Canada’s Approved Startup Accelerators & Incubators & VCs

Applying to a startup accelerator a great business opportunity if you have wish to develop your own business. It is known, that Canada is a land of opportunities especially for entrepreneurs who would like to start their own business in Canada.

The Start-up Visa Program is one of the best business immigration programs for business people to obtain permanent resident status, which can then lead to citizenship.

In order to apply for the Start-up Visa Program, the business idea or venture must obtain and get approved the letter of support from one or more designated organizations approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

In fact, designated organizations are business groups that are approved to invest in start-ups or support them through the process of Start-up Visa Program.

The designated organizations are venture capital funds, angel investor groups or business incubators. They review the business idea to see how successful they will be. If the business idea is approved to be supported by them, they will issue a Letter of Support.

If you plan to start your application with a business incubator, first you should consider your business and personal needs included in your proposal to see which incubator best suits you. Depending on your field of business there are some incubators with their own requirements.

So, preferably, the proposal should be submitted to more than one incubator. Each organization has its own requirements. For example, you may be asked to present your business concept in person or submit a detailed business plan.

Here is the list of approved business incubators:

  • Alacrity Foundation – The Alacrity Cleantech program supports the scale-up of B.C. clean technology companies to encourage export activities in select international markets.
  • Alberta Agriculture and Forestry
  • Alberta IoT Association –Alberta IoT is dedicated to establishing Alberta as a worldwide leader in the Internet of Things (IoT).
  • Biomedical Commercialization Canada Inc. (operating as Manitoba Technology Accelerator)– MTA is the leading business accelerator in Manitoba. It is designed for entrepreneurs with a scientific or technology oriented business idea or early-stage companies.
  • Brilliant Catalyst– Our mission is to build a community of experts, influencers, entrepreneurs and advisors to fuel innovative change and put more Canadian ventures on the map. We create one-of-a-kind learning experiences to help the Ontario Tech community not just learn but truly thrive.
  • Creative Destruction Lab– Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) is a nonprofit organization that delivers an objectives-based program for massively scalable, seed-stage, science- and technology-based companies.
  • DMZ Ventures – Driving global innovation is also a priority. We have a worldwide network of partnerships that are shaping the future of the digital economy.  DMZ Ventures is the for-profit investment arm of Toronto Metropolitan University.
  • Empowered Startups Ltd. –Empowered Startups specializes in bringing local and global ideas to market in Canada. We offer proven and potential entrepreneurs the opportunity to startup in Canada through our designation as a Canada Startup Visa business incubator, as well as our appointment as a designated agency under the new Alberta Foreign Graduate Startup Visa Stream (FGSVS.)
  • Extreme Innovations – At Extreme Innovations, we create businesses. We bring together ideas, entrepreneurial teams and solid technological foundation to build great products and businesses. Today, connected devices all over the world, whether personal mobile phones or tracking devices on airplanes, are generating a wealth of real-time and actionable data points. This phenomenon is creating an astonishing level of opportunity to serve customers in innovative, improved and customized ways. We are passionate about harnessing this greater, collective intelligence of the Internet.
  • Genesis Centre – Genesis companies are solving real-world problems, from right here in Newfoundland and Labrador! Check out some of the amazing things Enterprise start-ups are doing.
  • Highline BETA Inc. –We are a hybrid corporate venture studio + VC firm that evolves the traditional management consulting model to turn ideas into action, not just strategize in the clouds. We invest alongside our corporate partners to make success real, not theoretical.
  • Innovacorp –Early stage investment is at the core of our work. We make equity investments directly in start-ups and in privately managed funds like Build Ventures and Concrete Ventures.
  • Innovation Factory –Innovation Factory is a business accelerator, dedicated to helping Ontario-based businesses launch, scale, and succeed.  We provide start-ups, and scaling companies with advisory services, training, mentorship, and strategic connections to help bring disruptive technologies to market, leverage intellectual property, increase revenues, attract investment and create jobs.
  • Interactive Niagara Media Cluster o/a Innovate Niagara – Innovate Niagara is one of 17 Regional Innovation Centres in Ontario. Our mission is clear: we exist to support innovative entrepreneurs and companies from a variety of industries to start, grow and succeed. Innovate Niagara provides the structure, services, and resources you need to get your great idea off the ground.
  • Invest Ottawa – Invest Ottawa is the lead economic development agency for knowledge-based industries in Canada’s Capital, facilitating economic growth and job creation in Ottawa. Guided by a vision to help realize Ottawa’s full potential as a globally recognized, innovative, inclusive, and future-ready city, Invest Ottawa delivers venture development, global expansion and talent programs and services that catalyze the growth and success of entrepreneurs and firms.
