Lesa Mitchell and I at Kauffman talked recently at Foo Camp with Paul Graham of Y-Combinator fame, and he was passionate on the subject of immigrant founders. Why do we make it so darn hard for smart and motivated company founders to come to this country and create great companies? We shouldn’t.
What should we do? How about a Founder’s Visa. That is the idea Graham has proposed, and it is getting strong backing from Brad Feld at Foundry Ventures, as well as other VCs and entrepreneurs. It is even getting attention from politicians.
The particulars are still getting worked through, but it has to do with getting a modicum of funding ($250,000) and approval from an independent board that this represents a real startup deal, not some backroom finagling for a visa, and that’s it: You’re in the country and you’re off and running.
This is a big idea worth getting behind.