Thursday, June 20, 2024

Creativity emerges when ideas that would otherwise not be brought together, are brought together. The success of any business, or industry, depends upon its ability to bring these disparate ideas together and create a laboratory of ideas. No industry better encapsulates this than Silicon Valley, where immigration has been a huge driver of innovation, bringing ideas from different parts of the world and mixing them up to develop novel solutions to some of the hardest problems in the world. You can learn about various types of business strategies that you can adopt, on this website:

The Network Society

Silicon Valley is a network society, and was forced to spur innovation by bringing into one physical space as many skilled engineers, scientists, and funding. The first company to emerge from Silicon Valley was HP, formed by William Hewlett and David Packard. Since then, countless startups have been created in Silicon Valley, startups that have gone on to transform the world, such as Alphabet, Apple, and Meta Platforms.

A report by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) has deepened our understanding of this incredible network society. It reveals that 55% of unicorns, i.e. startups worth at least $1 billion, were founded by immigrants. The United States has 582 unicorns, and that translates to 319 immigrant-founded startups. When you consider startups founded by immigrants or their children, the share of immigrant-founded startups rises to two-thirds.

Silicon Valley’s success with immigration is a lesson for the United States, and other countries. Indeed, it was observed by many commentators that immigrants played a large role in the development of the BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, saving countless lives in the process. The founders of the German startup, BioNTech, were Turkish immigrants, Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci.

The Benefits of Immigration are Real

What we’re learning is that, as they undertake those immigration physical exams, many immigrants carry in them the seeds of the next great startup. This is something that should inform immigration policy. Immigration is often discussed as if it is just about illegal immigrants who are a drain on the system and who, if they have any use, are in low skilled jobs. This report shows that immigration has numerous positive benefits to the country, creating hundreds of billions of dollars in value for the country. This is in spite of the numerous hurdles that foreign nationals have in starting businesses in the country.

Legal Barriers to Immigration

Immigrants have few legal routes to come into the country and start businesses. Employer-sponsored visas, for instance, have limited duration, and often do not allow an immigrant to reside in the country permanently. The NFAP has argued that immigrants who found businesses in the country should be allowed to stay here, using a startup VISA scheme that the foundation has proposed. Although the Obama Administration opened a path for entrepreneurs to come over for business, those visas are not permanent. In any event, the Trump Administration scuttled the program. It is unlikely that the program was extensively used, given that we have had a pandemic since the program was first created. Since the Trump Administration, there have been even greater barriers to immigration, barriers which have largely not come down under the Biden Administration. More needs to be done to make the country more welcoming to immigrants.


Leave a Comment