Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Immigrant Entrepreneurs

From the new Duke/UC Berkley report America's New Immigrant Entrepreneurs:

The goal of this research was to document the economic and intellectual contributions of immigrant technologists and engineers at the national level. To understand the economic impact, the study looked at a large sample of all engineering and technology companies founded in the last ten years, to determine whether a key founder was an immigrant. To understand the intellectual contribution, they analyzed the World Intellectual Property Organization Patent Cooperation Treaty database for international patent applications filed in the United States.

In 1999 AnnaLee Saxenian published a groundbreaking report on the economic contributions of skilled immigrants to California’s economy. Silicon Valley’s New Immigrant Entrepreneurs focused on the development of Silicon Valley’s regional economy and the roles of immigrant capital and labor in this process.

A special analysis of Silicon Valley, CA and Research Triangle Park, NC was published as part of the new report published in January 2007. From the analysis of engineering and technology companies founded from 1995 to 2005 in these two regions:

• Over half (52.4%) of Silicon Valley startups had one or more immigrants as a key
founder, compared with the California average of 38.8%.
• In Silicon Valley, since 1999 the percentage of firms with Indian or Chinese founders has increased from 24% to 28%. Indian immigrants outpaced their Chinese counterparts as founders of engineering and technology companies in Silicon Valley.
• In Research Triangle Park, 18.7% of startups had an immigrant as a key founder, compared with the North Carolina average of 13.9%. Indians constitute the largest immigrant founding group, with 25% of startups, followed by immigrants from the U.K. and Germany.

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