We are pleased to share some highlights from our portfolio’s activities.

Demo Night for first Global Startup Accelerator cohort of 2018


April 21 2018, Ho Chi Minh City — Students from the first cohort of 2018 of the Global Startup Accelerator program pitched their venture ideas to global business leaders, at a gala event in Vietnam.

Empowered Startups’ Global Startup Accelerator (GSA) in HCMC is one of Empower Startups’ programs built to help high potential entrepreneurs build high growth global ventures. The GSA program develops entrepreneurs by leading them through a methodology in pursuit of “problem/solution fit” and traction metrics en route to “product/market fit.” The program culminates in a pitch night in front of classmates, Empowered Startups’ directors, and a selection of investors and mentors from the global business community.


Naheed Henderson leads Empowered Startups’ GSA HCMC, bringing Empowered Startups’ methodology to ASEAN and preparing ASEAN based entrepreneurs for global growth.




New user-friendly app provides detailed digital maps and real-time GPS pinpointing


Whistler, BC – ULLR Maps Ltd, a digital adventure mapping company, has launched its first adventure maps of Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain. The app, now available for download, uses advanced cartography to provide detailed, topographical maps of the mountains plus real-time GPS pinpointing. The concept of this app was invented in Whistler, Canada, and has been brought to market in time for the 2017/2018 ski season.

One of the most impressive and differentiating features of the app is its real-time GPS pinpointing which provides precise GPS coordinates and re-orients with the skier. Visitors who are new to the mountain, local legends and every other mountain user will enjoy being able to track and find their friends at any moment.

The app also has safety features including an information screen where you’ll find your current location (coordinates) as well as the local agency responsible for rescues, including ski patrol and SAR. The user-friendly app also includes colour-coded maps which show the difficulty level of runs, as well as information such as ski lift locations.

“ULLR is the Viking God of snow and the honorary god of Whistler so the name is very apt. While the first maps are of Whistler and Blackcomb, we plan to branch into other locations and other adventure sports. We are already investigating other areas in the Sea to Sky Corridor, and I see applications for adventure sports such as biking, kayaking, kite surfing in remote areas like mountains and oceans where traditional maps don’t provide the kind of detail adventurers need,” shared ULLR Maps co-founder, Louis-Vincent Gave.

ULLR Adventures Maps offer easily-accessible and intuitive interactive maps to a wide demographic and are designed for everyone to use. This app will bring together like-minded people while offering an aspirational, global platform to entice people to seek adventure. You can learn more about this app at plus download the app in the App Store or Google Play.

Media Contact
Blair Kaplan Venables


Empowered Startups partners with Design 1st to launch three new businesses in 2017


Empowered Startups has partnered with Design 1st, a Canadian leader in innovative hardware product design, engineering and manufacturing set-up.  The two companies will bring three new products to market in the fall of 2017.  The new products targeting a variety of sectors, were conceived by three entrepreneurs recently selected by Empowered Startups. Empowered Startups, a leading Canadian Incubator, sought out the expertise of Design 1st because of its proven track record in helping clients de-risk and launch over 500 electronics products into diverse markets. “We run a distributed incubator model where we partner with expert talent across Canada to complement the build and launch of our startups,” said Amber Allen, Director, Empowered Startups. “Design 1st brings a one-stop hardware product design, engineering and supply strategy experience to our business team. Our search for a reliable and creative full service team that will lead the development process led us to Design 1st and we are excited to work with them.”

This joint venture represents a powerful partnership for entrepreneurs looking to transform their ideas from concept to market. As an Incubator, Empowered Startups has gained a reputation for working with entrepreneurs to test the market, secure early adopters, and provide funding support. The company also leverages its strong network to successfully bring new products to market. “We are thrilled to be partnering with Empowered Startups to support Canadian product innovation working with international clients and markets,” said Kevin Bailey, President of Design 1st. “Empowered Startups is a great fit for our team, sharing Canadian values and expanding our retail, commercial and medical design engineering process.”

Empowered Startups selected several entrepreneurs who moved to Canada on the country’s Start-up Visa Program. Their ideas and skills contribute to the Canadian economy by creating new jobs for Canadians, providing Canadian manufacturing opportunities, as well as advancing research and innovation. The entrepreneurs have been heavily involved in every step of the process and will contribute their local expertise in selling the new products in their home countries.


About Empowered Startups

Empowered Startups is a leading Canadian Incubator for high-potential entrepreneurs wanting to sell internationally. We partner in business with talented Canadian and international entrepreneurs and execute a proven methodology to commercialize ideas. The team of mentors works with entrepreneurs to validate the business viability of an idea, test the market and customers, as well as secure funding and early adopters. The company offers infrastructure, on-site mentorship, access to technology, access to capital, and close relationships with university labs to build companies that can scale internationally. For more information, visit


Paul Girodo
Empowered Startups


About Design 1st

Connected hardware product design is a high risk business –  unless you have a design partner who has done it successfully many times before. Design 1st is one of the largest, most experienced hardware product design firms in Canada, with over 500 projects, 20 years, and 130 client patents. Our user-centered design, engineering, electronics, firmware, and manufacturing setup experts work as a cohesive team to transform your idea into a winning product. Our broad range of skills and experience allows us to tackle any project, anticipate challenges, find novel solutions to tricky problems, and guide you all the way to manufacture ready.  Visit or contact via phone at +1 877 235 1004.

Ian Kayser
VP, Sales
Design 1st


Start-up Visa Program Growing and Successful


As of May 2, 2016 there are 51 entrepreneurs landed as permanent residents through Canada’s Start-up Visa Program.  These individuals (and their designated organizations) are responsible for 26 new start-up ventures in Canada.  The economic benefit of those new startups includes new jobs for Canadians, advancing state of the art research, new innovation and businesses launching and selling into new markets internationally.  The Start-up Visa program accepts applicants from all countries around the world and their start-up ventures are equally as diverse.

