Many of the United States' most innovative entrepreneurs have been immigrants, from Andrew Carnegie, Alexander Graham Bell, and Charles Pfizer to Sergey Brin, Vinod Khosla, and Elon Musk. Nearly half of Fortune 500 companies and one-quarter of all new small businesses were founded by immigrants, generating trillions of dollars annually, employing millions of workers, and helping establish the United States as the most entrepreneurial, technologically advanced society on earth.
Now, Vivek Wadhwa, an immigrant tech entrepreneur turned academic with appointments at Duke, Stanford, Emory, and Singularity Universities, draws on his new Kauffman Foundation research to show that the United States is in the midst of an unprecedented halt in high-growth, immigrant-founded start-ups. He argues that increased competition from countries like China and India and US immigration policies are leaving some of the most educated and talented entrepreneurial immigrants with no choice but to take their innovation elsewhere. The consequences to our economy are dire; our multi-trillion dollar loss will be the gain of our global competitors.
With his signature fearlessness and clarity, Wadhwa offers a concise framework for understanding the Immigrant Exodus and offers a recipe for reversal and rapid recovery.
Vivek Wadhwa is director of research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization and executive in residence at the Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University; vice president of innovation and strategy at Singularity University; fellow at the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance, Stanford University; and distinguished visiting scholar, Halle Institute of Global Learning, Emory University. Wadhwa is a regular columnist for the Washington Post, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and Forbes.com. In February 2012, the US government awarded Wadhwa distinguished recognition as an and#147;Outstanding American by Choiceand#8221;and#151;for his and#147;commitment to this country and to the common civic values that unite us as Americans.and#8221; Alex Salkever is a writer and former editor of BusinessWeek.com where he managed technology coverage for the publication. His work has appeared in numerous national and international publications in print and online publications, including the Christian Science Monitor, Wired Magazine, Salon.com, BusinessWeek, and Inc. Magazine.