Tutum has sourced its talent from around the globe. The team consists of three Spaniards, one Chinese and two Americans. Getting here was easy but staying here is hard.
564 of The Global 2000 companies hail from the United States (the largest of any country by a margin of 339 companies). No doubt a vast majority, if not nearly all of these 564 companies were started by immigrants to the United States. People from around the world came and still come to this country to pursue their professional aspirations. Getting in and staying in the United States, though, has never been harder than it is in this day and age.
The United States should take a page out of Chile’s entrepreneurial book. Through Start-Up Chile, Chile provides budding entrepreneurs with equity free financing and a year-long work visa. With an investment-worthy business idea, there are few barriers to accessing start-up capital in the United States. TechStars alone has graduated 300 companies, maintained an 80% funding rate for its companies, averaged an investment per startup of $1.9M and created 2,500 jobs since summer of 2007. TechStars is just one of several such programs in the United States that is driving this country’s entrepreneurial engine.
My request is simple. The United States should make staying in this country as accessible as capital is for an investment-worthy business idea. For international teams, why not pair acceptance into any one of this country’s top accelerator programs with a pain-free, hassle-free, visa of at least one year? The current visa options are too complicated and have extremely slow processing times, especially in an economic environment that demands immediacy. Tutum, like the United States, is built by a hungry, hard-working group of internationals striving to make a difference. Let’s make it easier for companies like Tutum to stay and thrive in the United States.