If you’ve ever tuned into an episode of Dragon’s Den, you’ve probably experienced some secondhand nervousness watching each startup make their way to the stage. The excitement and adrenaline is palpable: this could be their shot, their moment, their big break!

The thrill of startup life has become a pillar of pop culture in recent years. Its popularity is bolstered by TV shows like Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den, hosted by industry titans who are revered by audiences and startup owners alike.

Applying for a startup visa is the closest Canadian immigration can get to replicating that competitive, heart-pumping, high-stakes environment: in order to apply, you will need to pitch your idea to a designated organization. Obtaining the support of a designated organization is required for eligibility.

When all is said and done, you’ll be getting something even more valuable than an investment from a Shark or Dragon: your Canadian permanent residency!

Laying Out the Similarities

Before the Dragons pull out their cheque books, the startup founders in the Den need to answer a barrage of questions. How long has their business been operating? What are their financial projections? How many products have they sold? Is the business viable? What does the minimal viable product (MVP) look like?

Their answers will determine whether the Dragons have confidence in their concept’s staying power. And when you apply for a startup visa, the Canadian government is going to want those exact same assurances. Here are a few similarities between pitching for a Canadian startup visa and pitching to the Dragons:

You need a business plan

This document is a roadmap for your company’s goals, actions, targets, financial planning, marketing strategy, and more. A well-crafted business plan proves not only that you are wholly committed to running a successful business, but also that the idea has been hashed out in detail.

You need proof of concept

If you are pitching a concept that only exists on paper, the Dragons will never bite. You need some kind of proof that your product or service is viable, like a prototype, preliminary partnerships, initial sales figures. If others have expressed confidence in your vision, investors are far more likely to take a chance.

You need confidence

If you want to earn your audience’s trust, you’ll need to set the example. Pitch your idea with confidence, excitement, and enthusiasm – it’s contagious! If you’re unsure of yourself, that will create doubt, and hurt your chances of landing a partnership with a designated organization.

The Dragons' Den Mentality

Whether or not you can proceed with your Canadian permanent residency application lies in your hands. If you can pitch like a pro and communicate all the reasons why your project is innovative and valuable, you’ll be met with equal enthusiasm. Practice, practice, practice, and remember: you’re a founder, you know your stuff!

How to Prepare and Pitch to win
the Dragons over

The best way to slay a Dragon is to be prepared. Putting together a compelling pitch can be a challenge, and it’s tough to know which factors have the power to sway people’s decisions one way or another. Plus, you’ll need to think about assembling the necessary documents for the rest of your paper-based application.

Start by checking out our Canada start-up visa guide, and if you’re ready to team up with a professional who can help you nail your pitch and submission, reach out to the Exeo team today.

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