21 December 2011

American immigrants responsible for half of top start-up companies

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The American research group National Foundation for American Policy have released a report that shows American visa holders from foreign countries have been responsible for founding or cofounding nearly half of the top 50 venture-backed companies in the United States.

American visa

A new report shows American visa holders as responsible for half of the top 50 venture-backed US companies.

Most of the America visa holders involved in the top start-up companies came from India, followed by Israel, Canada, Iran and New Zealand, with the companies creating an average of 150 jobs each. Furthermore, approx. 74 per cent of the top companies had at least one immigrant as a key member of the management or product development team.

The group conducted the research by gathering biographical data and interviewing representatives from the companies. The most common role for an immigrant to hold was Chief Technology Officer (CTO), while many held CEO or vice president of engineering titles.

The report goes on to speculate that the numbers of key position holders born outside of the United States may be even higher, since individuals were not included in the findings if their place of birth was in any way unreliable.

Speaking recently with reporters, president of the National Venture Capital Association said: “It's a gamble whether an entrepreneur should stay or leave right now, and that's not how the immigration system should work … What we need is legislation that helps these entrepreneurs from outside the United States.”

The American Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries make their ESTA application.

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