How Fredericton is Attracting Int'l Entrepreneur Talent

  • Mara
  • 2018-02-01




Gleaner Column

How Fredericton is Attracting International Entrepreneur Talent

In our last few columns we focused on the amazing local startups that are being incubated and grown in Fredericton, punching above their weight class and competing in the global business arena. The supportive ecosystem and competitive business environment that our city is known for doesn’t just produce great companies, it also attracts them from around the world. In this column, we’re focusing on how Fredericton is attracting and retaining international entrepreneurs to our business community with a particular focus on immigrant entrepreneurs.

We already know that Fredericton fits many of the key criteria that shape an entrepreneur’s decision on where to move a business: market access and growth potential, access to innovation (R&D and talent), cost competitiveness, and low-risk. But, how do you entice entrepreneurs looking to move from their home to launch a new business in a new country?

One option Canada offers to immigrant entrepreneurs is the Start-up Visa (SUV) program. Launched in 2013 by the Government of Canada, the SUV program has created an expedited permanent residency process encouraging the world’s top entrepreneurial talent to move their businesses and families to Canada faster than any other immigration program available. Through a rigorous selection and due diligence process applicants are assessed for their viability in the North American market. Innovativity, ability to create jobs for Canadians and compete on a global scale are also taken into account.

Planet Hatch is New Brunswick’s only designated incubation centre to offer the SUV program and is working collaboratively with stakeholders to ensure businesses that come here, thrive here. Our mix of small business savvy and big business bold is attracting new startups from across the globe to launch in Canada through the Start-up Visa Program. Since 2015, Planet Hatch has attracted talented immigrant entrepreneurs to the city of stately elms in key industries like information technology (IT/ICT), cyber-security, and biotechnology, positioning our capital as competitive provincially and nationally. As the Startup Capital of Canada, Fredericton is earning the attention of international entrepreneurs because of its steadily growing business community and diverse talent pool.

Planet Hatch’s SUV program isn’t just attracting new immigrants to Fredericton though, we’re also retaining them by providing a unique opportunity for entrepreneurially-inclined international students to stay here and launch their startup. Did you know that Fredericton’s universities and colleges are home to over 1,000 international students? Many of them begin to work on startup companies after entering programs offered by UNB’s Technology Management & Entrepreneurship Centre and International Business & Entrepreneurship Centre. These highly educated, entrepreneurially trained new graduates are ideal candidates for the Start-up Visa program, having lived and worked in Fredericton, only requiring visa status to continue building their competitive businesses in Canada.

Our business environment isn’t the only reason international entrepreneurs are moving to Fredericton. We’re a safe, family-friendly city offering amenities often only found in the skyscraper forest. Why is Fredericton amongst the top eight cities Millennials are Moving to in Canada according to the Huffington Post? Frederictonians spend 118 less hours per year commuting from Canada’s second most affordable housing market. We have over 88 KM of active trails, 6 golf courses, and an award-winning ski hill within 40 minutes. The most craft breweries in Atlantic Canada doesn’t hurt either.

Fredericton is built for entrepreneurs businesses and lifestyles. To continue to grow and thrive we need to not only support our amazing local companies, but also attract the best and brightest from around the world. Planet Hatch offering Canada’s Start-up Visa Program puts Fredericton on the world map as the location for those looking to discover, build, and sell globally competitive products and services.

Adam Peabody
Investment Attraction & Growth Specialist
Ignite Fredericton | Knowledge Park | Planet Hatch