Global Detroit, U-M Team on Program to Boost Immigrant-Led Startups
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with Feld being especially keen on the Motor City and its connection to innovation. Detroit is a quintessentially American city in the midst of a comeback, he adds, and Global EIR was eager to be part of that effort.
“We wanted to bring international entrepreneurs into that story, to contribute to the narrative by attracting capital and boosting new business formation while creating jobs for local residents,” he says. “Global EIR is not a silver bullet, but it’s a key bridge. Our purpose in Michigan is to keep the promise of an open door for those that work hard. We’re super excited and confident that our Michigan program will have the same scale and impact as our Boston program.”
Global Detroit will recruit and vet applicants to the U-M program, and the university will screen and assess those who apply. Tobocman says the goal is to hire and support five to eight entrepreneurs over the next three years. Each entrepreneur in the Global EIR program will earn a salary for their business coaching work at the university. He says the ultimate goal, besides the successful launch of high-growth startups and new jobs created, is for Global EIR founders to gain avenues to permanent residency, whether it’s through an EB-5 investor visa, a visa for highly skilled immigrants, or something else. Both Tobocman and Montuori would like to see Global EIR expand to other Michigan locations.
“Right now, there’s not a clear pathway to launching companies for international entrepreneurs,” Tobocman adds. “Global EIR is about creating companies that will be part of the Michigan economy and be the Duo Security of the future, and keeping those companies in Michigan. One reason we’re pursuing these kinds of strategies is because we can do it under existing law and prepare for a future when there’s more movement [on immigration policy] in Washington, DC.”