I’m trailing, following, and investigating, curious to understand this American phenomenon called the immigrant entrepreneur
Thank you for joining me on this journey, this podcast.
Normally when people write a book, broadcast a podcast, there is an introduction, to explain what is the purpose, what is the thinking behind.
I held back because I wanted the entrepreneurs to speak for themselves.
I did not have clear answers.
After 24 interviews with entrepreneurs from 21 different countries, I at least am beginning to understand the right questions to ask.
Before I started I knew only the facts – that immigrant entrepreneurs are creating an outsized effect across the country.
Over 27% of all new businesses in this country have an immigrant at the helm. Yes all the dry cleaners, motels, restaurants, but also like 35% of Silicon Valley startups, including Google, eBay, Yahoo and PayPal
I was aware that 40% of Fortune 500 companies were started by immigrants or their children — such as AT&T, IBM and McDonald’s?
Then there was one statistic that was even more impressive:
1/3 of VC backed companies that go public have an immigrant at the helm. Let me break that down a little bit, because this is important.
Venture capital is money provided by investors to startup firms with perceived long-term growth potential, that is investors believe the companies can scale.
Let’s look at some rough numbers:
There are 6 million employer companies in the United States in 2008 (those companies which have employees – doesn’t included the 22 million ‘non-employer companies)
Every year there are 800,000 new ‘employer companies)
About 1200 new companies receive venture capital each year. (less than ½ percent)
10% of those that receive venture capital go public (IPO)
In other words, a tiny portion less than a 1/1000 of companies with employers are invested in by venture capital and go public.
Why do we care? Because about 20% of America’s GDP is generated by venture capital backed firms. They are job creating machines.
And 1/3 of these VC backed companies that go pubic) have an immigrant as a founder.
So I knew these impressive facts, but did not understand why.
I decided to meet and interview these entrepreneurs through this podcast and have them share their personality traits, their success formulas, and most important their stories – with you.