Immigrant Founders Behind Most U.S. $1 Billion Start-ups

According to a new National Foundation for American Policy study, 50 out of 91, or 55%, of all $1 billion start-up firms in the US have at least one founder who is an immigrant to the US.

These 50 companies have, on average, created over 1,200 jobs per business, with their collective value placed at $248 billion in total, which is more than the entire value of the stock markets in several countries. The majority of the companies are in Silicon Valley, with California being the headquarters for 31 of the businesses, followed by eight in New York, five in Massachusetts, two in Illinois, and one each in Florida and Washington State. 20 of the 91-billion-dollar start-up firms, 22%, had a founder who came to the US as an international student.

According to the research, immigrants who arrived in the US when they were children started six of the companies. It adds that the findings are of particular note given there is currently no reliable way in the nation’s immigration law for foreign nationals to start a business and to remain in the country after doing so.

Immigrants in the US who have become successful entrepreneurs have done so after being sponsored by employers or family members, or are refugees. Congress has still not passed legislation that would result in the creation of a startup US visa, despite many members supporting the idea.