills. Many accelerators and incubators have programming and events that are not tailored for people who travel, or those who need to maintain a delicate balance of personal and professional life. Always consider your competing priorities when making an incubation choice.

On the same topic, it’s important to note “cohort” timing. Some business incubators do not offer rolling admission. Meaning that many business incubators have a hard start date for their programs. Make sure the date and timeframe of a cohort works for you 100%. If this is tough for you to work out, choose an incubator that has rolling admission rather than a fixed start date. That way you can start when you’re ready and do your best work.

Costs. The cost of business incubation programs varies greatly, and many have hidden costs associated. Though one program might appear initially to cost less, it is often not the case. Be sure to get the FULL picture of costs and what you will receive for those costs during the entire incubation period. Many business incubators offer an all-inclusive package that will consist of one larger cost paid in fixed or flexible installments, others will have module based pricing where the startup would pay a fixed cost for each mandatory module, some have equity-based programs, some have a hybrid. Be sure to be aware of this when you are receiving offers and ask questions.

One of the other cost considerations to be aware of is the cost for additional founders. Well established incubators will allow for more than one founder to participate in the program at no additional cost – This enables founders to split the incubation fees. At Empowered Startups, for example, we allow for up to 5 founders to incubate under one Canadian Startup Visa application at no additional fee. This enables more participants to experience the program and gain the insight and knowledge needed to be successful, and enables a team of founders (we know that sometimes it takes a village).

Location. Choose an incubator with a location that is beneficial to you. What ecosystem can support your business the best? In Canada for example, Vancouver & Toronto are known for producing unicorns – And have very strong networks for startups. A small search for Unicorns in 2021 will find heavy hitters with Canadian companies like Clearco, Unbounce, Wealth Simple, Slack, and Blocksteam at the top of the list. Alberta is also taking a run at becoming an emerging crypto & blockchain hub.

Some incubators will offer you the flexibility to incubate from anywhere. Empowered Startups, for example again, will allow you to incubate from anywhere in Canada. If you choose to spend your winters in Vancouver taking advantage of our network there and skiing in Whistler, and then spend your summers in Toronto taking advantage of our network there and enjoying some time at one of the lakes or cottages, that is something that we make possible.

Being accepted into a designated business incubator can be a game changer for growing your startup. These are just a few things to keep in mind, among others to keep in mind while you’re looking for the best fit. Nobody wants to join the wrong incubator, and find it a colossal waste of time and energy.

About Empowered Startups

Empowered Startups is an Innovative Startup Incubator and foundry headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. With offices in Canada, France, and Portugal, we train/mentor/ and network entrepreneurs to successfully launch new businesses in diverse markets. As a foundry we also conceive, build and launch our own products and solutions. Empowered Startups is recognized by the Canadian Government as a designated start-up business incubator and is known internationally for growing ideas into sustainable businesses using both a virtual and on-site model. Our training tools and mentorship are used and recognized by leading global university labs, Startup incubators, and innovation hubs. To apply for the Canada Startup Visa Program, visit: www.empoweredstartups.com

2021 Marks a Year of Growth for Refer HR

2021 Marks a Year of Growth for Refer HR

Startup sees exponential growth following its March 2021 launch

Vancouver, BC, 1 January 2022 Refer HR, a Vancouver-based recruiting app in incubation at Empowered Startups, had a milestone-filled year following its March 2021 launch. Spurred on by “The Great Reshuffle,” Refer HR has grown to have hundreds of users and corporate clients posting jobs through its recruitment app.

Refer HR has proven to be a hub for tech related postings in domains that include startups/incubators, marketing, sales, renewable energy, SaaS, media, and crypto currency. The postings on Refer HR have also expanded beyond Vancouver to include additional Canadian cities such as Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, and Quebec City.

“Refer HR provides an appealing and refreshing new concept when it comes to recruitment services with their user and client incentives. Not only did they find the perfect candidates for my openings, but they also always provided multiple qualified candidates to choose from. Excellent service that I would highly recommend.” –Denny Chung, CEO, Crewdioo

The response to Refer HR has been overwhelmingly positive. Hiring companies have greatly valued its unique approach to find multiple qualified candidates that are great long-term fits with their organizations. Best Startup Canada also featured Refer HR as one of the top professional networking startups in British Columbia.

 

Refer HR recognized as a valuable tool for recruitment

 

“Refer HR is by far the most supportive HR recruitment service I have worked with before. They provided strong candidates and are always on top of every stage of recruitment and onboarding. Any company looking for recruitment services should immediately consider Refer HR.” – Tuan Pham, Founder, Kidsab

 

2022 will be another year of growth for Refer HR

To meet the demand from additional users and corporate clients, Refer HR will continue to broaden the industries and roles that it serves in 2022. There are several corporate partnerships and sponsorships that are in the pipeline that will be announced next year. The Refer HR team itself will also be growing further support its growth.

 

Make Refer HR part of your job search or recruitment strategy today

If you are looking at changing jobs in 2022 or have a strong professional network that you want to recommend for positions sign up on Refer HR to keep up to date on the latest opportunities. You might even make some cash while you’re at it!

If you are a company looking to hire in 2022, create a company profile and find out how Refer HR connects you with qualified candidates that fit with the long-term needs of your organization.

About Refer HR / Blist Jobs Inc.

Blist Jobs Inc, founded in 2019, is an innovator in the employment technology and recruiting industries. Refer HR, its first product, is an easy-to-use referral platform that intelligently matches opportunities with high-quality candidates.

About Empowered Startups

Empowered Startups is an Innovative Startup Incubator and foundry headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. With offices in Canada, France, and Portugal, we train/mentor/ and network entrepreneurs to successfully launch new businesses in diverse markets. As a foundry we also conceive, build and launch our own products and solutions. Empowered Startups is recognized by the Canadian Government as a designated start-up business incubator and is known internationally for growing ideas into sustainable businesses using both a virtual and on-site model. Our training tools and mentorship are used and recognized by leading global university labs, Startup incubators, and innovation hubs. To apply for the Canada Startup Visa Program, visit: www.empoweredstartups.com

Contact Information

Billy So – CEO
Email: [email protected]

Kobe Tang – Business Development Manager
Email:  [email protected]

Address:    420-744 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC, V6C 1A5, Canada

Website: https://referhr.net/
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A Bag Built to Last – The Bag Projects: A Success Story of Sustainability

A Bag Built to Last – The Bag Projects: A Success Story of Sustainability

A bag built to last – A success story of sustainability

Vancouver, BC, 4 January 2022 – The Bag Projects, launched its limited bag collection in late August and has a growing number of sales. The B.C based company aims to make sustainable high-quality bags more accessible, thus giving people an option to live up to their standards without compromising on style. Branding and positioning often increase prices within the luxury bag segment. These costs are exactly what The Bag Projects is keeping to a minimum in order to produce great quality at an affordable price.

“As a veteran of the sourcing industry, I felt that there were pages missing in the story. The main priorities in the industry are costs and profit margin, but I believe it’s time to rethink.” Herman Wong – CEO and Founder of The Bag Projects

But, what makes these bags sustainable?

Firstly, the brand has committed to source its leather only from tanneries that are accredited by the Leather Working Group, a non-profit organization responsible for the world’s leading environmental certification for the leather manufacturing industry. Secondly, all other raw materials are sourced responsibly such as BCI Organic Cotton that has been harvested in a sustainable way for people and the environment, and polyester that is recycled. Finally, All the bags are made to order in a BSCI certified factory by experienced craftspeople. Meaning that the brand will consistently avoid overstocking, and just use resources on demand. Additionally, it is fair to assume that people tend to keep quality bags that they love and cherish for a longer time. A bag built to last is an important factor in making this product even more sustainable.

The first collection launch is just the first step towards a bigger goal. Additional features will be launched in the near future. The Bag Project plans to add a design tool that enables customers and small labels to design bags according to their style and preferences. Finally, the brand is also working on a solution that allows customers to comprehend the pricing step by step by making the pricing and supply chain as transparent as possible.

“I believe that our customers have a right to know what’s behind the price tag. That’s why I would like to introduce the open costing concept” Herman Wong – CEO and Founder of The Bag Projects

About The Bag Projects

The Bag Projects was founded in 2019 with a vision to redefine the fashion bag market. The mission is to provide a unique online shopping experience for our customers to create their own bags, from color and materials to adding a personal touch like logo or messages to the product by using cutting edge technology in 3D rendering and VR simulation.

 

About Empowered Startups

Empowered Startups is an Innovative Startup Incubator and foundry headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. With offices in Canada, France, and Portugal, we train/mentor/ and network entrepreneurs to successfully launch new businesses in diverse markets. As a foundry we also conceive, build and launch our own products and solutions.

