You may have heard about StartupVisa – a movement that seeks to change the current EB-5 visa (immigrant investor) guidelines. To summarize, “Under the proposed legislation, instead of the visa going to an investor, a startup company founder or entrepreneur who receives a minimum equity investment of $250,000 could qualify as an EB-5 visa recipient. At least $100,000 would have to come from a sponsoring US investing entity.” To say that this movement is critical to the entrepreneurial and further economic development of the US would be an understatement!
Now, like anything new (and, in general, anything involving the U.S. legal system), there are going to be challenges and inherent flaws that, at some point, will need to be addressed and potentially modified. Well, StartupVisa is no different. In a recent post, esteemed entrepreneur turned academic, Vivek Wadhwa writes about “How to Fix the Flawed Startup Visa Act” – it’s a great read and makes some simple recommendations to address those inherent flaws.
Taking a step back however, it’s important to realize and not discount, that we as a country are slowly beginning, yet again, to take the right first step to bring intellectual capital back to the good ole U.S. of A! Granted… we shot ourselves in the foot when we (and by, “we” I mean former Presidential administrations) touted the advantages of U.S. firms of outsourcing knowledge jobs overseas and provided incentives for doing so without planning for the long term ramifications to the economy. Fine – lesson learned! As a nation, we have been battling reverse brain drain for some time now, which has lead to strong economic developments of other countries like India and China. Now, that is great news for those countries but what about right here at home where unemployment is at all time highs along with a national debt of over $14 trillion dollars? I’m not in anyway advocating the StartupVisa is going to solve all of our economic problems but it’s a start in the right direction and for that, I applaud all those involved and look forward to lending my support to the cause.