For immediate release

Let Immigrants Kickstart Employment (LIKE) Act

Letter to the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives from U.S. Startup Ecosystem Members, Entrepreneurs, Incubators, Accelerators, and Economic Development Leaders

February 18, 2022

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi Speaker U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy Republican Leader U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Charles Schumer Majority Leader U.S. Senate Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Mitch McConnell Minority Leader U.S. Senate Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McCarthy, Leader Schumer, and Leader McConnell:

We the undersigned are entrepreneurs, incubators, accelerators, and economic development leaders. We write in strong support of Representative Lofgren’s Let Immigrants Kickstart Employment (LIKE) Act of 2021, which would allow the world’s most talented entrepreneurs to launch new companies in the United States and employ Americans.

Immigrants are critical to U.S. economic success and innovation. Foreign-born entrepreneurs play a key role in the creation of high-growth startups. Research shows that immigrants are twice as likely as native-born Americans to start a new business. Though just 14 percent of the population, immigrants account for a quarter of all business owners – with even higher rates among high-tech startups. Numerous immigrant-founded startups have also grown to become some of America’s most successful companies, including Moderna, Tesla, Google, LinkedIn, and eBay.

Young companies are a key driver of U.S. job creation and have been responsible for virtually all net new jobs in the last couple of decades. In the wake of a pandemic that has shuttered more than 150,000 businesses and destroyed millions of jobs, accelerating post-COVID economic growth and job creation depends on new business formation – and immigrant entrepreneurs are critical to that objective.

But the contributions of foreign-born founders are despite U.S. immigration law, not because of it. U.S. immigration law makes it needlessly difficult for foreign-born founders to launch a new company in our country. There is currently no visa category designed for the entrepreneurial model, forcing entrepreneurs to fit square pegs in round holes and use visa categories that are challenging for startups.

For example, the H-1B visa requires an employer-employee relationship and therefore is generally not helpful for the founders of companies. The O-1A visa for “extraordinary ability” is frustrating for young entrepreneurs who do not have a long track record. And the E-2 visa excludes many countries and requires capital from the entrepreneur’s home country (as opposed to a U.S. investor).

The LIKE Act fixes this deficiency in immigration law by creating a dedicated startup visa for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs can only qualify for the visa if they create American jobs and attract significant investment capital from U.S. investors, ensuring that only the most meritorious entrepreneurs can earn the startup visa. The LIKE Act also creates a nonimmigrant visa for essential startup employees to ensure young, high-growth companies can attract top technical talent to grow the company in the United States. This provision is appropriately limited in number and tailored toward high-growth companies.

We regularly hear stories of talented foreign-born entrepreneurs with a promising startup they want to launch in the U.S. who wait years for an employment-based green card. The uncertainty from this process leaves many frustrated and discouraged, and perhaps worst of all, forces these entrepreneurs to other countries that are welcoming them with open arms.

The United States is one of only a few industrialized nations that does not have a visa category for foreign-born entrepreneurs. In recent years, many other nations – including China, Canada, Germany, France, New Zealand, Australia, Chile, and the UK – have overhauled their immigration laws to attract foreign-born entrepreneurs. U.S. immigration policy that pushes away entrepreneurs is one reason why the U.S. share of global venture capital has fallen more than 30 percentage points, from 84% in 2004 to 52% in 2019 in the last 15 years. In 2017 more new technology jobs were created in Toronto than in Silicon Valley, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. combined.

The LIKE Act will help America continue to be a global technology leader and the top location to launch a business in an increasingly competitive global economic landscape. A study of similar legislation by the Kauffman Foundation concluded that an entrepreneur visa would create as many as 1.6 million new American jobs within 10 years. Other studies have estimated that a new visa category for foreign-born entrepreneurs could create as many as 3 million new American jobs over a decade.

In a post-COVID global economy in which the competition for talent is increasingly fierce, the United States needs an immigration framework consistent with its national identity as a land of opportunity, but also one that puts greater emphasis on attracting and retaining the world’s best and most innovative talent. The challenges of launching and scaling a startup are formidable enough without the additional burden imposed on entrepreneurs by our outdated immigration laws.

Foreign-born entrepreneurs have created many of America’s largest and most successful companies. We stand ready to work with you to help ensure the next generation of great companies is launched in America too. Thank you for your consideration of this important proposal.


Max Levchin, Founder & CEO, Affirm

Brian Liu, Founder, LegalZoom Y Combinator

Gwyneth Paltrow, Founder & CEO, goop

Craig Newmark, Founder, Craigslist

Sagar Soni, Co-Founder & CTO, Requestly

David Lopez, CEO, Gritly

Alex Tew, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Calm

Jeffrey Stacey, CEO, Sciencesheet

George Favvas, CEO, Circle Medical

Athyuttam Eleti, Founder, Authik Alex Chiung, Founder & CEO, GIPHY

Krishna Chaitanya Aluru, Head of Product & Engineering, Speechify

Conor McCarter, Co-Founder, Prequel

Patrick Walton, CEO, Care Weather

Manmit Shrimali, CEO, Turing Labs

Davis Smith, Founder & CEO, Cotopaxi

Stephan Jacob, Founder & COO, Cotopaxi

James Kawas, CEO, Flyp

Naresh Venkat, Co-Founder & COO,

Osmos Gabi Lewis, Co-CEO, Magic Spoon

Greg Sewitz, Co-CEO, Magic Spoon

Sedale Turbovsky, CEO, OpenGrants

Charlie Graham, Founder & CEO, Hawku

Ben McKean, Founder, Hungryroot

Alain Meier, CEO, Cognito

Alex Alvarado, CEO, Daybreak Health

Imran Khan, CEO, Verishop Ray Leach, CEO, JumpStart

Viswa Colluru, Founder & CEO, Enveda Bio

Kesava Kirupa Dinakaran, CEO, DigitalBrain

Andreas Fragner, Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer, Kappa Pay

Yurij Riphyak, CEO, YouTeam

David Molot, Co-Founder & CRO, hotglue

Mateo Cavasotto, CEO & Co-Founder, Emi Labs A

romal Beena Sivadasan, Founder & CTO, Bourbon Science

Mikel Carmenes Cavia, Co-Founder & VP of Engineering, Onfleet

Devin Petersohn, Co-Founder & CTO, Ponder

Raphael Goldsztejn, CEO, WeWeb

Murali Aravamudan, Co-Founder & CEO, Nference

Rachel Mumford, Co-Founder & COO, Anima

Stefano Gridelli, Co-Founder & CEO, NetBeez

Darby Wong, CEO, Clerky

Nimit Sawhney, Co-Founder & CEO, Voatz

Jacek Prus, CEO, Current Foods

Eric Migicovsky, CEO, Beeper

Muhammad Umair Siddique, CTO, Unlayer

Adam Neuwirth, CEO, Lucky Card

Jesse Martinez, Founder, Latinx Startup Alliance

Edouard Harris, CTO & Co-Founder, Mercurius

Dr. David Pervan, CEO, CrowdMed

Roland Buelow, CEO, Ancora Biotech

Pasha Rayan, CTO, Forage

John Pleasants, CEO, Brava

Doug Standley, CEO, Niolabs

Grace Belangia, Executive Director, Make Startups

Ankur Goyal, CEO, Impira

Steven Dietz, CEO, United Dwelling

Hamel Kothari, Co-Founder & CTO, Brigit

Aaron S. Katz, Co-Founder & CEO, ClickHouse

Joe Speiser, Founder, atlasMind

Saran Chari, CTO, Lumos Labs

Matthias Metternich, CEO, Art of Sport

Thomas Brunskill, Co-Founder & CEO, Forage

Siqi Chen, CEO, Runway

Austen Collins, CEO, Serverless

Vladimir Novakovski, Co-Founder & CEO, Lunchclub

Kara Holinski, Co-Founder & CTO, Confido

Christoph Lynen, CTO, Psylaris

Askhat Omarov, CEO, Farel

Sabih Mir, Co-Founder & CEO, Mederva Health

Nate Tucker, CEO, StartPlaying.Games

Linda Olson, CEO, Tampa Bay Wave

Corey Hubbard, Founder, DreamHighr

MacKenzie Morris, Owner, Mackleys

Jim Greer, Engineering Director, Roblox

Aaron Horn, Executive Director, New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative

