Here’s the startup news making headlines today on other Web sites and blogs. The Canadian government is considering a start-up visa for immigrants, a Toronto-based accelerator program will soon be looking for talented teams, and how good is your provincial government at being open?.
Visa for entrepreneurs
The Canadian government is now conducting consultations on the idea of creating a “start-up visa” that would attract immigrant entrepreneurs. Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced the initiative today, saying “we need to proactively target a new type of immigrant entrepreneur who has the potential to build innovative companies that can compete on a global scale and create jobs for Canadians.” Citizenship and Immigration Canada will talk with industry associations about the visa program over the next few months. An independent team at Startup Visa Canada formed in September 2010 to encourage international entrepreneurs to start a company in Canada and has lobbied the government for help in the past.
Toronto accelerator soon to accept applications
Extreme Startups is preparing to accept its second cohort of startup firms. Applicants have a shot of $200,000 and participating in a 12-week acceleration program in downtown Toronto. Extreme Strartups evolved from Extreme University, and publicly launched Jan. 31. It supports 10 companies per year and is funded by investment firms including the Business Development Bank of Canada, OMERS Ventures, and Rho Canada Ventures. The accelerator’s first cohort is already hard at work, but won’t be publicly revealed until a June 19 demo day. The program received about 500 applications for the five spots available in its first cohort.
Open governments ranked
The Stratford Institute has rated Canada’s provinces and territories on eGovernment initiatives and British Columbia has come out on top overall. The study looks at the online services on offer, the online engagement of citizens, and the presentation of online information. It dives deep into several different aspects related to accessing business information such as licensing information and offers unique insights. Alberta is the only province offering up such information via a mobile-accessible format, for example.