A quarter of US startups made up of immigrants

A new study that shows that one quarter of technology startup companies in the United States were founded by immigrants could result in a call to relax immigration and naturalization laws ahead of the US Presidential elections next month, where immigration is one of the big issues along with the economy.

“America’s New Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Then and Now” is the name of the study, which shows that as many as 24.3% of technology and engineering firms have had at least one immigrant founder who is serving in some sort of crucial role.  The study paid special attention to Silicon Valley, where as many as 335 engineering and technology startups were analyzed and 43.9% were discovered to have had at least one immigrant involved in the founding.

“High skilled immigrants will remain a critical asset for maintaining US competitiveness in the global economy,” the authors of the study, which was sponsored by non-profit entrepreneurship promotion organization the Kauffman Foundation, wrote.  Singularity University’s Vivek Wahhwa, co-author, said that a visa should be created that is specifically designed for entrepreneurs.  “If we had a startup visa, we would have tens of thousands of new startups nationwide,” he believes.

The number of startups in Silicon Valley has mushroomed in recent years, with entrepreneurs finding it much easier to be able to access earlier capital, or “seed” as it is sometimes referred to, according to the study.  Forty million people living in the United States, as of the 2010 Census, were born overseas.