  • Knowledge Park o/a Planet Hatch – Planet Hatch opened its doors in the fall of 2013 with the mission of supporting startup entrepreneurs through integrated program service delivery and creative physical infrastructure. Since then, we’ve supported over 200 new companies that have created 400 local jobs. Approximately 80% of our ‘graduates’ are still in business and growing today.Now we’re on a mission to help entrepreneurs and startups grow into well-positioned, internationally competitive companies that will contribute to New Brunswick’s economic growth and community prosperity.
  • L-SPARK – L-SPARK is the destination for Canada’s startup and tech ecosystem to learn, share, plan, execute, measure, adjust, scale and succeed.
  • LatAm Startups –LatAm Startups is a non-profit accelerator in Toronto that works exclusively with international startups and newcomers based in Canada.
  • Launch Academy – Vancouver –Launch’s Maple Program is designed to help emerging tech companies expand their business to North America. We help tech companies identify the best path for immigration for their team and their families throughStartup Visa, Express Entry, Provincial Nomination, or Global Talent Stream.
  • LaunchPad PEI Inc. –LaunchPad PEI is a non-profit incubator that supports the growth of new technology companies in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Built on a foundation of past success, LaunchPad PEI provides valuable support services in a professional working environment for new companies in Prince Edward Island to grow.
  • Millworks Centre for Entrepreneurship –Founded in May 2016, Millworks – Centre for Entrepreneurship began a new approach to fully embrace the importance of supporting new and existing businesses in the community. With support through the City of Sault Ste. Marie, in conjunction with the Ministry of Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, along with the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, a strong ecosystem of stakeholders and supporters has been created. This ecosystem has allowed Millworks to deliver programs and services to Sault Ste. Marie and the Algoma Region.
  • NEXT Canada –Canada’s strongest and most dedicated entrepreneurial network made up of 500+ top Canadian academics, entrepreneurs, investors and founders. We rally around the next generation of entrepreneurs, making it hard for them to fail.
  • North Forge East Ltd. – We are North Forge East, a member of the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO). Headquarters based in Pinawa, North Forge East is the first non-profit, innovation based, regional business incubator in Eastern Manitoba. We help entrepreneurs with strong business ideas develop in the area by offering access to mentors, subject matter experts and guidance as they progress through the start-up program. We also offer free digital prototyping services, 3D printing lab access and training. North Forge East is funded and supported by organizations such as the Local Government District of Pinawa, University of Manitoba, Red River College and the Canadian National Energy Alliance.
  • North Forge Technology Exchange – We are North Forge Technology Exchange – an incubator accelerator and a powerhouse entrepreneur community fueling Manitoba’s innovative science-based, technology-enabled, and advanced manufacturing startups. We curate resources by providing entrepreneurs with award-winning mentors, rockstar subject matter experts and a four-stage startup program. Armed with North America’s largest non-profit fabrication lab, we operate out of 27,000 square feet across Innovation Drive and Innovation Alley in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
  • Pacific Technology Ventures – Pacific Technology Ventures (Pactech)’s mission is to help build the next generation of innovative tech entrepreneurs who are prepared to build a thriving business in Western Canada and scale globally. We are committed to accelerating the global success of local Canadian companies and increasing access to North American markets for international companies. Over the years, the Pactech team has helped incubate more than 100+ startups in Western Canada and is looking forward to creating diverse opportunities in the startup eco-system, both locally in Canada and globally.
  • Platform Calgary – Platform Calgary brings together the resources of Calgary’s tech ecosystem to help startups launch and grow at every step of their journey, from ideation through to scale. We focus on making all parts of Calgary’s startup tech sector better resourced, connected and prominent.  Behind every great innovator is a great community. The newly opened Platform Innovation Centreis the front door to this community — a single point of access for people as they navigate Calgary’s innovation ecosystem
  • Pycap Inc (o/a Pycap Venture Partners) – Pycap is registered by the Canadian Federal Government as a Designated Organization for the Startup Visa Program, offering the following:
    • Facilitating Canadian immigration for foreign entrepreneurs
    • Providing a game changing incubation program to launch a business in Canada,  raise capital, and expand throughout North America
    • Fastest processing time for evaluation and issuing a Letter of Support
    • Select candidates may be eligible for up to $300K in financing
  • Real Investment Fund III L.P. o/a FounderFuel – FounderFuel combines the value of Real Ventures’ support and networks with an OKR-based approach to success to power a 4-month experience with insightful mentors, intensive networking events, expert-led seminars, and more… culminating in Canada’s biggest Demo Day.
  • Roseview Global Incubator – Roseview Global Incubator is the culmination of years of experience in the startup ecosystem. From founding the Golden Triangle Angel network, to mentoring thousands of startups, RGI has a depth of expertise unparalleled in the Waterloo/Toronto innovation corridor. Our specialty is the international entrepreneur and Start-up Visa (SUV) applicants. We use our extensive experience, skills and knowledge to refine your business plan from ideation to executable launch. We bring in leading industry professionals to create a tailored approach for your company. Your success is our success.
