Immigrants Role in Top U.S. Venture Funded Companies


A new study by The National Foundation for American Policy has found that immigrant labor and immigrant work has helped create US jobs and some of the top companies emerging in the US today. According to the study, high-growth start-ups are creating the majority of new jobs domestically today. And those who are creating the companies are largely immigrants.

According to The National Foundation for American Policy, almost half of the top venture funded companies in the US were founded or co-founded by immigrants. According to the study, 23 out of the top 50 venture-backed firms in the country were at least part founded by an immigrant. Each of those countries helped create an average of 150 new jobs in the country. The study further found that 37 of the top 50 venture-funded companies in the US have immigrants in top management and production levels. Each of the top fifty companies is worth under $1 billion and has secured venture funding in the past three years. Companies included in the study include Etsy, Zoosk, and Chegg.

According to the study, most of the immigrant founders and co-founders of these companies hail from India, with a notable percentage also originating from Israel or Canada. The study’s findings also suggest that the role of immigrant work and investment is venture-funded companies in growing. According to a 2006 National Venture Capital Association study, only 25% of venture-funded companies between 1990 and 2005 had at least one immigrant founder.

The National Foundation for American Policy study spoke with a number of immigrant entrepreneurs at the top venture-funded companies in the US. In interviews, the immigrants explained that they came to the US to pursue possibilities and business options which were not always possible in their home countries. Some saw the US as a place of opportunity for founding their companies.

The growing importance of immigrant labor and innovation in funding companies and in creating jobs has led some groups to conclude that more needs to be done to encourage immigration and especially immigrant entrepreneurs to visit and live in the US. Since immigrants have measurably contributed to the development of US jobs and have helped create well-known companies that are building new opportunities and growing the US economy, there is a growing movement to encourage this type of immigrant labor in the US. Especially now that the economy is only slowly rebounding, this entrepreneurial effort could potentially help bolster the economy further, according to some experts.