[For Immediate Release]
Grass-roots team behind StartupVisa.com to meet, brief representatives of White House, Senators, State & Commerce Departments, DHS, SBA
San Francisco, CA, March 2, 2010 — A group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and venture capitalists will travel to Washington DC this week to promote the Startup Visa Act of 2010, legislation to spur job creation by enabling startup founders to bring new companies to the US, if they can demonstrate funding from US-based investors. The group plans to meet with a variety of federal representatives to brief them on the bill, including the White House, State Department, Commerce Department, DHS, SBA, and members of congress.
“Job creation is a national priority,” said Dave McClure, organizer of the trip and a venture capitalist and former software entrepreneur. “With the Startup Visa Act, we can create thousands of new jobs immediately, and tens of thousands more as these new startups grow into the next Googles, Yahoos, and eBays of their generation. It’s a huge win-win, and we’re traveling to DC to encourage the quick passage of this much-needed reform.”
The Startup Visa Act of 2010, introduced last week by Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and Richard Lugar (R-IN), would modify the existing EB-5 visa to enable job-creating entrepreneurs to immigrate to the United States. The bill requires each entrepreneur to have a sponsoring US venture capital or angel investor who will invest at least $100,000 in their startup, and total funds raised must be at least $250,000 per company. The legislation is supported by more than 150 venture capitalists and investors who signed a letter urging its passage. While in DC, the group will be meeting with members of Congress, The White House, Commerce Department, State Department and Small Business Administration, and bringing thousands of messages from voters around the country who support the bill.
The grass-roots effort to create the bill began last year, prompted by a blog post by Paul Graham of venture capital firm Y Combinator. Brad Feld, a venture capitalist with Foundry Group based in Colorado, took the next step and began promoting the idea on his website and blog. McClure and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Eric Ries and Shervin Pishevar then joined the effort by creating the StartupVisa.com website after a previous trip to DC by Silicon Valley geeks in September, and producing a video featuring Ries and Canadian entrepreneur Eric Diep, who had been unable to get a visa to start his company in the US. Feld worked together with congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) to draft legislation introduced in the House last fall, and was later joined by Kerry and Lugar in introducing similar legislation in the Senate last week.
As McClure and others joined in, the Startup Visa movement became an example of how technology innovation can inspire change, and quickly gathered thousands of supporters in just a few weeks. The group has relied solely on the use of social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and blogs to promote its ideas, and have generated over 2,000 letters in support from voters across the country. “There are no lobbyists, no campaign contributions, no PR agencies,” McClure said. “This is a 100% grass-roots movement of citizens who want to encourage job creation and innovation in the United States.”
“America and the American Dream has attracted the world’s immigrants and their dreams for centuries, ” said Shervin Pishevar. “Our country has been reinvigorated and reinvented by a stream of humanity from all parts of our world. Increasingly, it has become harder for the best and the brightest minds to come to America and write the next chapter of the America Story. The StartUp Visa Act is about winning the race for the very best of the world’s brains and startups who will in turn create jobs and opportunities for all Americans.”
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[PR Contact Dave McClure – 650-743-4738 – firstname.lastname@example.org]