Following is a letter to Senator Barbara Boxer from the Silicon Valley Leadership Group which recently endorsed The Startup Visa. The Silicon Valley Leadership Group was founded in 1977 by David Packard, the co-founder of HP, and has over 300 member companies from Silicon Valley along with a very experienced board of directors.
Re: Strong support for StartUP Visa Act (S. 3029)
August 9, 2010
Dear Senator Boxer,
On behalf of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, we are writing in support of the StartUp Visa Act, S. 3029 (Kerry).
As you may know, this legislation is critical to Silicon Valley, as it would help facilitate and prioritize bringing in qualified entrepreneurs, enabling the U.S. to remain a competitive hub of global start up activity. We support the efforts of Senators Kerry and Lugar to create jobs here at a time when the best and brightest can help drive our economic recovery. Specifically, the StartUP Visa Act would grant three year visas to foreigners who:
- Have a required amount of financial backing from a qualified investor or venture capitalist
- Have a commercial business that will generate a predetermined level of employment, revenue or capital investment
The goal of the StartUP Visa legislation is to create an alternate visa system to the H1B program, in which temporary visas are granted to immigrants working in specialized fields including the high-tech industry. Currently, there are 65,000 HIB visas awarded to immigrants and an additional 20,000 H1B visas awarded to individuals who hold an advanced degree. Additionally, this legislation would create a new set of visas that require immigrants to invest at least $1 million dollars in the US and employ at least 10 people.
One hundred and sixty venture capitalists and angel investors support the bill. According to the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), 25 percent of America’s venture-backed and publicly-traded businesses, including: Google, Yahoo!, eBay, Intel, Pfizer, DuPont and Procter & Gamble are examples of American success stories founded or co-founded by foreign born residents. Further, in 2005, these companies netted more than $52 billion in sales and employed 450,000 workers. In 2006, 24% of all filled patents had foreign residents listed as the inventor or co-inventor.
We encourage your support for S. 3029 and to urge immediate action on the Senate floor. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
President and CEO
cc: Senators Kerry, Lugar and Udall