Thoughts on startups by investors that
fund them & entrepreneurs that run them

How do US venture capital firms view an entrepreneur who decides to go for funding to the US with a business plan, and then will need a visa?

The disappointing fact is that this is a highly unlikely scenario, for several reasons.

The most important is that venture capital firms simply do not fund business plans. They fund companies. There are several excellent explanations why this is the case, but the bottom line is that VCs are able to fund only one out of every 400 companies who approach them, and thus the bar is set very high for what is considered “fundable”. For US VC-level financing, this will typically mean a company that is fully operating, is based here in the US, has already secured a seed round investment, has a finished (or nearly finished) product, and is already generating revenues of some kind. Other reasons have to do with the fact that H1B visas (which is probably what you are talking about) are available only to foreign nationals who are already employed by an existing US company and require documentation you are unlikely to have.

Your best bet in this situation is probably to find an ‘established’ US startup that would be willing to employ you and go through the rather complicated H1B visa sponsorship process, and then (with their permission) work on your own time to create your startup.

That said, you should check with a US immigration lawyer, but I’m not sure that it is even possible for someone on a short-term visa to found a company in the US. Even if it is, you would have to return to your home country when your visa expires, unless you are successful in getting a Green Card (permanent resident alien status in the US, which is pretty tough to get.) But I wish you luck with your venture!

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*original post can be found on Quora @ http://www.quora.com/David-S-Rose/answers *

Written by David S. Rose

user David S. Rose Founder and CEO,
Gust

David has been described as "the Father of Angel Investing in New York" by Crain's New York Business, & a "world conquering entrepreneur" by BusinessWeek. He is a serial entrepreneur & Inc 500 CEO who chairs New York Angels, one of the most active angel investment groups. David is also CEO of Gust.

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