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10

Jul

NYC Supports Immigrant Founders through THRIVE Competition

NYCEDC, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, And Baruch College Launch Competition THRIVE, A Business Plan Competition to Help Reach Immigrant Ventures And Entrepreneurs

"New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, and Baruch College today launched the Competition To Help Reach Immigrant Ventures and Entrepreneurs (THRIVE). The purpose of Competition THRIVE is to generate proposals which will assist immigrant entrepreneurs to start, operate, and expand their businesses in New York City. All organizations which have ideas of how to facilitate entrepreneurial business and better serve the immigrant community are encouraged to enter a proposal. Organizations will be able to submit their proposals to the competition through August 31, after which a judging panel will select five finalists to receive seed funding of $25,000 to pilot their program. The pilot period will last 6 months after which, the program recognized as the most scalable and sustainable by the panel of judges will be selected as the winner and receive funding of $100,000 to further implement their program.”

21

Apr

President Obama Supports Visas for Job-Creating Foreign Entrepreneurs

Yesterday at Facebook, President Obama had this to say about foreign entrepreneurs:

“If we’ve got smart people who want to come here and start businesses and are PhDs in math and science and computer science, why don’t we want them to say? I mean, why would we want to send them someplace else?

So those are potential job creators. Those are job generators. I think about somebody like an Andy Grove of Intel. We want more Andy Groves here in the United States. We don’t want them starting companies — we don’t want them starting Intel in China or starting it in France. We want them starting it here.

So there’s a lot that we can do for making sure that high-skilled immigrants who come here, study — we’ve paid for their college degrees, we’ve given them scholarships, we’ve given them this training — let’s make sure that if they want to reinvest and make their future here in America that they can.”

These ideals spoken of today by President Obama at Facebook are the ideals embodied in the Startup Visa Act of 2011. We want more startups that create more jobs to be located here in America, for the benefit of Americans.

Startups are the engine of job creation in America. The Kauffman Foundation shows that “new firms add an average of 3 million jobs in their first year, while older companies lose 1 million jobs annually.” The Startup Visa Act of 2011 will help create more jobs and expand the tax base by removing government roadblocks from letting American and foreign entrepreneurs come together to create more jobs for Americans.

“Every job-creating American business started as an idea in the mind of an entrepreneur.  We need to keep and bring more of those ideas to our shores where they can put Americans to work.  Global competition for talent and investment grows more intense daily and the United States must step up or be left behind,” according to Startup Visa bill lead sponsor Sen. Kerry (D-MA).

“We want to establish a way for the smartest and most entrepreneurial individuals in the world to come to the United States and create jobs. Many are already here studying at our great universities. Helping them stay to invest in their ideas and create jobs benefits all Americans,” adds lead cosponsor Sen. Lugar (R-IN).

Go to Votizen to add your voice to ours in supporting the Startup Visa Act of 2011: https://www.votizen.com/issues/startupvisa/

To learn more, visit us at http://www.startupvisa.com/

15

Apr

Thank @SenBennetCO

Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado became the Startup Visa’s fifth Senate supporter on 8 April 11. Thank him for his support by sending a #startup visa tweet!

21

Mar

Rep. Maloney introduces StartUp Visa bill in House to help jump-start job creation in America

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) today introduced legislation, “The StartUp Visa Act of 2011,” H.R. 1114, to encourage innovation and economic growth by permitting immigrant entrepreneurs greater access to temporary U.S. visas. The bill matches legislation introduced this week by Senators John Kerry, Richard Lugar, and Mark Udall in the Senate.

“The entrepreneurial spirit among immigrants is ingrained in our country’s history and success,” said Rep. Maloney. “This legislation will promote our competitiveness around the globe and create a new generation of prosperity here at home by helping highly-skilled talent— wherever in the world it comes from—to create companies and jobs in the U.S.”

“Every job-creating American business started as an idea in the mind of an entrepreneur.  We need to keep and bring more of those ideas to our shores where they can put Americans to work.  Global competition for talent and investment grows more intense daily and the United States must step up or be left behind,” said Sen. Kerry, Senate sponsor of the bill. 

“Creating a new magnet for innovations and innovators to come to the United States and create jobs here will offer our economy a double shot in the arm – robust job creation at home and reaffirmation that we’re the world’s best place to do business.”

The “StartUp Visa Act of 2011” better utilizes existing visas by making adjustments to the existing EB-5 visa to accommodate those entrepreneurs who fit one of three fact patterns:

Option One: Immigrant entrepreneurs living outside the U.S. would be eligible to apply for a StartUp Visa if a qualified U.S. investor agrees to financially sponsor their entrepreneurial venture with a minimum investment of $100,000. After two years, their business must have created 5 new jobs and raised not less than $500,000 in additional capital investment or generate not less than $500,000 in revenue.

