Valley VCs Push for Startup Visa Act
Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and venture capitalists will be working
the halls of Congress and the Obama administration this week to promote
the Startup Visa Act of 2010, which would grant green cards to
immigrant entrepreneurs who bring new companies to the United States, if they
can demonstrate funding from U.S.-based investors.
legislation, introduced last week by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and
Richard Lugar (R-IN), would modify the existing EB-5 visa to allow
job-creating entrepreneurs to immigrate to the United States. The bill
requires each entrepreneur to have a sponsoring U.S. venture capital or
angel investor who will invest at least $100,000 in their startup, and
total funds raised must be at least $250,000 per company.
immigrant entrepreneur must also create five or more jobs (not
including their children or spouse) within two years, attract an
additional $1 million in investment, or produce $1 million in revenues
to become a legal resident.
"Job creation is a national
priority," Dave McClure, organizer of the trip and a venture capitalist
and former software entrepreneur, said in a statement. "With the
Startup Visa Act, we can create thousands of new jobs immediately, and
tens of thousands more as these new startups grow into the next
Googles, Yahoos and eBays of their generation. It's a huge win-win,
and we're traveling to DC to encourage the quick passage of this
While in Washington, the group will be
meeting with members of Congress, the White House, Commerce Department,
State Department and Small Business Administration.
"Global competition for talent and investment grows more intense daily and the United States must step up or be left behind," Kerry said in introducing the legislation. "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."
More than 160 venture capitalists from across the country have endorsed the senators' proposal.