Connecting the Dots

Author: Bill Tam

Government of Canada Announces Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program

On January 23rd, 2015, the Government of Canada announced the details of their Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) Pilot Program.

Originally set out in the 2014 budget, the intention of the new program is to replace the former Immigrant Investor Program with an initiative that has a higher likelihood of ensuring international investors stay in Canada and make beneficial contributions to Canada’s economy.

The IIVC class consists of foreign nationals who have the ability to become economically established in Canada and who meet the following requirements:

  • have a net worth of at least $10,000,000 that they have lawfully acquired through business or investment activity; 
  • have attained a level of proficiency of at least benchmark level 5 in either official language for each of the four language skill areas, as set out in the Canadian Language Benchmarks
  • have entered into an agreement to invest $2,000,000 as venture capital for the purposes of benefiting Canada, the repayment of which is not guaranteed 

The program will be open for applications from January 28 to February 11, 2015, or until a maximum of 500 applications are received. From there, applications will be randomly drawn until 60 complete applications have been identified. The selected applicants will need to obtain a due diligence report from a designated service provider to examine and validate the source of their wealth.

Over the course of the next fiscal period, this program will yield $120MM in total capital invested (based on 60 immigrant investors at $2 million each). If the pilot is successful, the government could see continuing the program, thereby potentially yielding $120MM or more in annual venture capital investment.

The capital will be managed by BDC as the IIVC Fund. Our understanding is that BDC will have the discretion to invest the capital into the Fund of Fund managers under the VCAP program as well as through its direct funds.

More information on the program is available through the following links: