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Impact global change

Take your startup global or bring your company to Canada. Our Global Frontier initiatives create an impact that reverberates around the world.

Global Frontier

We believe that Waterloo Region is the best place to build a business.

Our Global Frontier programs bring Waterloo to the world, connecting local startups to new markets and funding. We also connect international founders and hub leaders to the magic of Waterloo, giving you platforms to tap into our proven capabilities through our AC:Hubs and Startup Visa programs.


Your innovation hub

Looking to start an accelerator or incubator in your local innovation community? There is no need to reinvent the wheel. We offer licensing of our program model and delivery platform, so you have everything you need to build a company that’s proven to scale businesses.

We will walk with you, step by step, as you set up your program and will continue supporting you through the first critical years of operation.

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ac:Startup Visa

Compete on a global scale

We’re in the business of impacting change worldwide. Our Startup Visa program provides permanent residence to entrepreneurs who have the potential to build innovative companies in Canada that can create new jobs, spur economic growth, and compete on a global scale.

View the Government of Canada's Startup Visa Eligibility Requirements to see if you're qualified.

Applicants require $100,000 in revenue annually, innovative technology in any space, and a clear understanding and desire to grow a business in Canada. We offer a number of ways you can engage with the AC before and after your visa application is approved. Additionally, the AC works with SuperVisas to help you move through the application process smoothly and settle in Waterloo once your application is approved.

Applications for AC:Startup Visa are currently closed. Please sign up to receive updates if you are interested!

Success Stories

Waterloo Region—an AI leader

Though Waterloo is ranked second in Canada for its AI in terms of research, the industry didn’t become a regional specialty overnight.

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Success Stories

ApplyBoard becomes Canada’s newest unicorn

ApplyBoard raises $100M in Series C funding on a $2B valuation to improve access to education for international students.

Learn more

Success Stories

Invest Ottawa launches Accelerator Program

Invest Ottawa launched The IO Accelerator, leveraging best practices from the AC to accelerate high-growth technology firms.

Learn more

Get in touch

Interested in getting involved?

It’s time to activate your ambition by tapping into the opportunities that help you create, continue to think big, and actualize your business. We can’t wait to hear from you.