Option Two: Immigrant entrepreneurs currently living and working inside the U.S. on an unexpired H-1B visa; OR immigrant entrepreneurs currently in the U.S. who have completed a graduate level degree in science, technology, engineering, math, computer science, or other relevant academic discipline from an accredited United States college, university, or other institution of higher education would be eligible for a StartUp Visa if…
-    They demonstrate annual income of not less than roughly $30,000 or the possession of assets of not less than roughly $60,000; and
-    Have proven that a qualified U.S. investor agrees to financially back their entrepreneurial venture with a minimum investment of $20,000.
After two years, their business must have created 3 new jobs and raised not less than $100,000 in additional capital investment or generate not less than $100,000 in revenue.

Option Three: Immigrant entrepreneurs living outside the U.S. would be eligible to apply for a StartUp Visa if they have controlling interest of a company in a foreign country that has generated, during the most recent 12-month period, not less than $100,000 in revenue from sales in the U.S.  After two years, their business must have created 3 new jobs and raised not less than $100,000 in additional capital investment or generate not less than $100,000 in revenue.


##


Background.

A copy of the House legislation is accessible here. (PDF) 

Visas covering these options would be reallocated under existing EB-5 visa – which grants visas to foreign nationals who invest $1 million towards the creation of 10 jobs. Under a new EB-6 category, a visa would be granted to the innovative entrepreneur with intellectual capital, instead of a wealthy foreign investor who is in a position to buy a visa. The legislation transfers an allotment of the yearly 9,940 EB-5 visas, of which only 4,191 visas were used in FY 2009, to be granted under the new EB-6 category. The creation of new visas is not authorized in this bill.

The investor(s) eligible to “sponsor” immigrant entrepreneurs must be based in the U.S. - with the majority of partners being U.S. citizens - and have made $10 million capital commitments over the course of 2 years, with at least four investments exceeding $500,000 as stipulated in applicable SEC investor rules.

If you want to support Startup Visa, send a message to your officials now with Votizen.

16

Mar

WSJ: #StartupVisa bill reintroduced

15

Mar

Startup Visa has a bill number: S.565

Support the Startup Visa bill at startupvisa.com or one of the links at the bottom of the post.

Senate Process: The Startup Visa Act has been introduced to the Senate, which is called being “read twice,” in the bill’s status on THOMAS.  The bill was then sent to the Judiciary Committee, which oversees Immigration issues, which the Startup Visa is classified under. Once the committee meets, expect the bill to be assigned to the Immigration subcommittee. If it emerges from the Judiciary committee, the bill will be ‘read a third time’ on the floor and then voted on.

Goals: The Judiciary Committee is chaired by Sen. Leahy of VT and its membership can be found here: http://judiciary.senate.gov/about/members.cfm For those of you in Silicon Alley, NYC, Senator Schumer is the chair of the Immigration subcommittee, whose membership can be found here: http://judiciary.senate.gov/about/subcommittees/immigration.cfm

These committee members are our initial targets to gain support from.

Immigration Subcommittee Twitter handles:

Chuck Schumer, New York (Chairman) : @ChuckSchumer
Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont : @SenPatrickLeahy
Dianne Feinstein, California : @DianneFeinstein
Dick Durbin, Illinois : @DickDurbin
Al Franken, Minnesota : @AlFranken
Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut : @DickBlumenthal

John Cornyn, Texas (Ranking Member) : @JohnCornyn
Chuck Grassley, Iowa : @ChuckGrassley
Orrin Hatch, Utah : @OrrinHatch
Jon Kyl, Arizona : @SenJonKyl
Jeff Sessions, Alabama : @SenatorSessions

More later!

A roundup of links about the bill:

THOMAS, Library of Congress: http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.uscongress/legislation.112s565

GovTrack: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s112-565

POPVOX: https://www.popvox.com/bills/us/112/s565

Votizen: https://www.votizen.com/issues/startupvisa/

14

Mar

Startup Visa bill reintroduced by Senators Kerry, Lugar, and Udall

From the Press Release:

Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, along with Senator Mark Udall (D-Colo.), today reintroduced legislation to drive job creation and increase America’s global competiveness by helping immigrant entrepreneurs secure visas to the United States.  Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) plans to introduce companion legislation in the House.

The StartUp Visa Act of 2011 will allow an immigrant entrepreneur to receive a two year visa if he or she can show that a qualified U.S. investor is willing to invest in the immigrant’s startup venture.  And in an expansion from the Kerry-Lugar StartUp Visa Act of 2010, the pool of eligible immigrants would now include holders of H-1B visas and entrepreneurs living outside the United States with a market presence in the country.

“Every job-creating American business started as an idea in the mind of an entrepreneur.  We need to keep and bring more of those ideas to our shores where they can put Americans to work.  Global competition for talent and investment grows more intense daily and the United States must step up or be left behind,” said Sen. Kerry.  “Everywhere Dick Lugar and I travel for the Foreign Relations Committee, we see firsthand the entrepreneurial spirit driving the economies of our competitors.  Creating a new magnet for innovations and innovators to come to the United States and create jobs here will offer our economy a double shot in the arm – robust job creation at home and reaffirmation that we’re the world’s best place to do business.”

