Patrick Pichette, former Google CFO, joins iNovia as general partner
Not only is there a need for more growth-stage capital, which iNovia plans to provide, but there’s been renewed support from academia and the government to make Canada an attractive place for tech companies, he says.
As the U.S. administration tightens the rules around the H-1B visa program, which allows American companies to employ foreigners in specialized positions, Canada has been trying to woo highly skilled tech workers with an initiative that helps potential employees get temporary work permits in as little as two weeks.
Meanwhile, foreign students are applying to Canadian schools in record numbers, with some citing the tumultuous political climate as part of their decision.
“Trump is doing Canada a terrific service right now,” Pichette says.
As someone who made a fortune in the United States (Pichette received hefty, multi-million dollar salaries at Google), he also wants to see more Canadian-founded success trickle down in that economy, instead of abroad.
When scouting companies for iNovia investment, Pichette says that he’s particularly interested in finding tech startups with environmental ties.
“When you start traveling and thinking from a global perspective, you realize how small the planet is and how predatory we are to its ecology,” he says. “I’m excited about technology that can make a difference in these areas.”