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New Brunswick, Canada and TrueNorth Partner on Silicon Valley Strategic Growth Initiative

Yesterday we announced ONB’s new immigration and investment attraction partnership with Vancouver-based TrueNorth.

New restrictions on the H-1B visa have some U.S.-based companies reconsidering where they house current and future employees. TrueNorth is responding to these concerns and has emerged as a leading advocate for U.S. companies looking to establish themselves north of the border.

TrueNorth CEO Michael Tippett joins us today to discuss our partnership, the reasons for launching this new venture, and more.

ONB: Why launch TrueNorth?

Silicon Valley immigration CanadaTippett: TrueNorth emerged from numerous conversations I had with colleagues, particularly in Silicon Valley. The concern was that, given the policies coming from the new U.S. administration, Silicon Valley would be adversely affected.

Nearly half of all Valley founders are not U.S.-born. Much of that innovative energy could now end up scattered across the globe. To mitigate these concerns TrueNorth is helping U.S. companies ensure business continuity and keep existing teams together.

We provide clients with connections in Canada and help them form partnerships they’ll need to establish operations here. We also deliver expertise in a number of different arenas. For example, we help companies understand the legal situation in Canada in terms of taxes, corporate structuring, and immigration.

We also connect them with places we feel will be the right fit.

That’s where ONB comes in. Tell us about that relationship.

Early this year we met with the ONB team, including CEO Stephen Lund, in Vancouver. ONB leadership was keen to discuss how our groups could collaborate since our missions have significant overlap. ONB is now among our first founding partners, the first one outside of British Columbia. The more we learned about ONB and what you’re doing, the more we felt this was the right partnership for us.

New Brunswick offers impressive technology infrastructure, hosts a number of top international companies, and provides a great quality of life. It is an excellent fit for many of the firms we’ve already spoken with. For any U.S. company looking to work with both the East Coast and European markets, New Brunswick is geographically advantageous.

More importantly, we’re impressed with the commitment ONB has made to promote your province as a place to establish a successful operation. The resources you’re bringing to the table will be of huge benefit to the U.S. firms we’re dealing with.

ONB offers a Workforce Strategy team. That’s a value-added service no other Canadian jurisdiction is providing.

I think that’s an amazing service you’re providing for clients. I don’t know of any other economic development agencies offering anything similar, to be honest.

Among the top challenges facing North American tech companies is finding good talent. Having an organization like ONB serve as a workforce strategy group, and provide immigration support, is a huge advantage.

You’re working with both startups and established enterprises, correct?

Correct. Startups are nimble and can act quickly, which is great. The real opportunity for both us and groups like ONB, however, is in dealing with larger enterprises. They are the most mindful of future staffing considerations because they have bigger numbers and have an eye on expansion.

Think about companies that are growing the fastest; they are venture-backed and have raised millions of dollars. The imperative from investors is to grow, so these are the companies looking to hire hundreds of new employees. They are seriously considering the many implications of immigration policy changes.

TrueNorth is offering a real-time alerts option. What does that entail?

It’s a subscription service offering real-time alerts via email or SMS. U.S.-based companies enter their name, industry, headquarters location, employee numbers, and details on staff linked to certain visas. Based on that information we monitor how things change, specifically in Canada, and alert them to anything of value.

Take the Canadian government’s new Global Skills Strategy. It will have a major impact on companies looking to come up from the U.S. Our subscribers would be notified of the strategy’s launch and what it means for them.

The alerts feature is presently in beta. We are still registering new users, and hope to officially launch later this summer.

Speaking of the Global Skills Strategy, TrueNorth is hosting a webinar June 27 at 11:00 am Pacific Time discussing it in detail. Attendees will learn how companies can benefit from new Canadian immigration rules. We also have experts from Boast Capital providing an overview of government funding opportunities in Canada.

[UPDATE: June 30, 2017. Below is the full recording of the June 27 webinar.]