The great thing about Canada is truly our diversity, and it shows. We celebrate a broad range of experiences, input and ideas to achieve innovative success every day. But how do we celebrate it? How do we, as a nation, a province, a region, an innovation centre, show the importance of inclusivity and diversity in the work that we do as entrepreneurs and innovators, that develop our nation? With the Startup Visa Program.

Today, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains and Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed Hussen announced the federal government’s decision to make the Startup Visa Program permanent at the Ryerson DMZ headquarters in Toronto.


The Startup Visa Program is a game changer.

The program will leverage our nation’s diversity, which is key to accelerating innovation in Canada. ventureLAB’s home here in Markham, as part of York Region, is one of the most diverse and innovative communities in Canada. We are excited to see the benefit that grows the critical talent pipeline for tech entrepreneurs and global high tech multinationals as a result of the Startup Visa Program‘s permanency.

Mary Ng, MP for Markham-Thornhill attended the announcement in support of the diverse community her riding serves.

The Startup Visa Program has been around for several years but was only made permanent today. The program allows international entrepreneurs to attain permanent residency in Canada, allowing them to tap into our innovative ecosystem and create jobs here at home to stimulate economic growth.

By co-locating physically within the Canadian IBM Headquarters, in the IBM Innovation Space – Markham Convergence Centre, ventureLAB is able to take this initiative one step further by creating a direct connection between IBM, a global high tech company and the entrepreneurs that create change. 

Every day at ventureLAB, we hear stories from our entrepreneurs about the decision they made to come to Canada to start an innovative business and be at the forefront of the nation’s tech community. The message is clear, Canada is a place to innovate.