Read more about the success and growth of the SUV program at Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada 

If you are an international entrepreneur wanting to immigrate to Canada and you have a great start-up venture that has the potential to scale internationally send us your application today.


Recent Permanent Residence Approvals Start-up Visa Canada


Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced today that six more new companies have successfully launched through the Start-up Visa program.  The announcement was made at an event hosted by the Toronto Business Development Centre by Chris Alexander, the Minister for Citizenship and Immigration.  The associated founders for those six companies gained their permanent residency to Canada with fast processing times so as to launch their international ventures as quickly as possible in Canada.  CIC indicated there have been approximately 16 founders approved for permanent residence since the start of the program and there are another 60 or more currently in process.  CIC indicates 6 month processing times for 80% of permanent residence applications.  Work permit approvals are being issued in an unprecedented 3 week or less turn around time in most cases.

Empowered Startups is evaluating, on a daily basis, international founders applying to the Start-up Visa program.  Our designated incubator has numerous highly talented entrepreneurs in process through the Start-up Visa program and we are rigorously hunting for international applicants who speak English, are high potential, high net worth entrepreneurs who want to launch their international ventures from Canada.

Send us your application today:

CIC government announcement:


Bring Your Clean Tech Startup Ventures To Canada


Empowered Startups is looking for clean tech. startup ventures.  Qualified international Founders with the financial resources to launch and fund their venture in Vancouver or Whistler will received expedited Permanent Resident status for themselves and up to five essential personnel through Canada’s Start-up Visa Program.



Minister Alexander Promotes Start-up Visa (SUV) Program in India


Minister Alexander met with Prime Minister Narendra in India today wrapping up the largest-ever Canadian delegation to the Vibrant Gujarat conference.  Part of his discussions highlighted developments in Canada’s economic immigration policy, such as the Start-up Visa program.  In the meeting he pointed out that bilateral trade between Canada and India totalled a record $5.8 billion dollars in 2013, and has more than doubled over the last 10 years. More than 1.1 million people living in Canada can trace their heritage back to India and in 2013, more than 33,000 Indian citizens became permanent residents in Canada. With the Start-up Visa, Canada is targeting a new type of immigrant entrepreneur who has the potential to build innovative companies that can create jobs for Canadians and compete on a global scale.

Earlier in the trip, he delivered a presentation to students and faculty at the Indian Institute of Management. Alexander promoted the benefit of the Start-up Visa Program.

“Canada and India are great partners, and the relationship is only getting stronger – to the benefit of both countries’ economic growth and future prosperity. I was especially pleased to highlight our new Express Entry system and Start-Up Visa program as key parts our government’s plan to build a fast, fair and flexible immigration system that attracts people with the skills to integrate fully and quickly in Canada’s economy and Canadian society.”  Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister

Empowered Startups is one of eleven designated business incubators authorized to particulate in the Start-up Visa program for Citizenship and Immigration Canada.  Empowered Startups is currently accepting applications for its 2015 summer incubation program. If you are interested in learning more about the Start-up Visa program or Empowered Startups please contact us at


Empowered Startups Targets Clean Energy Technology


The development of clean energy technology in Canada goes hand in hand with reaching targets to reduce green house gas emissions.  Empowered is interested in partnering with foreign founders whose renewable technologies can be developed in Canada.  Foreign capital is currently being spent in Canada already which indicates that businesses support the development of clean energy and see its potential.   Further, the amount of money spent by other nations (cumulative total of $207 Billion as compared to Canada’s $6.5 billion) indicates its significance and growing importance.

“Renewable energy has experienced big growth in Canada in the last five years, so much so that employment in the sector outstrips employment in the oilsands. Employment in the clean energy sector – which encompasses hydro power, as well as wind, solar and biomass – is 23,700 people. That compares with 22,340 employed in the oilsands. Clean Energy Canada said Ottawa is missing out on multiple opportunities to invest in renewables and needs to step up and give diplomatic support to Canada’s renewable technologies. “  CBC ~

Clean Energy Canada advocates for clean energy growth and development in Canada.  The organization suggests numerous ways for the government to become more involved and urges the Federal Government to place clean energy development on par with government support currently provided for all other big industry startups in Canada, including oilsands, automotive and aerospace.  Aside from the economic benefit via direct employment of Canadians from clean energy businesses, Empowered sees big environmental benefit in businesses that do not create a carbon footprint.  Foreign founders and the Canadian Visa Start-up Program play an important role in supporting the connection of innovative foreign clean technology concepts with Canadian Incubators such as Empowered Startups.


Empowered Startups Is Accepting Applications


Empowered is currently accepting applications for its 2015 spring residency and mentoring program.  Applicants will be selected through a competitive process in response to this open call for applicants.  Empowered’s incubation program is typically 12 months long and will entail full mentorship and boot camp programming throughout.

Empowered Startups and its directors have been actively engaged in the startup scene since 2004.  Empowered has built extensive relationships with Canadian entrepreneurs, academics, government agencies, universities and other strategic partners who provide guidance, knowledge and expertise.  We are experts at growing concepts in their ideation stage preparing them for early stage funding for launch into existing and emerging enterprises.

If you have an innovative business concept at the ideation stage we invite you to apply at


First Start-up Visa Applicants


Within a day of Empowered being formally selected and published in the Canada Gazette as a Designated Incubator the company has received it’s first applicants and pitches for the Start-up Visa Program.  Foreign nationals submitting applications are from Hong Kong, China and Brazil.