LAHORE: Pakistani startups and entrepreneurs will have tickets to the Toronto-Waterloo region, often referred to as the Silicon Valley North and home to thousands of tech startups and international companies, for better connectivity and penetration in the international market as the Canadian government is open to provide a 52-week work permit or a permanent resident to Pakistani tech startups. 

The representative of Accelerator Centre, based in the Canadian Silicon Valley, has unveiled the features of the visa programmefor the Pakistani tech startups and entrepreneurs to the Momentum Pakistan-2018. 

The mega event – Momentum Pakistan-2018 – is bringing digital world’s giants like Facebook, Amazon Web Services, IBM and Microsoft and several others to Karachi onFebruary 19 and 20 where their representatives will mentor and support with tools and funds the Pakistani entrepreneurs and startups. Besides that, premier Pakistani and international companies will discuss sharing their APIs (Application Programming Interface) with other startups.

When international tech companies are reaching out Pakistani startups, the Canadian government’s visa programme will help local startups to brand and build their business in the international market through its startups friendly visa regime. 

“The startups need not to relocate to Canada at all,” said Momentum Pakistan founder Amir Jafri, quoting Cam Wind, of the Accelerator Centre’s Visa Startup Visa Programme. Their representative is likely to attend the Momentum Pakistan-2018 event in Karachi to interact with and support the startups. Besides that, the centre will also interact with the Pakistani startups to address their concerns regarding the visa programmeonce a month through a video session on the Momentum Pakistan-2018 platform. 

Quoting Cam Wind, Amir Jafri said the Pakistani startups could keep their operations in Pakistan, while the visa would facilitate them to get benefit from the Canadian entrepreneurial friendly systems. 

Those granted visa can have access to all Canadian corporate programmes, mentors and other resources during the 52-week stay in Canada.  

Cam Wind explained about the preference in the visa grants: the startups with innovative technology-based initiatives, not services, and with a history of certain revenue generation, a strong founding team, a clear future vision and growth perspective. 

Amir Jafri said that startups could accelerate rapidly in collaboration with the international market and penetration in the Canadian market would be a big boost to the local startups. 

Since getting visa to the developed countries is a big task for the Pakistani entrepreneurs, the Canadian government’s offer could be a game changer, he said, adding that the presence of the Canadian Silicone Valley’s representatives would open new avenues for us. 

Global Social Entrepreneurship Foundation founder Muhammad Siddique said promoting the culture of entrepreneurship in Pakistan would creating the culture of “learning to fish for life” and for that Momentum Pakistan-2018 would be offering countless fishing techniques.