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Immigrants dominate U.S. startup market

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AppDynamics CEO and founder Jyoti Bansal says he had to wait seven years to for his green card. — AppDynamics

AppDynamics CEO and founder Jyoti Bansal says he had to wait seven years to for his green card. — AppDynamics

(Diya TV) — A new non-partisan study on entrepreneurship endorses the tech industry’s notion that further success in contingent on robust immigration — according to the National Foundation for American Policy, a non-partisan think tank based in Arlington, Va., immigrants started more than half of the top American-based startups valued at $1 billion or more.

Collectively, the 44 companies are valued at $168 billion and create an average of roughly 760 jobs per company, all in the United States, according to the study. Additionally, the study estimates that immigrants occupy over 70 percent of key management or product development positions at said companies.

The study examined 87 U.S. companies valued at $1 billion or more as of Jan. 1, as ranked by the Wall Street Journal’s Billion Dollar Startup Club.” At the top of highest valued companies founded by immigrants are the car-hailing service Uber Technologies, data-software company Palantir Technologies Inc. and rocket maker Space Exploration Technologies Inc.

Stuart Anderson, author of the study and executive director of the National Foundation for American Policy, says the findings speak to how much the U.S. economy stands to benefit from the talents of foreign-born entrepreneurs and how much more it could benefit if it were easier for them to obtain visas. Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft tech titan Bill Gates concur, and have both called for increasing the number of H-1B visas that let skilled foreign workers stay in the country.

Gates and Zuckerberg argue that increased immigration greatly benefits the tech community, and that it is difficult for companies to hire foreign-born workers and for immigrant entrepreneurs to start businesses due to the visas’ constraints.

Opponents of the increase have argued that tech companies are merely looking to hire cheaper labor. Some politicians, such as the Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, have said publicly that they will seek to curb the worker visa program. Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, also making a run for the White House, introduced a bill last December that lawmakers say aims to reform the H-1B program — applicants would be required to hold an advanced university degree, have worked at least 10 years overseas and not get paid materially less than U.S. workers.

The H-1B program currently caps the amount of visas distributed at 85,000 per year, 65,000 are set aside for foreign workers applying for the first time and 20,000 are for foreign students graduating from American universities. Last year, the lottery to obtain an H-1B visa hit capacity one week after it began, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services — during the first week, nearly 233,000 petitioners filled out applications.

Anderson said the law has already complicated things for entrepreneurs, it’s difficult for them to qualify because it’s meant for employers to petition on behalf of their employees.The decision to start a company while awaiting to hear the verdict of an H-1B application is risky, according to Anderson, and in the majority of cases, immigrant entrepreneurs are only able to get their businesses off the ground after first gaining permanent residence, then obtaining a green card.

“How would you ever raise money for it?” Mr. Anderson told the Wall Street Journal. “Who is going to invest in a company if the founder of the company may not be able to stay in the U.S.?”

Jyoti Bansal, founder of AppDynamics Inc., said he had to wait seven years for his employment-based green card before he could even start his company. Bansal’s company helps other companies monitor the performance of their networked applications, and has been valued at $1.9 billion. According to the study, Mr. Bansal couldn’t leave his job to start a new company because it was unclear if he’d be able to keep his H-1B status.

According to the study, founders of billion-dollar startups most often hail from India (14), followed by Canada and the U.K., with eight each, then Israel (7) and Germany (4). Two originated from France and the Collison brothers, the co-founders of payments startup Stripe, make up the pair from Ireland.

Information from the Wall Street Journal contributed to this report.

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Harvard to host 17th annual India Conference this February

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Diya TV) — For the 17th year in a row, the graduate students at Harvard University will host an India Conference. It will take place during the weekend of February 15-16, 2020. Two days of exciting discussions through panels, mixers and networking will fill the halls of the Harvard Business School and Kennedy School of Government.

The theme for this year’s conference is Foresight 20/20 – a look at what to expect from India in 2020 and beyond. As one of the largest student led conferences in the USA, the Harvard India conference attracts the biggest headliners from every field – from politics, business, entertainment & the arts. And this year is no different.

India Conference
India Conference at Harvard

With more than 100 speakers and 1000 attendees, the conference promises to have something for everyone. This year’s biggest draw from the entertainment genre is veteran Bollywood actor and self proclaimed ambassador to India, Anupam Kher. Kher has a long standing list of accolades within the film industry. In addition to his acting roles, he has been a producer, director and teacher at his own acting school. Most recently he played the role of Dr. Vijay Kapur on NBC’s primetime drama ‘New Amsterdam‘.

Some other notable speakers this year include founder of the India Today Group, Aroon Purie, Indian Olympic athelete Dutee Chand, comedian and actor, Vir Das, partner at Softbanks’ Vision Fund Lydia Jett & politician and India’s ruling party (BJP)’s sherpa to the G20, Suresh Prabhu.

The harsh winter in Harvard doesn’t seem slow down or dull these brilliant minds in any way. The India Conference at Harvard continues to retain its standing as the conference of choice for deliberating issues ranging from technology, media, politics and eduction to creating solutions for India’s path towards global leadership. The event features brainstorming sessions and sincere discussions on the very real and large scale problems that are uniquely Indian.

Diya TV is a media sponsor to the event and will be on-site covering conference. To receive a 20% discount use code RDAY20 here and to know more about the conference or speakers, head to the IndiaConference.com

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Indian Ambassador, Shringla speaks to U.S. Congress about Kashmir

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AMB. Shringla speaks to congress about Kashmir | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Shringla met with members of Congress at a private roundtable briefing, hosted by Southern California Congressman Brad Sherman. Sherman, who has been a supporter of India, took to Twitter recently to share his concerns about Kashmir and said serious questions about Kashmir were asked at the briefing.

President Trump is being urged to fix the H1-B visa process and do away with country-specific limits, with the latest effort for reform being spearheaded by 60 U.S. business school deans and CEO’s.

In an earthquake, seconds matter. So on the anniversary of the deadly 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that rocked Northern California, state officials announced the launch of America’s first statewide earthquake early warning system.

Tabla Maestro Zakir Hussain will be coming to Boston next month to perform at the Berklee India Exchange, where he will also be conferred with an honorary doctorate by the esteemed music school. A Zakir Hussain Scholarship at Berklee is also being established.

And we have incredible video of three kids from India rescuing their dog from a snake that’s equal parts courageous and nuts.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Federal Court rules Trump must turn over tax returns | Diya TV News

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Trump Tax Returns

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — A federal judge ruled President Trump must turn over eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns to Manhattan prosecutors, striking down the President’s argument that a sitting president cannot be criminally investigated. The ruling was quickly appealed and this case could end up in the Supreme Court to answer the constitutional question of whether presidents can be charged with a crime.

Meanwhile, the President celebrated a victory by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, as a federal appellate court upheld most of the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. It also ruled the FCC cannot preempt state net neutrality laws, meaning the rules of the road in states like California remain in place.

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee announced their Asia-Pacific and Non-Proliferation Subcommittee will be holding a hearing asking State Department officials and human rights activists to chime in on Human Rights in Kashmir, the Tamils of Sri Lanka, Muslims in Assam and the human rights situation in Pakistan, which includes the Sindh Province.

Lockheed Martin announced they will build F-16 wings exclusively in India, helping in integrating Indian industry into the $165 billion fighter aircraft market.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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