"... but I have to get a job at a big company to sponsor my visa."
They're brilliant, motivated, and capable, but almost none are citizens. To start new companies they have to leave the U.S. To stay they have to work for a big company even though more than half are continuing their entrepreneurial class projects after the course ended. There are options to jump through difficult hoops, but those options are much harder for most.
So we motivate potential entrepreneurs to start elsewhere or give up their plans. What if instead we motivated the world to start companies here instead of elsewhere?
(Incidentally, we're organizing an event in October for non-U.S.-citizens who found ways to start companies and stay here to help inspire others to find ways to do it. If you're interested, especially if you know non-citizens who found ways to stay and live near NYC, please contact me -- http://joshuaspodek.com/contactconnect.)
That'a s bit less of an issue for people in tech startups - if you already have a laptop and internet service, then you may not need any additional physical capital - but it can be a huge barrier in other lines of business where you may need to invest in a fair amount of equipment in order to be basically competitive. Say someone wants to start a photography business, for example, which is pretty lightweight sort of business - you're still looking at maybe $10k of gear and a year of studio/office rental expenses, potentially much more. You don't have to go that route to succeed as a photographer, but absent that starting capital it's going to take considerably longer to get established. And while that's not a huge amount of money, many immigrants don't have access to credit or jobs that pay enough to accumulate savings.
US schools can raise the quality of their student body, not to mention raise their income by meeting this demand. And on the other side of the ledger, it can be argued the US has too many university seats.
Maybe they need to better prepare students for not being able to stay in the US, via exchange programs with universities in students' home countries, for example. There isn't going to be an H1-B for everyone straight out of school.
with that being said, engineering programs want to have entrepreneurship in their programs, but 80% of their cohorts are from countries that are risk adverse. the above commentator's students gave up at VISA, you really think they have the chops?
How about just re-evaluating the acceptance criteria. look for other criteria besides standardized test scores instead of complaining that they gave up at VISA so thats why they're struggling to have alumnae who started their own companies. Americans are 'supposed' to be entrepreneurial. not sure if that's true but the top engineering/cs programs are eager to over look them.
I think we can agree any visa program would need a way to distinguish among them. But also consider that George W. Bush graduated from Harvard Business School. If you have the juice, anything can be made to happen.
entrepreneurs find ways.
Then you look at the other professions, medicine and law, and you see secure jobs and professional associations that fight for their members like crazed wolves. It's a no-brainer.
For one thing, we train people to be workers, so they can end up as cogs in the machine of the big corporate system.
Then, those that still want to be entrepreneurs have to jump through political and legal hoops to do so.
Isn't investment, velocity of money, and innovation what makes the system keep moving? Without these entrepreneurs and business owners/founders, where would the jobs be? Why not provide incentives to be business owners and innovators? Or at least nurture the ones who are predisposed to it rather than trying to stomp it out of them!