Empowered Startups is recognized by the Canadian Government as a designated start-up business incubator and is known internationally for growing ideas into sustainable businesses using both a virtual and on-site model. Our training tools and mentorship are used and recognized by leading global university labs, Startup incubators, and innovation hubs.

To apply for the Canada Startup Visa Program, visit: www.empoweredstartups.com

Contact Information

Herman Wong – Founder and CEO
Email:              [email protected]

Address:    420-744 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC, V6C 1A5, Canada

Website: https://www.thebagprojects.com/

Photo Credit

Photo by The Bag Projects

What are the Language Requirements for the Canada Startup Visa?

What are the Language Requirements for the Canada Startup Visa?

SO, WHAT ARE THE LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE CANADA STARTUP VISA?

In order to apply for a start-up visa, you must show that you have reached Canadian Language Benchmark 5 in listening, reading, writing and speaking – But what does that mean?

To prove your language skills, you must take a language test given by an agency that is approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and then simply include the results with your application.

  • You must arrange for testing by an approved agency. You’ll have to pay the costs.
  • Include the copies of your test results with your immigration application(note: if you don’t include this, your application won’t be processed).
  • DO NOT ask for your language test result to be sent to the Centralized Intake Office. You simply submit your original test along with your application.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT?

You can use the charts located here to know exactly what Canadian Language Benchmark level you have based on your test results. You then use the test results as proof of your language proficiency.

You can use language test results for 2 years from the time you take the test.

For more details on the language proficiency needed for the Startup Visa, visit the Government of Canada website 

HOW DO I APPLY?

Apply for the Canada Startup Visa Program on our website here: https://apply.empoweredstartups.com/canada-startup-visa/

 

 

About Empowered Startups

Empowered Startups is an Innovative Startup Incubator and foundry headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. With offices in Canada, France, and Portugal, we train/mentor/ and network entrepreneurs to successfully launch new businesses in diverse markets. As a foundry we also conceive, build and launch our own products and solutions.

Empowered Startups is recognized by the Canadian Government as a designated start-up business incubator and is known internationally for growing ideas into sustainable businesses using both a virtual and on-site model. Empowered Startups mentors, accelerates, and incubates innovative domestic and global business ideas. Our training tools and mentorship are used and recognized by leading global university labs, Startup incubators, and innovation hubs.

Notable EdTech products under the Empowered Startups Umbrella: Young Empowered Startuppers (YES) – A fully integrated e-learning platform for high schools that guides teachers and students on an innovative entrepreneurial journey starting with an idea and ending with a viable and pitch ready venture, and Empowered Nations – providing specialized entrepreneurship training, mentorship, and tools through an Indigenous lens.

FurrySitter Explores Trust Issues Related to Pet Care Services

FurrySitter Explores Trust Issues Related to Pet Care Services

VANCOUVER, B.C., November 15, 2021— FurrySitter Ltd., a startup in incubation at Empowered Startups, has recently kickstarted two academic research projects, assessing the emotional barriers that prevent pet owners from trusting pet care services. Two teams of students from Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Douglas College are working diligently with the founder to reveal new insights related to those barriers. The research will be conducted over 2 months, aiming to support the founder with uncovering the underlying concerns of pet owners.

Bridging the Gap In Canada, 58% of the households have at least one cat or dog (Source: Canadian Animal Health Institute). However, FurrySitters previous research indicates that many pet owners still show hesitation to the idea of finding pet sitters and trainers online.

“People feel comfortable paying to live in someone’s home, get a ride in someone’s car, or even leave their kids in daycare,  but they struggle to trust someone to take care of their pet. I strongly believe that there is a gap in the market. I hope to address this gap by using a design thinking approach to identify the root cause and solve it with an innovative platform”

Sandy Tang, Founder of FurrySitter

Sandy discovered this gap while interviewing a large sample of pet owners. However, this phenomenon is not surprising to her and motivated the founder to get into more granular market research. Her goal is to learn more about the underlying concerns. Initial findings from KPU students show that even if pet owners haven’t had any bad pet sitting experience before, they will do everything to avoid it.

Finding a good pet sitter is always a challenge for pet owners, leaving them to ask for referrals, read through pages of reviews of sitters and still feel uncomfortable when using the service. FurrySitter wants to change this, and is therefore introducing a new standard to define “trustworthy and dependable pet sitting service”.

