Immigrant entrepreneurs involved in one quarter of technology start-ups

Foreign-born entrepreneurs were behind one in four U.S. technology startups over the past decade, according to a study published today.
A team of researchers at Duke University estimated that one quarter of technology and engineering companies started from 1995 to 2005 had at least one senior executive – a founder, chief executive, president or chief technology officer – born outside the United States.
Other pertinent studies are a 2000 study on Silicon Valley’s new immigrant entrepreneurs
Annalee Saxenian of U.C. Sanat Cruz was author of the 2000 study, involved in the 2007 study, and one of the top experts on immigrant worker involvement in high tech.
and this study: American made: Impact of immigrant entrepreneurs and professionals on U.S. competitiveness (no date)
Key findings:
•In 25.3% of technology and engineering companies started in the U.S. from 1995 to 2005, at least one key founder was foreign-born. States with an above-average rate of immigrant-founded companies include California (39%), New Jersey (38%), Georgia (30%), and Massachusetts (29%). Below-average states include Washington (11%), Ohio (14%), North Carolina (14%), and Texas (18%).
•Nationwide, these immigrant-founded companies produced $52 billion in sales and employed 450,000 workers in 2005.
•Indians have founded more engineering and technology companies in the U.S. in the past decade than immigrants from Britain, China, Taiwan, and Japan combined. Of all immigrant-founded companies, 26% have Indian founders.
•The mix of immigrant founders varies by state. Hispanics constitute the dominant group in Florida, with immigrants from Cuba, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, and Guatemala founding 35% of the immigrant-founded companies. Israelis constitute the largest founding group in Massachusetts, with 17%. Indians dominate New Jersey, with 47% of all immigrant-founded startups.
•Chinese (Mainland- and Taiwan-born) entrepreneurs are heavily concentrated in California, with 49% of Chinese and 81% of Taiwanese companies located there. Indian and British entrepreneurs tend to be dispersed around the country, with Indians having sizable concentrations in California and New Jersey, and the British in California and Georgia.
•In 2006, 24.2% of U.S.-originated international patent applications were authored or co-authored by foreign nationals residing in the U.S. These immigrant non-citizens, as we called them, are typically foreign graduate students completing their PhDs, green card holders awaiting citizenship, and employees of multinationals on temporary visas. This percentage had increased from 7.8% in 1988—and this count doesn’t include immigrants who had become citizens.

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