The Immigrant Exodus
Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent
Publication Date: October 2012
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Many of the United States’ most innovative entrepreneurs have been immigrants, from Andrew Carnegie, Alexander Graham Bell, and Charles Pfizer to Sergey Brin, Vinod Khosla, and Elon Musk. Nearly half of Fortune 500 companies and one-quarter of all new small businesses were founded by immigrants, generating trillions of dollars annually, employing millions of workers, and helping establish the United States as the most entrepreneurial, technologically advanced society on earth.
Now, Vivek Wadhwa, an immigrant tech entrepreneur turned academic with appointments at Duke, Stanford, Emory, and Singularity Universities, draws on his new Kauffman Foundation research to show that the United States is in the midst of an unprecedented halt in high-growth, immigrant-founded start-ups. He argues that increased competition from countries like China and India and US immigration policies are leaving some of the most educated and talented entrepreneurial immigrants with no choice but to take their innovation elsewhere. The consequences to our economy are dire; our multi-trillion dollar loss will be the gain of our global competitors.
With his signature fearlessness and clarity, Wadhwa offers a concise framework for understanding the Immigrant Exodus and offers a recipe for reversal and rapid recovery.
Vivek Wadhwa is director of research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization and executive in residence at the Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University; vice president of innovation and strategy at Singularity University; fellow at the Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance, Stanford University; and distinguished visiting scholar, Halle Institute of Global Learning, Emory University. Wadhwa is a regular columnist for the Washington Post, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and Forbes.com. In February 2012, the US government awarded Wadhwa distinguished recognition as an Outstanding American by Choice”for his commitment to this country and to the common civic values that unite us as Americans.”
Alex Salkever is a writer and former editor of BusinessWeek.com where he managed technology coverage for the publication. His work has appeared in numerous national and international publications in print and online publications, including the Christian Science Monitor, Wired Magazine, Salon.com, BusinessWeek, and Inc. Magazine.
A must-read for anyone who wants to understand why America is losing the talent race.”
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla Motors and PayPal
As the son of immigrants and a champion of American Innovation, I can think of no more important book for our politicians and CEOs to read. Get it, read it and fix this problem now.”
Peter H. Diamandis, MD, Chairman/CEO, X PRIZE Foundation and author of Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think
Talk about hitting our economy when it’s down! And we’re doing it to ourselves, as Vivek Wadhwa’s shocking new book illustrates .Vivek’s timely book should wake Washington up to this destructive folly.”
Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media
Over the past couple of years, Wadhwa has been at the forefront sounding the alarm about America's flawed immigration system. In The Immigrant Exodus, he writes persuasively about the problem and what we need to do to solve it. A must-read.”
Reid Hoffman, co-founder and executive chairman, LinkedIn and partner at Greylock
With his masterful blend of hard-hitting analyses and empathy for the real people who strive to succeed, Wadhwa lays out a strategy for keeping America the birthplace of great innovation. The Immigrant Exodus is a must-read.”
Freada Kapor Klein, Ph.D. founder, Level Playing Field Institute
The Immigrant Exodus points out clearly that America is in a stiff competition for valued immigrants, the entrepreneurs and the capital of the world, and we can do something about it.”
Timothy Draper, Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson
The Immigrant Exodus is a cautionary tale of a great success going wrong and what we can do to reverse this trend before it is too late.”
Mitch Kapor, founder Lotus Development Corp.
In The Immigrant Exodus, Wadhwa argues that America remains the beacon of hope for talented individuals from around the world. Let's not allow this flame to be extinguished.”
Jeff Skoll, founder and chairman, Participant Media
A wakeup call. Vivek Wadhwa proposes enlightened and constructive ways to keep the American Dream alive for the best and brightest global talent.”
Klaus Kleinfeld, Chairman and CEO, Alcoa
As a nation, we’re fortunate to have Vivek Wadhwa and others advocating on behalf of America’s future prosperity.”
Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company