Wolfsdorf Rosentahl LLP

Foreign Entrepreneurs Start 25 Percent of New U.S. Technology Companies, Study Estimates


A new study by Duke University researchers has estimated that one out of every four U.S. technology start-ups over the past 10 years has at least one senior executive who was born outside the U.S. The study’s lead researcher, Vivek Wadhwa, who was born in India and founded two technology companies, noted, “It’s one thing if your gardener gets deported. But if these entrepreneurs leave, we’re really denting our intellectual property creation.” The most likely niches that immigrant entrepreneurs entered were semiconductors, communications, and software; least likely was defense. Mr. Wadhwa called the new study “the most comprehensive study to date on the contribution of skilled U.S. immigrants.”

The study is posted at www.memp.pratt.duke.edu. Mr. Wadhwa has authored a related article that recommends lifting the H-1B cap, among other things. The article, “Keeping Research and Leadership at Home,” is posted at www.businessweek.com.

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