“We want to establish a way for the smartest and most entrepreneurial individuals in the world to come to the United States and create jobs. Many are already here studying at our great universities,” said Sen. Lugar.  “Helping them stay to invest in their ideas and create jobs benefits all Americans.”

“Our broken immigration system prevents talented entrepreneurs from all over the world from developing ideas that keep America competitive in a global economy.  While I believe broader reform of the immigration system is long overdue, this fix is important to ensure we don’t unnecessarily hinder the innovators and entrepreneurs who will help drive America’s future economy,” said Sen. Udall.

“The entrepreneurial spirit among immigrants is ingrained in our country’s history and success,” said Rep. Maloney. “This legislation will promote our competitiveness around the globe and create a new generation of prosperity here at home by helping highly-skilled talent— wherever in the world it comes from—to create companies and jobs in the U.S.”

Options for Entrepreneurs

 The StartUp Visa Act of 2011 would amend immigration law to give immigrant entrepreneurs three new options for entry or retention of residency:

Option One: Immigrant entrepreneurs living outside the U.S. would be eligible to apply for a StartUp Visa if a qualified U.S. investor agrees to financially sponsor their entrepreneurial venture with a minimum investment of $100,000. After two years, their business must have created 5 new jobs and raised not less than $500,000 in additional capital investment or generate not less than $500,000 in revenue.

Option Two: Immigrant entrepreneurs currently in the U.S. on an unexpired H-1B visa; OR immigrant entrepreneurs currently in the U.S. who have completed a graduate level degree in science, technology, engineering, math, computer science, or other relevant academic discipline from an accredited United States college, university, or other institution of higher education would be eligible for a StartUp Visa if;

They demonstrate annual income of not less than roughly $30,000 or the possession of assets of not less than roughly $60,000; and

Have proven that a qualified U.S. investor agrees to financially back their entrepreneurial venture with a minimum investment of $20,000.

After two years, their business must have created 3 new jobs and raised not less than $100,000 in additional capital investment or generate not less than $100,000 in revenue.

Option Three: Immigrant entrepreneurs living outside the U.S. would be eligible to apply for a StartUp Visa if they have controlling interest of a company in a foreign country that has generated, during the most recent 12-month period, not less than $100,000 in revenue from sales in the U.S. 

After two years, their business must have created 3 new jobs and raised not less than $100,000 in additional capital investment or generate not less than $100,000 in revenue.

Better Utilizing Existing Visas

To accommodate this new type of visa, adjustments would be made to the existing EB-5 visa – which grants visas to foreign nationals who invest $1 million towards the creation of 10 jobs. Under a new EB-6 category, a visa would be granted to the innovative entrepreneur with intellectual capital, instead of a wealthy foreign investor who is in a position to buy a visa. The legislation transfers an allotment of the yearly 9,940 EB-5 visas, of which only 4,191 visas were used in FY 2009, to be granted under the new EB-6 category. The creation of new visas is not authorized in this bill.

Preventing fraud and abuse

The investor(s) eligible to “sponsor” immigrant entrepreneurs must be based in the U.S. - with the majority of partners being U.S. citizens - and have made $10 million capital commitments over the course of 2 years, with at least four investments exceeding $500,000 as stipulated in applicable SEC investor rules.

Link: http://kerry.senate.gov/press/release/?id=4e6a51f6-fb2b-4212-b299-b0c46c7e6b58

#StartupVisa trending in SF

Keep supporting the Startup Visa movement by tweeting and RT #StartupVisa :)

Our goal is to hit trending in DC next for any DC followers!

Support the new Startup Visa bill in Congress

It’s time to reboot the push for#startupvisa. Text “STARTUPVISA” to 894546 to send your support to Congress. Let’s tweet this one out, folks!

11

Mar

Startup Stories: Apply in the Sky @NancyPelosi

Apply in the Sky is a San Francisco-based startup that provides a web platform to help people navigate important transitions in career and education. Co-founded by Italian Chiara Piccinotti and American Emily Chiu, they have already made their first hire, in developer and technical lead Ryan Kaminsky.

Unfortunately, while the team is headquartered in SF, out of the SOMA neighborhood, Chiara is based out of Chicago, where she is pursuing an MBA on a J1 visa, which is what allowed her to come to the US in the first place to start building Apply in the Sky with Emily. 

The irony, of course, was that the single thing enabling Chiara to work on her company was also preventing her from devoting her time to it fully. And let’s not forget the significant financial burden that business school entails — not ideal for the founder of a bootstrapped company. Even so, this is only a short term solution. The J1 visa allows for 18 months of “Academic Training”, so about a year from now she may once again be unable to legally work for my startup.

With a Startup Visa, Chiara would be able to focus on Apply in the Sky with the rest of the team, helping people to handle moving between jobs easier.  Tell Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to support the Startup Visa bill.