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For Indian startups that want to reach out to the Canadian markets, here is a chance.

Over the decades, Canada has developed an ecosystem that has been phenomenal for entrepreneurs all around the world. The programs offered by Canada to support, motivate and accelerate the startup development in the country have been remarkable over the years.

The Next Big Idea Program (NBI), a Zone Startup initiative, is creating a networking opportunity for Indian startups with the Canadian market for startups interested in targeting North American and Canadian markets or aspire to build a presence there.

The 8th Edition of the NBI is getting launched today at 6.00 pm through a virtual event where, panelists from Zone Startup’s management and delegates from Canada and Ontario will be present.

The last seven editions have witnessed 49 startups soft-land into Canada to explore and expand their businesses into the Canadian market. Over 90% of these companies have gone onto raise funds beyond Series-A investments, cumulatively raising over US$ 325 million, and more than a third of these companies have grown globally and have set up offices overseas.

Hemant Gupta, MD, BRTSIF/ Zone Startups India (ZSI), told The Tech Panda that Indian startups can look at a great opportunity in Canada.

“With  its incubators, funding, low business costs, tax incentives, funding backed by the government and especially the startup visa program that offers Canadian permanent residence to qualified immigrant entrepreneurs and their family,” he says.

“We are providing comprehensive support to the startups by catering to all three modes of expansion into Canada and North America. These include finding a business partner in Canada, setting up a subsidiary office in Canada, as well as shifting the business to Canada. Also, given the  vast differences between the provinces in Canada, it is critically important that we ensure that the startup finds the right landing spot with the appropriate product-market fit. Our provincial experts from Canada will be providing that guidance also to participating startups,” he adds.

How Next Big Idea and Zone Startup are Helping Startups

Based on their experience in running NBI for seven years, and given the current situation, they have broken the program into three carefully thought through phases that help startups hit the ground running when they land in Canada.

“The phases start with educating startups on the opportunities in Canada and help them in making informed decision about expanding into Canada. Once the startup has decided to expand into Canada, the next phase helps them prepare for landing in Canada by not only having their documentation and finances in order, but  also determining where to land and establishing a support network before landing,” explains Gupta.

The final phase will take them to the designated destination and connect them with stakeholders on the ground that will help them launch their businesses.

About Zone Startups India

Zone Startups is an international network of incubators/accelerators that was founded by Ryerson University, Toronto, in 2010. ZSI (also known as BIL-Ryerson Technology Startup Incubator Foundation- BRTSIF) is accredited by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, and is a joint initiative between Bombay Stock Exchange Institute, Ryerson University (Toronto), and Simon Fraser University (Vancouver).

ZSI has also been granted a seed support fund by DST to support its incubatees. In India, ZSI has a host of local and international programs that promote innovation and entrepreneurship across sectors and domains and work closely with local and international stakeholders. Since 2014, ZSI has incubated over 140 startups and accelerated over 290 startups.

About NBI

Established as a joint-initiative with the Government of Ontario, Canada, to identify and support innovative Indian tech startups looking to expand to Canada, the NBI program over the past seven Editions, has gone on to attract multiple stakeholders from both Canada and India, such as provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, with industry partners such as RBC, IBM, Amazon Web Services, HDFC Bank, Google, and TCS to name a few.

In its 8th Edition, the NBI is launching a brand new version and is structured around three phases, Awareness -> Preparation -> Immersion, to give the program a more comprehensive approach to support Indian tech startups and entrepreneurs in exploring and expanding to Canada and globally.


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