Boston Mayor Walsh Celebrates Babson’s Global Entrepreneur Program
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh had high praise for Babson College’s new Global Entrepreneur in Residence program during remarks on September 27th before the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs Forum at the Weston Copley Place Hotel.
“Boston’s economy is thriving because we have become a hub in the global network of ideas, of investments, and of people. Those conferences I mentioned are a good example. Another is Babson College’s Global Entrepreneur in Residence program that we helped launch earlier this year. It allows talented international students to stay in our city, and our country, to build businesses,” said Mayor Walsh. Read more about the program’s recent launch event with Mayor Walsh.
Each year, more than 1,000 entrepreneurs leave the Commonwealth of Massachusetts due to the cap on U.S. H-1B visas (nonimmigrant visas that allow U.S. companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields). Annually, there are only 85,000 H-1B visas available for 233,000 requests.
The Babson GEIR builds off the framework established by the Massachusetts Legislature in 2014 with the enactment of a program to facilitate collaborations between global entrepreneurs and institutions within the University of Massachusetts system. A qualifying entrepreneur’s viable startup can become eligible to file for an H-1B visa cap exemption by affiliating with a college or university. Successful pilot programs have been implemented at UMass Boston and UMass Lowell with nine visas being issued to entrepreneurs who created 134 jobs and raised $47.6 million in funding for this ventures.
The program helps qualified international graduates from Babson and other area colleges/programs remain in Massachusetts, continue to build their high potential startup businesses, and bring new, high-skill jobs to the region.
Babson is the first private college to pursue a GEIR program. The pilot effort this year will host up to 10 GEIRs who want to accelerate their companies and qualify for a cap-exempt H-1B visa. Entrepreneurs with viable startups who are currently starting or about to start the Optional Practical Training (OPT) period of their F-1 visa and want to apply for the H-1B visa next spring also are encouraged to apply to the program.
Those invited to the program are housed at Babson’s new, first-class campus location at 100 High Street, in the heart of Boston’s Financial District, and connect to Babson through The Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship, its central hub for startups.
In exchange, the GEIRs will further Babson’s mission by mentoring Babson students and alumni and supporting various Babson academic and research initiatives, networks, and activities.
Mayor Walsh was among the participants in the announcement ceremonies in June announcing the establishment of the program. “Babson’s Global Entrepreneur in Residence Program will bring talented, global innovators to the center of Boston’s growing tech and startup cluster, and inspire talented students to start their own businesses right in our city,” said Mayor Walsh. “The diversity and desire that immigrants bring to Boston is what makes our city strong, and I thank Babson for their leadership in creating a welcoming environment for our students that will strengthen our economy for years to come.”