• Creating Awareness
    Helping to identify and support clear, direct paths for entrepreneurs to enter the U.S.
    Drawing attention to current inconsistent and delayed review processes and providing updates and information.
  • Providing
    Bringing transparency to lesser-known, but better alternatives to the H-1B visa.
  • Legislative Change
    Pushing for legislative change through partnerships with other organizations.
We are an organization dedicated to highlighting the challenges faced by foreign entrepreneurs seeking to do business in America, as well as the U.S. investment and tech communities that rely on immigrant entrepreneurs.

Since the founding of our country, the entrepreneurial spirit has been a defining characteristic of the United States. Today we are the world leader in creating new enterprises, advancing innovation, and creating jobs as a result of this entrepreneurial activity. Fast-growing companies have long been the main source of new jobs and innovation in the United States. However, visa regulations and processes have made it increasingly difficult for immigrants to launch new companies here. We view this as a major competitive disadvantage for our country in the 21st century. Companies such as Google, Pfizer, Intel, Yahoo, DuPont, eBay and Procter & Gamble are all former start-ups founded by immigrants. Yet immigrants have not only founded major, well-known companies. Foreign-born residents made up just 12.5% of the U.S. population in 2008, while nearly 40% of technology company founders and 52% of founders of companies in Silicon Valley are foreign-born.

Without a modern immigration system that addresses the need for objectivity and additional visa categories-specifically, to foster and encourage U.S. investment and entrepreneurship, as well as creativity and ingenuity--foreign-born students will leave the U.S. and take their skills elsewhere, entrepreneurs will not be able to flourish and enhance the American community with their ideas, American employers will lose out on competitive, top-tier talent, and American investors will not be able to nurture and see the success of their investments.
As venture capitalists and angel investors, we often fund companies at their very inception. In cases where there are immigrant founders, it is often impossible for them to get an appropriate visa to stay in the United States and start their company. Even in cases where the founders already have a visa of some sort, they typically can't use this visa to start a company. As a result, they often have to leave our country to start their company, resulting in a loss of innovative entrepreneurs and the correspondingly created jobs in the United States. There are multiple costs to our country and our economy. First, we lose the entrepreneur, who is a critical part of our society. We then lose the jobs that are created by the new venture, which in the success case could easily number in hundreds or thousands over the first decade of the company's life. Finally, we run the risk of losing our reputation as the greatest country in which to start a company.
" Early stage companies are often started with funding of at least $250,000. In these situations, if a qualified U.S. venture capital investor or a U.S. "super angel" (an angel investor that has a track record of regularly participating in seed round investments) is willing to commit a significant investment for a foreign entrepreneur to start a company in the United States, we believe the entrepreneur should be able to get a "Startup Visa." We believe these thresholds are appropriate for creating credible startups which, if successful, can lead to numerous U.S. based jobs. "

Serge Milman

Partner at
Starta Ventures
  • At this stage we are actively seeking
    VCs, accelerators, tech companies, entrepreneurs, and other key stakeholders who are willing to be founding members, board members or advisers of the Immigrant Entrepreneurship Foundation.
  • Founding member entities and individuals
    will be: (a) listed on our website; and (b) receive news updates and invitations to both public and private member-only events.
  • Board members
    will be required to participate in semi-annual meetings, devote several hours of their time monthly to IEF initiatives and contribute to the overall success of the organization's future via fundraising and outreach efforts.
    Advisers will be individuals who are able to provide highly valuable strategic assistance to the organization on a more informal basis.
  • Katya Kohen
    Managing Partner The13Ventures
  • Michael Cataliotti
    Principal, Cataliotti Law P.C.
  • Diego Berrio
    Managing Partner The13Ventures