It’s not news that the Indian entrepreneurial community is upbeat about the growing startups scene in Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad and other cities. With a number of US-India tech startup teams having successfully developed products and a growing base of innovative entrepreneurs working on a range of technologies which could fuel a new generation of companies in India. China has actively promoted it’s own technology startup ecosystem from the government level promoting entrepreneurship in it’s education system and making innovation a priority. But it’s not just these countries that are seeing web startups springing up. There’s great talent across the world and who wouldn’t welcome the brightest?
Vivek Wadhva’s TechCrunch post “Finally, a Startup Visa That Works” sparked a lot of discussion around topics like immigration, brain drain and the consequences of a new US legislation which is under review and if passed would create a Startup Visa for skilled entrepreneurs to set base for their startups in the US. Now there are differences in opinion on just how much of an impact a bill this would have in terms of how startup partnerships currently operate with cross border teams. While some believe that entrepreneurs which can bag US super angel funding (which is one of the conditions for the proposed Startup Visa) would jump at the chance to move their base to the US others don’t see any major impact as a result of this.
As entrepreneur Aditya Sahay says on his blog
The burning question is:
Will the Startup Visa cause large number of Indian entrepreneurs to migrate to US, and damage the Indian startup eco-system, which is still in its infancy?
Short answer – No.
• “Smart” technical people who move to developed countries for better career and lifestyle, will continue to do so.
• Entrepreneurs focused on Indian markets don’t care about moving to US.
The reality of the current global scenario in a world where everything is so highly networked is: A Visa is no longer going to be a barrier to partnerships, collaboration, talent acquisition and building a startup with talent from where it’s available.
It hasn’t been for some time now. The Slideshare.net team is just one of many examples of a San Francisco + New Delhi based company and this trend is likely to continue regardless of visa policies and barriers across countries. When innovation is to happen, it will overcome barriers physical, political, financial, legal or otherwise. A startup in the US can just as easily partner with a technology manufacturing unit in China to combine capabilities and get their idea into production and to market. With the startup communities and ecosystems merging online and connecting like never before, you can have a Valley based entrepreneur link with a co-founder in Ukraine to develop a beta version of their application, secure seed funding from an Israel based angel investor, link with a Turkish based marketing team to grow into Europe and the Middle east.. anything is possible!
Would it help if there were less political challenges and visa restrictions to do business and collaborate with people in different places? Yes! Would it prevent you from working with them altogether if there are barriers even though you know there is value in collaboration? Not likely!
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This entry was posted on Friday, March 25th, 2011 at 6:34 am and is filed under How to invest in startups. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.