Minister Alexander addresses community and industry leaders at Startup Canada Day on the Hill

OTTAWA, Nov. 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Building on the momentum of the launch of Canada's Start-Up Visa (SUV) Program earlier this year, Canada's Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander spoke to members of Canada's startup community and industry leaders today as part of Startup Canada Day on the Hill.

"Innovation and entrepreneurship drives economic growth and helps to secure future prosperity for all Canadians," said Alexander. "Immigration is vital to innovation and to meeting Canada's economic and labour market needs."

Startup Canada Day on the Hill is organized by Startup Canada, which represents more than 55,000 entrepreneurs, over 400 partner organizations and over 250 volunteers.

Earlier this year, Citizenship and Immigration Canada launched the SUV Program. The SUV Program is the first of its kind in the world, providing sought-after entrepreneurs with permanent residency and access to a wide range of business partners. Through this bold new program Canada hopes to become a destination of choice for start-up innovators, which will help Canada remain competitive in the global economy.

The SUV is a five-year pilot program and is limited to no more than 2,750 applications per year. It is designed to attract high quality and select entrepreneurs who can advance the Government's innovation agenda. In addition to standard admissibility requirements, SUV applicants must meet certain program eligibility criteria.

In October, Minister Alexander announced that the program was being expanded to include a new stream for business incubators. The Business Incubator stream complements existing venture capital and angel investor streams by attracting early-stage and high growth businesses, and entrepreneurs who can contribute to a culture of innovation and commercialization in Canada.

"Government plays an important role in supporting and empowering entrepreneurs, who are the backbone of Canada's prosperity," said Alexander. "Our government will continue our efforts to attract the best and brightest immigrant entrepreneurs, who have the potential to build innovative companies that can create jobs for Canadians and compete on a global scale."

SOURCE: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

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Photos of Minister Alexander are available.

For further information (media only), please contact:

Alexis Pavlich
Minister's Office
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Media Relations 
Communications Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada's economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.


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