Startup Visas

I'm in London for Seedcamp 2009 and I've been spending the day with entrepreneurs and technologists from all over europe. It's a reminder that the world is full of great entrepreneurs and technologists.

I started my day in a board meeting with one of our companies that was started in Europe. It turns out one of the founders of that company, one that is growing and hiring in the US, cannot get back into the states right now because of a Visa issue.

That is infuriating to me and to the founder in question. His risk taking and the innovations of him and his partners and team members are creating a business in the US and creating jobs and wealth that will largely stay in the US. And he cannot even get into our country right now.

This is nuts. I've got an issue with our immigration policies generally, but specifically we should modify our rules around Visas for founders and key team members of startups that are at least partially based in the US, particularly if they have been well financed by angels and VCs.

Fortunately, there is a growing political movement called The Startup Visa movement and there is real momentum behind it. If you are close to your legislators, particularly representatives and senators, please bend their ear on this issue. Though I am not close to the politics around this issue, I suspect this is not a hard issue to get behind politically. Nobody is losing jobs because entrepreneurs around the world are starting companies that are based, at least partially, in the US.

We should make it easy for these people to get back and forth into our country. And with your help, I suspect we will.

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