Research to explore the true needs and expectations of pet owners

Research projects have been launched in collaboration with Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Douglas College. Two teams are assessing the underlying concerns and frustration of pet owners while learning more about their desired outcomes related to pet care.  The students work closely with the founder and their professors to identify the root causes.

“It has been a great experience for my students to work with FurrySitter as they get ready for market launch. Firstly, we fulfill our mandate to provide hands-on experience to our students. Secondly, and most importantly, they have a chance to help a promising service concept addressing a real market need to become a reality.” – Marcelo Machado, Ph.D., Professor of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Melville School of Business

The research aims to analyze the topic from different angles. Thus, various design-thinking methodologies for primary research are used, such as narrative interviewing including laddering, engaging focus groups, and launching surveys with potential customers.

Based on the initial analysis from both institutions, FurrySitter will further adjust its product. The solution and its features that aim to address the unmet needs will then be exposed to the target audience again to get customer inputs and validate solution fit. All these findings will turn into the design and experience of the initial prototype of the platform. The goal is to soft launch the platform in early 2022, hoping to bring a new pet care experience to the first group of customers. FurrySitter brings pet care services to a new level by offering quality services with professional pet sitters and trainers.

The venture has already lined up its next marketing-related projects to reach its audience starting at the beginning of next year. Collaborations involve Simon Fraser University and the University of Lethbridge.

About FurrySitter

Founded in 2020, with the mission to bring happiness to pets and pet owners by uplifting their pet care service experience. FurrySitter hopes to relieve the hassles and provide more choices to pet owners by connecting them to a group of professionals for dependable caring services for their pets.

About Empowered Startups

Empowered Startups is an Innovative Startup Incubator and foundry headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. With offices in Canada, France, and Portugal, we train/mentor/ and network entrepreneurs to successfully launch new businesses in diverse markets. As a foundry we also conceive, build and launch our own products and solutions.

Empowered Startups is recognized by the Canadian Government as a designated start-up business incubator and is known internationally for growing ideas into sustainable businesses using both a virtual and on-site model. Empowered Startups mentors, accelerates, and incubates innovative domestic and global business ideas. Our training tools and mentorship are used and recognized by leading global university labs, Startup incubators, and innovation hubs.

Notable EdTech products under the Empowered Startups Umbrella: Young Empowered Startuppers (YES) – A fully integrated e-learning platform for high schools that guides teachers and students on an innovative entrepreneurial journey starting with an idea and ending with a viable and pitch ready venture, and Empowered Nations – providing specialized entrepreneurship training, mentorship, and tools through an Indigenous lens.

FurrySitter Contact Information

Sandy Tang – Founder & CEO
Email:              [email protected]

Address:    420-744 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC, V6C 1A5, Canada

Website: www.furrysitter.com

Image credit: Eddie Galaxy – Pexels

Empowered Startups’ HQA Visa Program Featured in Investment Migration Insider

Empowered Startups’ HQA Visa Program Featured in Investment Migration Insider

Portugal’s newest path to citizenship offers a genuine opportunity for long-term prosperity in the EU. The HQA program’s hypergrowth in the last two years evidences the trend. Americans (and others) looking to make the most out of a post pandemic boom are seeking an alternative to a Golden Visa. 

Read more about it in this article featuring Empowered Startups Managing Director – Europe, Laura Bock Blumes & Shawn Olson, Empowered Startups VP of Business Development. 

“We create custom-built plans for every one of our HQA founders.”

-Shawn Olson, VP of Business Development – Empowered Startups

About Empowered Startups

Empowered Startups is an Innovative Startup Incubator and foundry headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. With offices in Canada, France, and Portugal, we train/mentor/ and network entrepreneurs to successfully launch new businesses in diverse markets. As a foundry we also conceive, build and launch our own products and solutions.

Empowered Startups is recognized by the Canadian Government as a designated start-up business incubator and is known internationally for growing ideas into sustainable businesses using both a virtual and on-site model. Empowered Startups mentors, accelerates, and incubates innovative domestic and global business ideas. Our training tools and mentorship are used and recognized by leading global university labs, Startup incubators, and innovation hubs.

Notable EdTech products under the Empowered Startups Umbrella: Young Empowered Startuppers (YES) – A fully integrated e-learning platform for high schools that guides teachers and students on an innovative entrepreneurial journey starting with an idea and ending with a viable and pitch ready venture, and Empowered Nations – providing specialized entrepreneurship training, mentorship, and tools through an Indigenous lens.