Many of the United States’ most innovative entrepreneurs have been immigrants, from Andrew Carnegie, Alexander Graham Bell, and Charles Pfizer to Sergey Brin, Vinod Khosla, and Elon Musk. Nearly half of Fortune 500 companies and one-quarter of all new small businesses were founded by immigrants, generating trillions of dollars annually, employing millions of workers, and helping establish the United States as the most entrepreneurial, technologically advanced society on earth.
Now, Vivek Wadhwa, an immigrant tech entrepreneur turned academic with appointments at Duke, Stanford, Emory, and Singularity Universities, draws on his new Kauffman Foundation research to show that the United States is in the midst of an unprecedented halt in high-growth, immigrant-founded start-ups. He argues that increased competition from countries like China and India and US immigration policies are leaving some of the most educated and talented entrepreneurial immigrants with no choice but to take their innovation elsewhere. The consequences to our economy are dire; our multi-trillion dollar loss will be the gain of our global competitors.
With his signature fearlessness and clarity, Wadhwa offers a concise framework for understanding the Immigrant Exodus and offers a recipe for reversal and rapid recovery.
About Vivek Wadhwa
Vivek Wadhwa is director of research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization and executive in residence at the Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University; vice president of innovation and strategy at Singularity University; fellow at the Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance, Stanford University; and distinguished visiting scholar, Halle Institute of Global Learning, Emory University. Wadhwa is a regular columnist for the Washington Post, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and Forbes.com. In February 2012, the US government awarded Wadhwa distinguished recognition as an “Outstanding American by Choice”—for his “commitment to this country and to the common civic values that unite us as Americans.”
The United States, writes the author in this brief manifesto, has long been hospitable to hardworking, innovative immigrants, particularly in the tech sector. “As an entrepreneur,” writes the author, “I became aware of how many Indian and Chinese immigrants started technology companies. The number seemed way out of proportion to their representation in the US population.” Small wonder: Immigrants figure prominently in more than 75 percent of the top venture-funded startups, while foreign-born inventors and the investors who financed them account for just about the same percentage of tech patents. Whereas homegrown Americans go into law, business and medicine, immigrants figure disproportionally in the ranks of engineers and other people who actually make things. For decades, writes Wadhwa, the U.S. has relied on those immigrants to do that making, but thanks to misguided cuts in education, “it’s no longer a given that foreign students will flock to US universities for science and technology graduate studies.” They’re going instead to Canada or Britain, or staying home. Wadhwa offers a well-reasoned proposal to restructure visa requirements to allow greater numbers of educated immigrant technologists into the U.S., allow their spouses to work as well, “untether the H-1B worker from the employer,” and other reforms. – Kirkus Reviews
Preventing Silicon Valley’s ‘Immigrant Exodus’
NPR Book Review – October 5, 2012 (Excerpt)
A new study from the Kauffman Foundation shows that the number of immigrant entrepreneurs in the United States has fallen slightly. But according to Vivek Wadhwa, an author of the study, the drop is especially steep in Silicon Valley, long a magnet for the brightest and most ambitious minds from around the world.
From 1995 to 2005, immigrants founded 52 percent of the startups in Silicon Valley. The updated research shows that since 2005, that dropped to 44 percent. Wadhwa joins NPR’s Renee Montagne to discuss his findings. [Read the full article...]
THE BLEEDING HILLS A Novel by Wilfried F. Voss
I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith. - 2 Timothy iv. 7
The Irish War is officially a part of history, but not for Finnean Whelan, an IRA veteran of almost 40 years. British Intelligence has produced evidence that he is the mastermind behind a conspiracy to assassinate the First Minister of Northern Ireland. For Whelan this is not only a mission of revenge, but marks the beginning of a journey into the past and the return to the one true love: Ireland. [More...]
We are the only country that makes guns, including military-style assault weapons, available to anyone who wants to buy them. This is not freedom. It is a tyranny of death and destruction — a tyranny of which the National Rifle Association is proud. The Washington Post
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