As access to information increases and initial startup costs decrease, people from around the world are looking at high-tech entrepreneurship in a new light. A recent article featured on the San Francisco Chronicle’s website highlights this new reality, and points to immigration restrictions as an obstacle to international collaboration and technological progress. The piece lends important context for debate surrounding the Blueseed project, and how seasteading can ease overly-restrictive policy:
“Google, Intel and Yahoo! were all co-founded by immigrant entrepreneurs. The value of these startup ventures includes having created thousands of jobs in the U.S. and developed technology many of us use every day. With strict U.S. work visa laws in place, the U.S. could be missing out on opportunities for the creation of more companies.”
It seems clear that the United States needs more high-skilled immigrants if it hopes to simultaneously increase innovation and economic opportunities for both foreigners and existing citizens alike. The question remains whether our political system will offer a solution, or if will be up to entrepreneurs themselves to find alternative routes to Silicon Valley.
Some other highly relevant observations in the article include the following:
- Startups today can be established for less than $100,000. This figure was closer to $1 million 10 years ago.
- In 2010, Silicon Valley accounted for over 30% of all venture capital investing in the U.S.
- 16% of Stanford Business School grads said they wanted to start their own companies in 2011.