Bartlomiej Jan Skorupa, Co-Founder, Mobile Pathways

Tyler Maloney, CEO, Faves

Tom Wright, CEO, Solve HQ

Liz Pocock, CEO, Startup Tuscon

Marco Marinucci, CEO, Mind the Bridge

Bin Chen, CEO, Powerup Technology

Bobby Matson, CEO, Payitoff

Sherman He, President & Co-Founder, Stori

GY Liu, Co-Founder, Stori

Zack Peng, CEO, Seel

Emily Greer, CEO, Double Loop Games

Caelan Urquhart, CEO, Pipekit

Cooper Newby, CFO, Classet

Yurii Yatsenko, CEO, Wallchain

Nilay Modi, CEO, Slingshow

Sanjay Beri, Founder & CEO, Netskope

Krishna Narayanaswamy, Co-Founder & CTO, Netskope

Ailin Guo, Founder & CEO, Mascot

Abraham Heifets, CEO, Atomwise

Palmer McCutcheon, Co-Founder & CTO, Sleek

Austin Esecson, CEO, Rinsed

Georgy Melkonyan, CEO, Zerobroker Technologies

Roman Sevastianov, CEO, Awesomic

Michael Lee, CEO, Biodock

Nurlybek Mursaliyev, CSO, Biodock

Adora Cheung, CEO, Instalab

Mehdi Osman, CEO, Asayer

Arnelle Ansong, CTO, Edlyft

Doug Winter, CEO, Seismic

Laura Spiekerman, Co-Founder, Alloy

Raj Shah, Chairman, Resilience

Garrett Lord, CEO, Handshake T

ela Andrews, CEO, BearTax

Jake Perlman-Garr, CEO, Kanga

Kent Yoshimura, CEO & Co-Founder, Neuro

Guilherme Santana, CEO, Preservaland

Jonathan Gagne, CEO, Masterpiece Studio

Brandon Waselnuk, CEO, Codex

Levon Brutyan, CEO, Collectly

Benjamin Fernandes, Founder & CEO, NALA

Leonard Bogdonoff, Founder & CTO, Milk Video

Kate Hiscox, Founder,

Stiven Rodriguez, Co-Founder, Kuarto

Francis Thumpasery, Co-Founder & CEO, PermitFlow

Venkateswara Srirama Anuraag Nallapati, COO,

Hassan Khajeh Hosseini, CEO, Infracost

Nuno Pereira, CEO, Holy Grail

Greg Kufera, CEO, Cinapse

Herman Phillips, Co-Founder & COO, Cinapse

Marlon Misra, Founder & CEO, Portal

Arjun Iyer, CEO, Signadot

Chris Maddox, Founder & CEO, Seneca Systems

Nicholas Hippenmeyer, Technical CoFounder, Rinsed

Koji Intlekofer, CTO, Shift Labs

Kashish Mittal, Co-Founder, Emigre

Andrei Serban, CEO, Fuzzbuzz

Soren Therkelsen, COO & Co-Founder, Qvin

Helen Chen, CEO, Guided Clarity

Michael de Vere, CEO, Zest

AI Jonathan Kibera, Founding Partner, SFR3

Tom Fallows, Founding Partner, SFR3

Patrick Wyatt, CEO, One More Game

Ariela Safira, CEO, Real

Seth Sternberg, Co-Founder & CEO, Honor

Julia Marsh, CEO & Co-Founder, Sway

Sourabh Jain, CEO, Relax VR

Ryan Cooke, CEO, JumpWire

Ryan Agresta, CEO, Candidate

Andrew Prystai, CEO, Event Vesta

Jim Caruso, CEO, M1PR

Victor W. Hwang, CEO, Right to Start

Haley Keith, CEO, MITO Material Solutions

Manuel Noya Marino, CEO, Linknovate Science

S.L. Robert Galanakis, Principal, Lithic Technology

Josh Hone, Founding Team & COO, Column Software

Javod Khalaj, Founder, Libib

Nick Chen, CTO, Stori

Tomer Shiran, Founder & CPO, Dremio

Max Child, Co-Founder & CEO, Volley

John Peterson, CEO & Co-Founder, The Nudge

Sarah Peterson Zic, Co-Founder & COO, The Nudge

Yiannis Yiakoumis, Co-Founder & CEO, Selfie Networks

Chris Altchek, Founder & CEO, Cadence

Steven Collens, CEO, MATTER

Thomas J. Riordan, CEO, Aril Computer Corp

Dennis Zdonov, Co-Founder, Faraway

Alex Paley, Co-Founder, Faraway

Christophe Rimann, CEO, Juniper Solutions

Zain Azeem, CEO, Keyri

Jim Brusstar, President & Co-Founder, Treasury Prime

Jade Chan, CTO, Juniper Behavioral Health

Aditya Sharma, Co-Founder, Arise Career

Eduardo Williams, CEO, Contalink

Yash Kothari, Founder & CEO, Sangha Holdings

Benjamin Ehrlich, Chief of Staff, Itse

Pranay Prateek, CEO, SigNoz

Ricardo Wölker, Co-Founder, Cogram

Siddhanta Dange, CTO, Vista

Roujia Wen, CTO & Co-Founder, Seabound

Jay Chia, Founder, Eventual

Abel Riboulot, ECO, Corrily

Vivian Chen, Co-Founder & CEO, Rise

Josh Zad, CEO, Alfred

Richie Serna, CEO & Co-Founder, Finix

Vaibhav Jain, Founder & CEO, Hubilo

Ajeet Singh, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman, ThoughtSpot

