Technology Entrepreneurs Coveted by Universities

Rahm Emanuel, the Mayor of Chicago, wants to take maximum advantage of the present H-1B visa program while it lasts. This is a matter of concern as President Donald J. Trump has publicly stated his intention of slashing the visa program which is used by technology companies to hire engineers, scientists and technicians. All these professionals are not found aplenty among American citizens.

Gainful partnership

The Chicago mayor plans to announce in City Hall its intention of signing a partnership with five universities based in Chicago. City Hall plans to create what it terms as Global Entrepreneur in Residence initiatives. The concept is not new. A partnership among the same lines was done in campuses of the University of Massachusetts in Lowell and Boston. The initiative has been utilized to sponsor about 23 local entrepreneurs. The companies of such entrepreneurs have created a total of 416 jobs until now. It has generated about $185 million of private investments from 2014.

Near identical Global Entrepreneur in Residence programs were also created at the Boulder’s University of Colorado City and the University of New York. Similar programs are about to be created at the St. Louis’ University of Missouri, Anchorage’s University of Alaska and also at the Alaska Pacific University.

The Chicago version will be followed by Illinois Institute of Technology, Columbia College in Chicago, DePaul, Northwestern and Loyola. All the five educational institutions will independently draft their application requirements. They will take independent decisions on who to take in their program.

Fostering innovation

The first year would see participating universities together sponsoring about anywhere between 10 and 20 visa slots. These will be provided solely to entrepreneurs whose companies have the potential to employ 70 or more jobs over the subsequent three years. If entrepreneurs would have to qualify for such a visa program, they must be affiliated with the university. For those entrepreneurs who are at their “early stage”, they must hold part-time employment at the university when simultaneously growing their startups.

The “established entrepreneurs” must “physically house” the companies at the university as the affiliate of their entrepreneurship center or a comparable innovation or business hub. Mayor Emanuel has spent almost six years trying to push Chicago as the Midwest’s Silicon Valley. This is the reason he crafted ThinkChicago. The venture has already provided more than a thousand high-performing engineering and technology students an excellent opportunity to explore the city of Chicago.

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