  • Spark Commercialization and Innovation Centre – Here at Spark Centre we serve technology and innovation entrepreneurs in the Durham Region and Northumberland County who require knowledge and support to launch, develop and grow. We do this through a curriculum-based program at our business incubator. By becoming a client, you are committing to following through with our action plans, meetings, and networking.
  • Spring Activator – Spring acts globally as a collaborative partner to guide and empower change-makers with high-impact knowledge, tools, and a network to help them thrive. Our services span training programs, capacity-building, mentorship, advisory services, and more. No matter where you are on your impact journey—from impact curious to impact committed—we invite you to become a part of the Spring Community.
  • The DMZ at Ryerson University – The DMZ is a world-leading incubator for tech startups around the world. We help startups build great businesses by connecting them with customers, capital, experts and a community of entrepreneurs and influencers. For us, this means creating an environment where you can focus on scaling your business. We help with the rest.
  • Think8 Global Institute – The Think8 Global Institute is the center for ‘new think’ offering Training Courses and Business Design Consulting based on its entirely innovative system – The 8-Step Scale™. Created by Co-Founders Mark Shekter and Nancy Trites Botkin, the system identifies and handles the 8 key points common to all successful businesses, careers and activities. The 8-Step Scale™ has revolutionized the way executives, entrepreneurs, industry leaders and anyone with a passion for meaningful change thinks about how to generate long-term prosperity in their chosen fields.Thousands have been trained globally, and scores of companies from Start-Ups to Fortune 500’s have generated multi-millions in increased cumulative revenue. The Institute also trains Masters’ Degree candidates in Business Schools in this ‘new think’ to be the productive, visionary leaders of tomorrow.
  • Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC) – Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC) offers support for launching, growing, and scaling start-ups. Our motto is to help grow the next wave of tech start-ups in Toronto through its Start-up Visa Program. TBDC is the first start-up incubator in Toronto and offers access to key resources such as business advisory support and a professional environment to establish your business. TBDC motivates entrepreneurial-minded individuals from diverse communities to develop their business plans and to effectively start up their companies through a variety of tailored programs.
  • Treefrog – We don’t re-invent the wheel, unless a better wheel is possible.Treefrog works with virtually every major development platform and has the capabilities to create new applications from scratch… but we don’t abandon existing infrastructure if it can be successfully adapted to your objective.This is an important distinction because many firms want to sell you their solution whereas, we want to create a solution that is ideally suited to your needs. It is an approach that produces better results and generally costs less.
  • TSRV Canada Inc. (operating as Techstars Canada) –Techstars is an operational investor supporting you on your entrepreneurial journey from idea to building the most successful business possible! Built and run by entrepreneurs themselves, we understand the complexities of putting your ideas into action and scaling them. Our global network can support you by providing accessibility to capital, mentoring, finding customers, hiring talent, choosing the right infrastructure and so on… No matter what phase of building your business you are in… Techstars can support!
  • University of Toronto Entrepreneurship Hatchery – Founded in 2012, The Entrepreneurship Hatchery provides a comprehensive suite of programs and services designed to help students with entrepreneurial ambitions form teams, develop new competencies and launch their companies. Over the last five years, The Hatchery has helped to launch over 94 new startups, which collectively have raised close to $64 million in seed funding.
  • VIATEC – VIATEC’s mission is to cultivate the most cohesive tech community in the world by providing resources to tackle shared opportunities and challenges while boosting a sense of belonging and shaping our region. VIATEC started in 1989, when a community of technologists and entrepreneurs joined together to share information on how to build companies and support the tech industry. Since then Victoria’s economy has changed dramatically and its brand has been transformed.
  • Waterloo Accelerator Centre –At the AC, we exist to help ambitious dreamers like you impact global change through your business. We’re your hub for action that provides an extensive selection of customizable opportunities for you to tap into—allowing you to rapidly bring your innovation to life.
  • York Entrepreneurship Development Institute – York Entrepreneurship Development Institute is a charitable organization (no. 81209 5735 RR0001) whose mission is to provide top-tier business education and mentorship to innovative entrepreneurs from any sector or industry in order to build and accelerate successful businesses and efficient not-for-profit organizations. YEDI is committed to ensuring that ideas with high impact are not lost due to lack of knowledge during the start-up process. YEDI guides innovators to refine their ideas and create tested proof of concepts that are attractive to investors and will benefit Canadian society. 

Business incubators help start-ups grow by offering a range of services, which can include:

  • physical space and facilities
  • capital
  • business mentoring
  • networking connections

Once accepted by an incubator, you will receive a letter of support which you need to include in your Start-up Visa application. The processing time for the Start-up visa is usually between 12 and 18 months.

If your Start-up Visa application is well prepared, and all of the required documents are provided, the Start-up Visa success rate for startups that are supported by business incubators will be about 78% according to IRCC statistics.

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