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We have supported the entry of 200+ start-ups into Canada’s business landscape: Vikram Khurana, Chair, TBDC 

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Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC) is an established NPO (non-profit organization) from the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It works entirely for the development and promotion of startups. TBDC is known for motivating entrepreneurial-minded individuals from diverse communities and nurturing them to set up fruitful businesses by giving swift advisory support and a professional environment for growth. Express Computer had a chance to speak to Vikram Khurana, Chair, TBDC and ask a couple of questions regarding startups, TBDC’s recent offerings and thier future plans. 

Here’s an exceprt of the same:

  • How do you support local Indian start-ups to go global?

First, we introduce Indian entrepreneurs to mentors, subject matter experts, VCs, and other resources. Second, we help these entrepreneurs find and hire talent. In case they need someone who is part of our accelerator ecosystem here, we identify people to represent an entrepreneur’s business. Third, we help entrepreneurs with operations. We support by connecting entrepreneurs to mentors, we also provide office space and an environment where they can learn and adapt to the new ecosystem. At TBDC, our programming offers a six-month intensive exercise. The propensity of entrepreneurs among Indians to come on a one-way ticket, armed with a strong zeal to succeed is the only reason why TBDC aims to support over 300 Indian entrepreneurs/startups in ramping up their growth trajectory by setting up their base in Canada by 2025. TBDC has already supported 200+ start-ups secure entry into Canada’s business landscape through the Start-Up Visa Program, giving them access to 100+ mentor networks, VC and PE funds in Ontario, and prime office space in the heart of Toronto.

  • Any recent programs or offers that you guys are offering that may be lucrative for start-up professionals?

We offer two programs – the Start-Up Visa program and Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program – Entrepreneur Success Initiative. The SUV program grants permanent residence to immigrant entrepreneurs while assisting them in establishing a base in Canada. It is a catalyst program to attract talent from around the world, especially from India. It complements the thriving startup ecosystem in Canada that offers a stable political climate, favorable socio-economic and immigration policies, easy tax and regulatory requirements, and high mobile and broadband penetration that can be critical to driving business growth and generating employment on a global scale.

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program – Entrepreneur Success Initiative (ESI) benefits global entrepreneurs who wish to receive support in identifying business opportunities to buy or set up a business in Ontario, receive legal services to file an expression of interest and an application, and wish to be introduced to the community and business networks in Ontario. This is a pathway to permanent residency but caters to High Net-worth Individuals (HNIs). Ontario, Canada aims to bring on board approximately 100 international entrepreneurs to invest $200,000 each either to start or buy businesses outside the Greater Toronto Area.

  • What are your company’s future plans?

Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC) is Toronto’s premier start-up accelerator. At TBDC, the Start-up Visa Program helps entrepreneurs compete at a global scale by helping them solve problems that are unique to their start-ups. Our panel of over 80+ mentors helps entrepreneurs not just survive but thrive in North America. 

TBDC has a rich history dating back three decades. Established in 1990 by the City of Toronto with the support of the Province of Ontario, TBDC provides business advisory and support services to international entrepreneurs looking to establish in Ontario. We have helped over 9,000 domestic and international entrepreneurial businesses establish in Toronto and Ontario by offering them a diverse mentor network, access to capital, and strategically designed programs. TBDC is a designated partner for the Start-up Visa Program by the Government of Canada to help businesses commercialize and expand in the North American market.

In the near future, the eight-month SUV program and the OINP-ESI is going to help startups in over 20 sectors such as aerospace, EdTech, and mobility solutions. We are witnessing an ample number of migrants coming to Canada who has realized  that Canada has a huge market – about 10 times the size of the Canadian population – right next door. If an entrepreneur has customers in New York, he/she can operate from Toronto. This is typically a nearshore model. Furthermore, TBDC has partnered and networked across India with over 200 best-in-class companies including NASSCOM, Startup India, Start-up Accelerator Chamber of Commerce, Foundation for Innovation and Research in Science and Technology (FIRST) – technology business incubator at IIT Kanpur, Dlabs – the business incubator of Indian School of Business, T-Hub – innovation intermediary and business incubator, etc. in helping Indian start-ups take advantage of the benefits TBDC is offering to scale and expand reach in the North American market. 

Recently TBDC was selected by the MLITSD to administer the Entrepreneur Success Initiative (ESI) under the Entrepreneur Stream of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP). Through this initiative, TBDC will support 100 entrepreneurs that apply under the ESI to identify business opportunities, either through the acquisition of an existing business, or the establishment of a new business in the community that is best suited to the entrepreneurs’ business or professional background.

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