New book based on findings warns of potential dire consequences for U.S. economy and urges swift action to reverse the trend
(KANSAS CITY, Mo.), Oct. 2, 2012 — A new Kauffman Foundation study finds that high-tech, immigrant-founded startups — a critical source of fuel for the U.S. economy — has stagnated and is on the verge of decline.
"America's New Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Then and Now" shows that the proportion of immigrant-founded companies nationwide has slipped from 25.3 percent to 24.3 percent since 2005. The drop is even more pronounced in Silicon Valley, where the percentage of immigrant-founded startups declined from 52.4 percent to 43.9 percent...
The implications of the research findings, conducted by Vivek Wadhwa, director of research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at the Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University; AnnaLee Saxenian, dean and professor at the Berkeley School of Information; and F. Daniel Siciliano, professor of the Practice of Law and faculty director, Rock Center for Corporate Governance; are the subject of a bookbeing released today by Wadhwa.
The Immigrant Exodus: Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent, (Amazon) draws on the research to show that the United States is in the midst of a historically unprecedented halt in high-growth, immigrant-founded startups.
"The U.S. risks losing a key growth engine just when the economy needs job creators more than ever," said Wadhwa. "The U.S. can reverse these trends with changes in policies and opportunities, if it acts swiftly. It is imperative that we create a startup visa for these entrepreneurs and expand the number of green cards for skilled foreigners to work in these startups. Many immigrants would gladly remain in the United States to start and grow companies that will lead to jobs."
With funding from the Kauffman Foundation, Wadhwa has launched a website — ImmigrantExodus.com — as a resource for journalists and a voice for immigrant entrepreneurs.From the 107,819 engineering and technology companies founded in the last six years, the study examined a random sample of 1,882 companies in a nationwide survey. Of those companies, 458 had at least one foreign-born founder.