Special Programs for Members

NACO strives to expand the reach and investment capabilities of its Angel asset-class by developing Special Programs in collaboration with government and strategic partners. These Special Programs are available exclusively to select NACO members that follow industry standards and best practices recommended by NACO.In order to get access to NACO’s Special Programs, members must first apply for designation.

Designation of Member Groups

NACO’s Angel group designation process is designed to recognize high performing groups of accredited investors that have a proven track record of making informed investments over time and have excelled in:

  • Vetting and selecting quality dealflow for member investment
  • Engaging and supporting the development of both existing and new Canadian Angel investors
  • Demonstrating success in their portfolio as measured by investment, exits and follow-on investment
  • Managing their group with appropriate governance principles in accordance with the Best Practices for Angel investment and Angel Groups established by NACO
  • Following leading industry best practices for Angel investment

Angel groups that are recommended for designation by NACO will be recognized as leaders in Canada’s Angel community and as a result will have access to special programs and benefits that are only available to designated NACO members. Current programs and benefits include:

  • Citizenship and Immigration, Start-Up Visa Program
  • FedDev Investing in Business Innovation Program
    (available to Southern Ontario based groups only)

Application Process for Special Program Designation

Angel groups seeking to be recommended by NACO for designation to participate in special programs must complete the below application(s) specific to their program of interest and will be considered on the basis of the below requirements and the documents provided. Applications received will be considered by an internal committee established by NACO and applicants will be informed in writing once a decision is made by the committee. At the discretion of the committee, applicants may be required to provide additional information in writing or by interview. Only complete applications that meet the program requirements will be considered.

Angel groups designated to participate in special programs may be subjected to additional reporting requirements based on the needs of the individual programs accessed through designation.  Any such additional requirements will be made clear in the terms of the specific program or through the establishment of a Memorandum of Understanding between NACO and the designated Angel group.


To be recommended by NACO to participate as a designated entity in special programs, we require that the applicant group meet or exceed the following:

  • Must be a member in good standing of NACO and must have agreed to the terms of NACO membership;
  • Must be formally constituted and have formal articles of association or incorporation;
  • Must provide evidence of the group’s process for ensuring that only accredited investors (as defined by provincial securities commissions National Instrument 45-106) are investing members of the group;
  • Must provide documented evidence of a formal process for vetting and accepting individual group members;
  • Must provide documented evidence of compliance with any minimum standards or best practices established by NACO and or its program partners for due diligence that will be followed for any investment(s) to be considered as part of participating in special programs accessible through member designation;
  • Must provide documented evidence of compliance with any minimum standards or best practices for investment structures, deal terms and related deal documents that will be followed for any investment(s) to be considered as part of its participation in special programs accessible through member designation;
  • Must provide documented evidence of a formal process to be followed internally by the Angel group for determining how and which members of the Angel group will be able to access the available programs;
  • Must have sound and well documented internal governance practices in accordance with NACO’s established Best Practices for Angel Groups;
  • Must comply with any other standards established or that may in the future be established by NACO to guide best practices for investment, governance or record keeping.
  • Must keep complete and updated records of the group’s investment portfolio;
  • Must provide access to NACO approved investor education programs to their group members;
  • Must report, when requested, with data required by NACO for the purpose of program reporting or maintaining their program designation, including but not limited to:
    •  Information about the group’s investment activity;
    •  Information about their participation in the programs available through NACO designation;
    •  Information about participation volumes and applications made in conjunction with their participation in the programs available through NACO designation;
    •  Information about any changes to the standards and best practices used by members as it relates to the maintenance of their program designation;
    •  Information about any material changes to their organization including changes to legal structure, key persons etc…
  • Must consent to allow NACO, its representatives and Partners to conduct financial and integrity due diligence on the Angel Group, the scope to be defined by NACO during the application process or at any time thereafter once designated.
  • Must confirm that the group is in compliance with provincial and federal tax requirements;


Applying for Start-Up Visa Program Designation

The Start-Up Visa program was launched by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) on April 1 2013, with the participation of the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) in order to support the efforts of Angel investor groups in bringing innovative young companies and their entrepreneurs to Canada, furthering our innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem. Angel groups designated to participate under the program will be able to provide investee immigrant entrepreneurs with access to an expedited immigration process for start-up entrepreneurs. The process is intended to allow for the expedited migration of foreign owned businesses looking to operate in Canada by providing up to five (5) founders or core team members with a permanent residency, provided that they meet the criteria established under the program and CIC’s normal requirements for immigration.

More information on the types of entrepreneurs that would qualify under this program can be found by visiting our Entrepreneur Resources page.

Angel groups seeking to participate in NACO’s Angel stream of the Start-Up Visa Program may apply to seek NACO’s recommendation for designation under the program by filling out the application form below. NACO reserves the right to share applicant information with its partners and the Government of Canada, and to recommend only the members it feels are most suitable to participate in the program. NACO and its Partners may request additional information supplementary to that collected as part of the application process. Integrity due-diligence checks may be requested by NACO, its Partners or the Government of Canada. CIC reserves the ultimate right to accept or deny any recommendations made by NACO.

If you have any inquires, please contact us at startupvisa@nacocanada.com

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