The Globe & Mail: Our Founder’s Thoughts On The New Normal

The Globe & Mail: Our Founder’s Thoughts On The New Normal

In late 2021,  The Globe & Mail asked executives of Canada’s Top Growing Companies to tell them how they’re preparing for an eventual return to normal. Our Founder, Paul Girodo was one of those executives.

Thought Leadership on “The New Normal” from Paul Girodo

“I’m concerned that companies and governments will pursue “return to normal” by expanding the consumption model loved by past generations. Clearly the world is no longer “normal.” How companies manufacture everything from energy to food to clothing to kids’ toys must change immediately.

Businesses and governments have helped create the climate crisis, but they also hold the power to quickly address it through regulatory capitalism.

My personal vision for worldwide sustainability features a business environment where companies and entrepreneurs make significantly more money from protecting, improving and promoting the natural environment than from doing the opposite. The right mix of capitalism and government legislation can save and protect ecosystems throughout the world while creating substantially more jobs than could be realized through aggressive natural resource uses.

If we “return to normal,” then humans will ultimately live in pain and conflict, and on borrowed time.”

For more information on Empowered Startups, or to apply for any of our programs visit empoweredtartups.com

Photo by S Migaj from Pexels

Job Posting: Start-Up Leader

Based in Vancouver (Canada), we mentor, accelerate and incubate innovative domestic and global business ideas. We work with both aspiring and driven entrepreneurial leaders capable of building outstanding startups that enhance the prosperity of the chosen ecosystem.

At the heart of it all, we deliver proven and powerful training, tools, mentorship and networking that leverages a state-of-the-art digital learning and workspace, paired with ongoing in-person and collaborative opportunity and workspace.

Job Overview

We are looking for an experienced entrepreneur or intrapreneur, and/or individual with proven business experience to join our Startup Leader team and actively mentor, coach, monitor and connect a dynamic and diverse group of transnational entrepreneurs in our Startup Visa Incubator.

As a Startup Leader your focus will be on assisting founders navigate their startup journey in Canada using a Lean Startup approach, while leveraging both a digital and in-person workspace. This means road-mapping and mentoring ventures ranging from ideation stage through till early scaling. Specific jobs to be done include supporting founders through validation experiments, prototyping, asset development, initial offer building, and aligning and connecting founders to key partners within Empowered Startups extensive network.  Supporting the continued growth and opportunity to be found within our network, will also be critical.

On a daily basis you will also be responsible for assisting in tracking Empowered Startups’ Vancouver based incubator’s portfolio of active ventures, and maintaining up-to-date reporting on all venture activity to be shared regularly with the leadership team and other requesting bodies.

Your goal is to ensure high quality and timely coaching, mentorship and networking is being delivered to all ventures in the incubator providing all founders with the best chance at success with their startup in Canada.

The ideal candidate will be a project oriented, self-leader who can pro-actively problem solve and identify jobs-to-be-done.  You should enjoy working in a multi-cultural landscape, love to coach and connect people, and be driven to seek out success for both yourself and others.

To Apply, Please Send a Copy of your Resume To: [email protected]

Responsibilities and Duties

  • Organize and execute welcome and strategic planning sessions for incoming founders
  • Effectively coach and mentor all assigned ventures through a Lean startup framework during a two year incubation period
  • Build and maintain a regular and timely mentorship schedule using both our digital and in-person workspace
  • Maintain up-to-date reporting on all ventures progress
  • Support and finalize academic research deals
  • Help founders effectively utilize Empowered’s network of business, research and prototyping affiliates
  • Actively contribute to the growth of Empowered’s network
  • Provide recommendations and support to founders in building business updates as requested by concerned bodies
  • Discover and implement ways to enhance efficiency and productivity of job-to-be-done within the incubator
  • Support ongoing development of expanded and cutting-edge curriculum and events
  • Keep senior leadership informed with detailed and accurate reporting

 Qualifications

  • A post-secondary degree
  • Proven track record in business leadership, intrapreneurship, and/or entrepreneurship
  • Experience Coaching, mentoring and/or facilitating
  • Experience and/or deep passion working in a multi-cultural environment
  • Desire to learn, and love for system implementation and project management
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Thrive in a dynamic environment with a high level of responsibility
  • Self-leader and problem solver
  • Able to work full time in our office space in downtown Vancouver, Canada

 To Apply

To Apply, Please Send a Copy of your Resume To: [email protected]

 

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

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. Tp apply for any of our programs visit empoweredstartups.com

Frequently Asked Questions: USA EB2 Startup Investor Program

Frequently Asked Questions: USA EB2 Startup Investor Program

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE EB2 NATIONAL INTREST WAIVER STARTUP INVESTOR PROGRAM

At Empowered Startups we get a lot of questions about the EB2 National Interest Waiver Program for the United States. Below you’ll see the answers to our most frequently asked questions.

 

WHAT IS THE NATIONAL INTEREST WAIVER?

The NIW allows applicants to apply to the EB-2 Immigration Program in the United States without having a valid job offer. In other words, the NIW waives the job offer requirement if you can establish that your activities/knowledge could be beneficial to the national interest of the United States. A great example of this is investing in an innovative startup and supporting R&D that is in the national interest of the USA.

 

WHAT ARE THE Program Qualifications?

  • Advanced degree: Bachelor’s degree + 5 years’ work experience in the same field
  • The applicant’s work experience must include management experience
  • The project must be beneficial to the U.S.
  • The applicant must demonstrate that they are a domain expert and/or an innovative entrepreneur or business person capable of growth
  • You must provide proof of lawful source of funds used for the investment.

 

How does the program work?

It’s pretty simple. Empowered Startups supports the applicant by identifying a project of national interest that is also within the applicants domain of expertise and interest, and then facilitates demonstrating that 1) the project they would like to do in the United States has substantial merit and national importance; 2) that the applicant is well-positioned to conduct the project; and 3) the applicant has the necessary business incubation support to potentially create positive impact in a specific area that is in the national interest of the USA.

 

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF THIS PROGRAM?

  • Applicants obtain a Green Card (permanent residence status) in USA for themselves and family members
  • Dependents included:
    • Spouses are welcome
    • Children under 21 are welcome
  • The right to live, work, and study in the USA
  • There is no language requirement
  • Extremely fast processing time
  • Direct pathway to United States citizenship after 5 years

 

WHAT KIND OF INVESTMENT IS NEEDED?

  • Startup investment of at least $300,000 USD
  • A significant part of the investment (at least 75,000 USD) must be reserved for R&D for your project
  • Research and Development must be supported by governmentally backed U.S. research facilities
  • Main applicant must own 100% of the legal entity conducting the business and innovation project in the U.S.

 

WHAT IS THE PROCESS?

  1. Submit the completed application forms and required documents to Empowered Startups
  2. Schedule an intake interview with Empowered Startups and be accepted into the program
  3. Work alongside Empowered Startups to obtain the National Interest Waiver
  4. File for the immigrant visa/adjustment of status allowing the applicant and family members to get their green cards
  5. The application processing time varies
  6. Typical processing time is within 12-16 months for countries not experiencing backlog

 

HOW DO I APPLY?

Apply on our website here: https://empoweredstartups.com/eb2-visa-information-request/

 

 

 

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.

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.