Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs

11 July 2014

Entrepreneurs from other countries share why this American technology center is so welcoming.

Vivek Wadhwa
Born in India


06162014 Vivek-300


Entrepreneur, Stanford professor and author
Why Do Immigrant Entrepreneurs Succeed?
1. Immigrants, who leave their homes behind and come to a new country, are often inherent risk takers.
2. Immigrants tend to be highly educated.
3. Many come from middle- or upper-class backgrounds but find themselves at the bottom of the social ladder in their new country. They are determined to rise again, and they work hard.
4. Silicon Valley has a culture of openness. Networking and mentoring help new business owners succeed.

Iris Huang
Born in China

Co-founder of Glogou Inc.
I came to the U.S. for post-graduate study with only two big suitcases. Having no relatives here, I've faced a lack of financial and emotional support. Finding a mentor or sponsor has proven to be challenging.

My startup depends on relationships here, yet most of my social networks are in China, where I grew up. Because I speak with a Chinese accent, gaining the trust of potential customers and making my startup credible have not been easy.

But I'm fearless, and I work with courage and adaptability, which I've developed in the U.S. I've solved a variety of problems by myself: I have pulled myself up by my own bootstraps. My husband has given me the encouragement I need to succeed in business and raise our two kids.

Yogen Kapadia
Born in India

Head of Infinote
India-born Yogen Kapadia, co-founder and head of Infinote
Open for Business

Picture a place where diversity is the norm — where ethnicity, skin color and accent do not matter — a place where your ability to succeed depends only on your desire to succeed, your ability to innovate and your capacity to work hard. That place is Silicon Valley.

It has everything that an entrepreneur like me needs. Other places that have tried to replicate the model have left out one critical component: openness. The Valley breaks all prejudices and nurtures only the singular thing that innovation needs: an open mind. It is this open-mindedness of entrepreneurs, investors and customers that makes the Valley special to me.

Ashutosh Dhodapkar
Born in India

Founder of Stealth Mode
Startup Bug

Silicon Valley is welcoming to foreign-born entrepreneurs. Here, your place of birth does not matter, but your ideas and your execution of those ideas do.

It is hard not to be bitten by the "startup bug."
My journey started at an established company, but I also worked at two startups owned by other entrepreneurs before I founded my own company.

My new startup has developed technology that will replace your wallet with a single device. (I can't say more.)
Starting a venture has been rewarding. Silicon Valley has an entire business ecosystem — investors, engineers, manufacturers and customers.


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