Kanav Hasija, Co-Founder & Chief Customer Officer, Innovaccer

Jamie Hale, Co-Founder & CEO, Ladder Financial

Raghavendra Kumar Ravinutala, CEO,

Liam Randall, CEO, Cosmonic Corporation

Syed Shehrum Bokhari, CTO, DeepReel

Erbil Yaman, CEO & Founder, Teamble Technology

Alex Masmej, Founder & CEO, Showtime Technologies

Anand Chowdhary, CTO, Pabio

Surya Oruganti, CEO, Argonaut

Prashanth Balasubramanian, CEO, Lastbit

Albert Nazander, CTO, Meru Health

Blossom Okonkwo, Co-Founder & CMO, WishRoll

Jayanth Velayudhan, CEO, Anomaly Innovations

Evan Conrad, Co-Founder,

Mohit Prateek, Founder & CEO, Anakin Technologies

Jonathan Parisot, CEO & Co-Founder, Actiondesk

Nicholas Piekoszewski, CEO, Natural Beverage Infusions

Anand Ranganathan, Founder & CEO, Duta

Jeffrey Chernick, Co-Founder, Vyng

Ed Baker, Founder & CEO, AnyQuestion

Prince Ghosh, Founder & CEO, Factored Quality

Robby Knight, Co-Founder & CEO, Soda Health

Sean Friedland, Chief Strategy Officer, Trust Software

Tanmai Gopal, CEO, Hasura

Rajoshi Ghosh, COO & Co-Founder, Hasura

Curtis Lee, Co-Founder & Chairman, Pinwheel

Ryan Duitch, CEO, TabPay

Pradeep Elankumaran, Co-Founder & CEO, Farmstead

Bhaskar Sunkara, Founder & CEO, Inception Ops

Sherwin Xia, Co-Founder, Trendsi

Pedro Sanchez de Lozada, CEO, Canid

Craig Cohen, CEO,

Troy Vosseller, Co-Founder, gener8tor

Shan-Lyn Ma, CEO & Co-Founder, Zola

Catherine Khan, Co-Founder & CSO, Verishop

Doris Jung-Lin Lee, CEO, Ponder Data

Aditya Parameswaran, President, Ponder Data

Martina Moring, COO, Customily

Alexey Nikityuk, CEO, Maroo

Hernan Lopez, Founder & Chairperson, Danvas

Vaikkunth Mugunthan, Co-Founder, DynamoFL

Michael Rupprecht, Co-Founder & CFO, RTCanary

James Li, CEO, Mighty Health

Noah Lebovic, CEO, Toolchest

Jose Amich, Founder & CEO, Zeta Surgical

Brad Baum, CEO, Llama Naturals

Kevin Brown, Co-Founder, Llama Naturals

Monji Dolon, CEO, Measured

David Newell, CTO, Letkit

Kartikay Goyle, Co-Founder, Saay

Vakul Goyle, Co-Founder, Saay

Raymond Dolan, Chairman & CEO, Cohere Technologies

Jake Disraeli, Co-Founder & CEO, Treet

Kerrigan Behrens, Co-CEO, Sagley Naturals

Vimal Bhaya, Founder, Renergy Technologies

Vihari Kanukollu, CEO & Co-Founder, Urbankisaan

Feridun Mert Celebi, Co-Founder & CTO, Veil

Melody A. Roberts, Co-Founder & CEO, Liv Labs

Martin Gomez, COO & Co-Founder,

Jake Horowitz, Co-Founder, Mic

Jinal Jhaveri, Founder & CEO,

Tushar Khandelwal, CEO & Co-Founder, TourHero

Tobias Heaslip, Founder & CEO, Trading.TV

Mike Rosenthal, Co-Founder & CEO, It’s Good Group

Marissa Bell, CEO, The Seventh Spark Company

Betsie Larkin, Founder & Co-CEO, Honeylove Sculptwear

Igor Lebovic, Co-CEO, Honeylove Sculptwear

Patricio H. Echague, CTO & Co-Founder,

Arjun Rajasekharan Pillai, Founder & CEO, Insent

Jamil Bou Kheir, Founder & CEO, Firezone

Finbarr Taylor, CEO, Shogun Labs

Evgeny Nadyrshin, CEO & Founder, CADItApp

Ian Christopher, Co-Founder & CTO, Qventus

Adar Arnon, Co-Founder & CTO, SafeBase

Pranay Prakash, CEO,

Ryan Laverty, Co-Founder & President, Arist

Andrew Yates, CEO,

Lucas Fridman, Co-Founder & CPO, Factored Quality

