If you are applying for Canada Startup Visa via an incubator then the first question you have is How much do incubators charge?
The challenge is that you do not know how much an incubator charges you unless you talk to them. Incubator fees are very seldom listed in their website. When I started applying, I had no idea how much incubators charge and I hope this will help some people who are looking to apply for Canada Startup Visa.
The first response I got was from Empowered Startups and after the initial meeting. I received a proposal from them which had all the details plus cost of the program. They were charging CAD 80,000 for one startup, this was in Aug 2022 and price might have changed. As far as I know, this cost can be divided between Founders and the maximum number of Founders on a Startup Visa application is 5. So if you are 4 Founders, each will have to pay CAD 20,000.
All in all, I think I received costing from 5 different incubators and the incubator cost ranges between CAD 20,000 minimum to CAD 100,000. I wasn’t able to find anything lower than CAD 20,000 and this is per Founder. Some incubators charge in USD, like Pacific Technology Ventures in Vancouver, but overall cost remains around what I have already shared.
Incubators also differ in payment terms. Some charge the full fee upfront and some of them have 2-4 different programs which are part of your incubation cycle. You can pay part of the fee at the start of each program. The incubator that I am incubated at, charged us for each program and total cost was divided into 2 parts. About 70% at the beginning and rest when we start the second half of our program.
what does this include?
Depending on the incubator, the exact details of the program can vary. From the incubators that I have interacted with, almost everyone had a program divided in 2-4 parts. First part of the program was smaller and after completing it, you should get your Letter of Support (LOS). As long as they don’t find something seriously wrong with your Startup or Founders. There was one program by Ontario Tech where the 1st part was 5 months long and only after you qualify for round 2 will you be issued the Letter of Support.
These programs normally include a lot of information about running a business in Canada, sessions with local business leaders, understanding Canadian accounting/financial system, marketing sessions and other informational sessions.
Some incubators also include use of office space for the duration of your incubation. Personally, I would make use of that, since it allows us to interact with people in and around the incubator and helps us build our network.
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