Canada's new Genius Visas may be the best thing ever for the US tech industry


The US scientific and business communities are becoming increasingly uneasy about the future of special skill or Genius Visas, like the H1B. And rightly so.

Dr. Michio Kaku, New York Times best selling author and physicist, called the H1B visa a “secret bullet” without which Silicon Valley wouldn’t exist. 

In April, President Trump signed an executive order mandating significant change to a number of immigration programs, including the H1B. Nobody knows what the final picture will look like. However, the visa program that helped build some of the greatest companies on Earth will likely have a new and much narrower focus. And that could be a problem.

Meanwhile, Canada is quietly launching expanded and expedited Genius Visa programs (My own nickname for them).  The US has long been the brain that sucked up all the best talent from...

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Come Play in Our Sandbox


FREDERICTON'S CULTURE OF INNOVATION

Gleaner Column

Chapter 10 - Come Play in Our Sandbox

For some time, Ignite Fredericton has been touting the Digital Product Development Living Lab and Innovation District, where we have packaged our assets and value props to attract investment to the region.

In our 2015 column, Innovation District was explained as a key deliverable evolving from the city’s first economic development strategy, Vision 2000, in 1992.  It was to develop a ‘knowledge corridor’ by creating a technology and research park, and leveraging assets like the universities and research and development organizations.  Today, we have over 60 R&D organizations within the Innovation District’s 2km radius, anchored by Knowledge Park, and the University of New Brunswick - outputting over 75% of the province’s university-related research.

We have further pack...

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Meet Vena!


My name is Vena Carr and I am a graphic designer and illustrator practicing in Fredericton, NB. Specializing in branding and marketing design, prepress layout, and image creation, I hope to turn my freelance work into a full-time career.

In 2015, I began studying graphic design at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design. I chose to pursue graphics because I simply thought it was the best solution between pursuing art and not becoming a starving artist (instead, I became a starving design student). My passion for graphics did not begin until I was hired by the Canadian Crafts Federation (CCF) as a summer intern in 2016. Already having a love for the arts, I felt at home working for a non-profit organization that envisions “Canadian culture which embraces...

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Energy East Pipeline Outcome


IGNITE FREDERICTON COLUMN – October 2017

Gleaner Column

Extreme Disappointment with the Energy East Pipeline Outcome

This month, I am going to use this opportunity to convey our extreme disappointment with the outcome of the Energy East Pipeline project -- a 4,500 km pipeline that would have transported 1.1 million barrels of oil per day from Western Canada to refineries in Eastern Canada.  In a province with a $14 billion deficit - New Brunswick could not afford to lose the prospect of 3,700 high paying jobs with a $6.5 billion GDP provincial impact!  

On a national scale, Canada has lost the potential of 14,000 jobs and $55 billion in national economic impact = $10 billion in federal and provincial tax revenue = ability to lower corporate and personal taxes, which pay for public services, facilities and infrastructure.   This is a massive blow on top of the federal Finance Minister...

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Musings on Innovation


FREDERICTON'S CULTURE OF INNOVATION

Gleaner Column

Chapter 9 - Musings on Innovation

This is the ninth installment of this innovation column. We have talked about innovation from many angles—Innovation Week, Innovation District and leveraging innovation and assets toward job creation. But what is innovation? How do you innovate? Let’s talk about that today. I’ve spent a lot of time the last few months learning about local startups and some of the revolutionary things they’re doing in Fredericton like Resson Aerospace, Mycodev Group and ReadyPass Services Inc. Through my research, I discovered innovation is many things. It’s a goal. It’s mindset. It’s a practice. It’s an idea. It’s a product. It’s a solution. It’s hard to pin down right?

Before, when thinking about innovation, I pictured lab coats, microscopes, nanotechnology, intricate elec...

