Foreign Entrepreneurs Keep Coming To Silicon Valley — For Now

By Trisha Thadani
San Francisco Chronicle

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Despite the frustrations some foreign entrepreneurs face, there is a historically large class of founders from abroad going through incubators in Silicon Valley. Both “500 Startups”, a highly competitive tech incubator and Y combinator remain extremely popular.

San Francisco Chronicle

It’s 10 p.m. on a recent Thursday, and Daniel Kravtsov still has a long night ahead.

Over the next five hours he will sit in his Hayes Valley apartment, directing a team of developers in Russia via Skype.

While long hours come with the territory of being an entrepreneur, foreigners like Kravtsov feel that almost everything about growing a startup would be easier if they weren’t so tied up by the red tape of the U.S. immigration system.

“If we have technical problems, we need to wait several hours until my developers wake up,” said Kravtsov, CEO of Improvado, which helps advertisers process data. If the prospect of sponsoring visas for his employees wasn’t so hopeless, Kravtsov said he would bring some of his developers — who he said have irreplaceable skills — to the U.S.

Despite the frustrations entrepreneurs like Kravtsov face, his company is part of a historically large class of founders from abroad going through 500 Startups, a highly competitive tech incubator. Another well-known startup finishing school, Y Combinator, has been hosting more foreigners than since it started keeping records about its founders’ nationality.

These incubators and others like them admit classes of early-stage companies every year and give them a small amount of financing as well as direction on how to succeed. Entering these programs is often seen as a mark of prestige for nascent companies around the world.

The founders in 500 Startups’ current class are about 43 percent international, up from the past average of 33 percent.

Related News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *