February 8, 2018


TechNet Renews Call For President To Preserve International Entrepreneur Rule

Washington, D.C. — TechNet, the national, bipartisan network of innovation economy CEOs and senior executives, today renewed its call for President Trump to preserve the International Entrepreneur Rule, which encourages talented immigrant entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses in the U.S.  TechNet is part of a coalition spearheaded by the National Venture Capital Association, which today sent a letter to President Trump urging him to keep the rule in place as a key driver of economic growth and job creation.

The rule was set to go into effect on July 17, 2017, but the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) delayed the effective date to March 14, 2018.  Although a legal challenge to DHS’ authority to delay the rule was successful, the department is still considering officially rescinding it this year.

“We are proud to join the National Venture Capital Association and our many partners across the country in this effort to drive economic growth, job creation, and innovation in the U.S.  Our country should be doing everything we can to encourage talented entrepreneurs from around the world to launch companies, create jobs, and invest in the U.S.,” said TechNet President and CEO Linda Moore, who on January 18 wrote a letter to DHS in support of keeping the rule“The Administration should allow the International Entrepreneur Rule to take full effect this year and work with Congress on additional ways to promote America’s global leadership in innovation.”

The full text of today’s coalition letter is below and a PDF is available here.

February 8, 2018

President Donald J. Trump
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We the undersigned represent a broad cross-section of business leaders, investors, and organizations that are dedicated to promoting American entrepreneurship to create new jobs and bring new technological and scientific advancement to our country.  We strongly encourage you not to move forward with “Rescission of the International Entrepreneur Rule,” which would upend the ability of talented immigrant entrepreneurs to launch new enterprises and employ American workers in communities all across the United States.

The International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) allows world-class immigrant entrepreneurs to build new companies in the United States if the startup has substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.  During your State of the Union speech, you stressed the need for a “merit-based immigration system — one that admits people who are skilled, who want to work, who will contribute to our society, and who will love and respect our country.”  IER applicants are emphatically all of those things and as such deserve your full support.

IER will bring new companies and opportunities to the U.S. that will benefit all Americans, and especially those living in areas that have struggled in recent years.  That is why business leaders in 26 states from America’s heartland supported IER in a letter to you in May 2017.  In the letter, leaders from states like Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania wrote that their “communities are poised to reap considerable economic and job-creation benefits of attracting and retaining more of the world’s most talented entrepreneurs to build great companies here in the United States.”

Following a federal court order, IER is now in effect.  We are excited to see IER get off the ground so our country can experience its many benefits.  Talented immigrant entrepreneurs have already begun to apply for IER and are making plans to launch the next generation of iconic American companies.  Immigrant entrepreneurs have a storied history of creating incredible companies, with a recent study finding that 43 percent of the 2017 Fortune 500 were founded or co-founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant.  Furthermore, immigrant entrepreneurs “have started more than half (44 of 87) of America’s startup companies valued at $1 billion or more.”  IER will help ensure top companies continue to be founded in the United States rather than overseas.

Unfortunately, “Rescission of the International Entrepreneur Rule” has been pending review with the Office of Management and Budget since November 17, 2017.  This potential new rule places a dark cloud over IER, as immigrant entrepreneurs are uncertain of how long IER will be in place.  The rescission rule stifles investment into new companies with foreign-born founders, which ultimately costs the U.S. economy.  It also exacerbates an alarming trend of elite entrepreneurs launching successful startups outside the United States.  Twenty years ago our country’s share of global venture investment was 90%, but that number has dropped precipitously to 81% in 2006 and to 53 % in 2017.  In 2016, China was home to six of the ten largest venture capital investments in the world.  If we continue to push entrepreneurs overseas, our share of global investment will continue to decrease.

We believe it would be misguided for your administration to end IER before it has the chance to show its benefits.  Immigrant entrepreneurs have a demonstrated track record of contributions to the U.S. economy and IER is tailored to attract those who are most likely to create a successful new enterprise.  One study estimates that IER would create more than 300,000 jobs over ten years.  That estimate could be on the low-end as it assumes that one-half of the firms that would benefit from IER are in the science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) fields, but 89% of venture capital dollars invested since 2013 have been in STEM companies, meaning the job-creation benefits of IER could be even greater.

We strongly encourage you not to move forward with “Rescission of the International Entrepreneur Rule,” and instead embrace IER as the job creation tool it can be for our country.  Thank you for your attention to this critical issue.


National Venture Capital Association, Washington, DC
Angel Capital Association, Kansas City, MO
Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Harrisburg, PA
Bunker Labs, Chicago, IL
Business Forward, Washington, DC
Center for American Entrepreneurship, Great Falls, VA
Consumer Technology Association, Washington, DC
Economic Innovation Group, Washington, DC
Engine, San Francisco, CA
Enterprise Center in Johnson County, Fairway, KS
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Kansas City, MO
Flywheel Ventures, Santa Fe, NM
FWD.us, Washington, DC
GAN, Denver, CO
Illinois Venture Capital Association, Chicago, IL
Internet Association, Washington, DC
Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), Washington, DC
Metropolitan Economic Development Assoc., Minneapolis, MN
Mid-Atlantic Venture Capital Association, Washington, DC
New American Economy, Washington, DC
New England Venture Capital Association, Boston, MA
PACT, Philadelphia, PA
Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association, Pittsburgh, PA
Revolution LLC, Washington, DC
Rocky Mountain Venture Capital Association, Erie, CO
Siskind Susser, PC, Memphis, TN
SSTI, Westerville, OH
Tech: NYC, New York, NY
TechNet, Washington, DC
VentureOhio, Columbus, OH
Wisconsin Venture Capital Association, Madison, WI

About TechNet
TechNet is the national, bipartisan network of technology CEOs and senior executives that promotes the growth of the innovation economy by advocating a targeted policy agenda at the federal and 50-state level.  TechNet’s diverse membership includes dynamic startups and the most iconic companies on the planet and represents three million employees and countless customers in the fields of information technology, e-commerce, the sharing and gig economies, advanced energy, cybersecurity, venture capital, and finance.  TechNet has offices in Washington, D.C., Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Sacramento, Austin, Boston, Olympia, Albany, and Tallahassee.

805 15th Street,  NW Suite 708 Washington, DC 20005
(202) 650-5100
Privacy Policy