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Addressing Newcomers’ Needs One Step at a Time


IGNITE FREDERICTON COLUMN – September 2017

Addressing Newcomers’ Needs One Step at a Time

There are a number of strategic immigration initiatives underway, and it timely to provide a community update in terms of how the City of Fredericton is addressing newcomers’ needs.

For those who may not be aware, Ignite Fredericton is the City of Fredericton’s economic development catalyst agency, also responsible for municipal immigration efforts.

In 2011, the City of Fredericton made a critical decision to invest in a dedicated Immigration Coordinator position, to address population growth and skill shortages challenges.  This position, now referred to as the Population Growth Specialist, is currently housed at Ignite Fredericton, and Adriana Rivas is the point person coordinating efforts, hosting immigrants during their exploratory visits, conducting ongoing follow-up during the immigration process, and r...

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Innovation or common sense?


FREDERICTON'S CULTURE OF INNOVATION

Gleaner Column

Chapter 8 - Innovation or common sense to leverage assets and create jobs?

Did you know that there is $7.2 billion of potential investment and 5,000 jobs projected for New Brunswick over the next five years in major natural resource development projects according to economists?  Did you know that at the stroke of a pen, $2.2 billion has been deducted from the equation for shale gas development? Including the latter, these mega projects originally projected peak employment demand of 8,600 positions from 2017-18, and 28,000 by 2025.  With a provincial deficit expected to hit $13.4 billion by next year, as New Brunswickers, we need to be open to new, innovative ways of generating prosperity and jobs for future generations.  When are we going to project a truly open-for-business philosophy and proactive approach to grow our prov...

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Join us In Welcoming Sam!


Another startup is growing their team, and we welcome our new Entrepreneurial Services Coordinator to Planet Hatch!

Lisa Kinney, who joined Planet Hatch to make a mark on the Fredericton startup ecosystem, is now moving from supporting startups to joining one. She will be bringing her expertise in client outreach, business development, and operations to eChart Healthcare, founded and led by Amanda Betts.

Lisa joined the Planet Hatch team in January of last year as the Entrepreneurial Services Coordinator. During her time at Planet Hatch she expanded programming and events held in the centre, created new initiatives for the city’s ecosystem, and redesigned the space.

“My experience working at Planet Hatch has been inspiring,” said Lisa. “I love how passionate people are about their own businesses, and how the community supports entrepreneurs.”

eChart is changing lives with how families stay connected within their new life of long-...

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Ignite Announces Initiative to drive Export & Startup Growth


FREDERICTON'S CULTURE OF INNOVATION

Gleaner Column

Chapter 7 - Ignite Announces Innovative Initiative to drive Export & Startup Growth

As the steward of the community’s economic development strategy, Vision 2020, Ignite Fredericton reported the creation of 410 direct jobs (156 indirect) and 55 new startups since January 2015 at the Vision 2020 Progress Summit on June 8th. 

Ignite also reported on key strategy deliverables including: the integration of Ignite Fredericton, Planet Hatch and Knowledge Park into one operational organization, driving the creation of an entrepreneurial hub, an investment attraction strategy and toolkit, new export acceleration program, and partnership with the University of New Brunswick’s Faculty of Business Administration program.

As part of the collaborative partnership with the University of New Brunswick, programming for the  Activator p...

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Be Part of Fredericton’s Digital Revolution


As the economic development arm of the City of Fredericton, Ignite Fredericton continues to tout Fredericton’s well-deserved reputation as one of Canada’s most innovative municipalities. It’s a narrative that has attracted new businesses, investment and talent from across the globe.

From its adoption of ISO and Lean-Six Sigma for service and process improvement to its award-winning initiatives in community broadband and communications, Fredericton has consistently punched above its weight as a ‘smart city’.  But what is next for Fredericton?

The City of Fredericton has a vision to be a ‘Digital City’, which will see the modernization of government operations and service delivery to citizens. This will be the next leg of the journey to position Fredericton as the leading, innovative municipality in Canada.

This effort of modernizing government operations and service delivery falls into three main categories of business...

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