Declan Goncalves, Co-Founder & CPO, Hyperbeam

Anya Roy, Co-Founder, Syrona Health Byron Hsu, CTO, Paragon One

Brian Anglin, Co-Founder, Superwall

Max Kolysh, CEO, Dover

Peter Ekunkoya, Chief Growth Officer, Vendy

Fabian Torres, CEO, Trebol Holdings Limited

Pedro Góes, CEO, InEvent

Yarden Shaked, CEO, Varos

Ben Firshman, CEO, Replicate

Oscar Rojas, CEO, Flui

Franklin George, Co-Founder, Castled Data

Duncan Haldane, CEO, JITX

Oliver Tang, Co-Founder & CTO, LiquiFi

Philip James, Founder & CEO, Firstleaf

Taehoon Kim, CEO, nWay

Isaac Eaves, CEO, Joon

Dave Yen, CEO, Cheekies

Anirudh Ramanathan, CTO, Signadot

Sherry Chen, Co-Founder & CTO, Liyfe

Amir Nathoo, CEO, Outschool

Olivier Zimmer, Co-Founder & CEO, Spate

Julian May, Co-Founder, Lizza

Sam Logan, Co-Founder, Rinsed

Tom Hacohen, Founder & CEO, Svix

Karan Sood, Founder & CEO, Cboe Vest Group

Wei-Jien Tan, Co-Founder & CTO, Patchd Medical

Hazal Kansu, Co-Founder & COO, Oda Studio

Ramy Khorshed, CEO & Co-Founder, Sakneen

Felipe Abello, CEO & Founder, HelloGuru

Spencer Burleigh, Co-Founder & President, Rent the Backyard

Rakesh Goyal, CEO, Snippyly

Chandan Lodha, President, CoinTracker

Shadi Saberi, CTO, iSono Health

Bhavin Shah, CEO, Moveworks

Saif Khawaja, Founder, Shinkei Systems

Jason Gong, Co-Founder, Firezone

Muhammet Furkan Yilmaz, CTO, Haystack

Anant Kale, CEO, AppZen

Grace Lee, CEO, Birdy Grey

Monica Ashauer, COO, Birdy Grey

Charn Bak, CEO, Boba One Corp

Bhairav J. Mehta, CEO, q&ai S

ungrok Shim, Co-CEO, Porter Technologies

Brian NeSmith, Founder & Chairman, Arctic Wolf

Ilya Usorov, Co-Founder & CTO, BoldVoice

Joaquin Araujo, Co-Founder, Rendalo Maq

Han Wang, Co-Founder & CEO, Mintlify

Michael Callahan, Co-Founder & CEO, Humaning

Brian Bell, CEO, Split Software C

hristian Braun, CEO, hobbyDB Corp

Rick Turcozy, Co-Founder & General Manager, Portland Incubator Experiment

Roland Mansilla, Co-Founder, COO & CFO, Safely Finance

Chi Lee, CEO & Co-Founder, arqu

Christopher Levine, Co-Founder & CTO, arqu

Dmitry Birulia, Co-Founder, Veryfi

Shridhar Sukhani, Founder & CEO, S2 Labs

T. Majoko, Founder, TLW

Jeevika Makani, Co-Founder & CEO, remint

Vijay Anand Bhagavatula, CEO, ODWEN S

ujay Suresh Kumar, Co-Founder & COO, Lilu

Martin Gouy, CTO, Artifact Company

Matthew Morley, CEO, Savvy Technology

Christine Day, Co-Founder & CEO, The House of LR&C

Sophia Amoruso, Founder & CEO, Business Class

Abhay Mitra, Co-Founder & CTO, Nirvana Tech

James Wilsterman, Founder & CTO, Volley

Kevin Tostado, Owner, Tostie Productions

Ling Zhang, Co-Founder & CEO, Shopsocial

Sohrob Farudi, CEO, Fan Controlled Sports & Entertainment

Tyler Balliet, CEO, Rosé Mansion

Bassima Mroue, CEO & Co-Founder, SkinTē

Rahul Mallapur, Co-Founder & CEO, Blitzllama Labs

Asher Adeniyi, CEO & Co-Founder, Eazipay

Mary Eleanor (Mariel) Davis, Co-Founder & CXO, Spokn

Fawzy Abouseif, Co-Founder & CEO, Spokn

Javier Méndez, Co-Founder, Flui

Alejandro Abarca Blanco, CTO, Delee Corp

Tilek Mamutov, Co-Founder & CEO, Outtalent

Gaston Zelerteins, CEO, Aleph Solutions

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