These are companies that can add two dozen employees per year as they rocket upward.
This year, we do not have to stand by and watch another group of talented MBAs and PhDs graduating from our local universities leave the country because they can’t secure permission to stay here to launch their startup businesses.
Thanks to a unique, public-private partnership between UMass, the Commonwealth, and local business leaders, called the Global Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, we now have a solution in place. Here’s how: By working in a part-time capacity for a public university like UMass, these entrepreneurs can get a visa. The rest of the time, they can work on their startup.
A coalition of business leaders, pulled together by Jeff Bussgang, General Partner at Flybridge Capital Partners, is rallying to scale the Global Entrepreneur-in-Residence program.
What is the potential? Research shows that nearly half of the fastest growing tech firms have immigrants as founders or co-founders. These are companies that add two dozen employees per year as they rocket upward.
There are 31,000 international graduate students attending Massachusetts universities, the fourth largest population in the US. Most are science, technology, engineering or business students. International graduate enrollment is 42% at MIT, 34% at Harvard; 29% at Boston University.
If as research predicts, two-thirds start a business, and five percent of those do it in Massachusetts, we will have added thousands of new jobs to the economy.
Successful Pilot Program
The Global Entrepreneur-in-Residence pilot program run last year brought back two Harvard Business School grads (from India and Ireland) who are now Entrepreneurs-in-Residence at the UMass Venture Development Center where they are also launching their companies.
One of the companies, FirstLine, is turning primary care upside down by giving consumers direct access to doctors through their smartphones.
Every Entrepreneur-in-Residence costs approximately $30,000. According to Bussgang, that’s “chump change” compared to the economic value their startups can create.
Sponsor an Entrepreneur
To learn more about joining the coalition and sponsoring these entrepreneurs with the potential to build innovative companies, contact Mary Rose Greenough.