Y Combinator's Sam Altman calls on US to allocate 100 "founders visas"

March 19
9:06 AM 2014

Five years ago, Y Combinator's original head Paul Graham proposed a founders visa to encourage new entrepreneurs to start their companies in the US. Now, Y Combinator's new chief Sam Altman has renewed the call in his blog post, TechCrunch reported.

Graham had asked the government to get 10,000 entrepreneurs into the US through the founders visa. Altman, however, lowered the number to only 100 each year, asking the authorities to allow Y Combinator the power to choose entrepreneurs that would be able to establish their startups in the US, the report said.

In his blog, "Graham said, So here is a proposal for the US government: please let Y Combinator help allocate up to 100 visas to founders per year.  We'll continue to take applications for funding from around the world, and work with whatever process you'd like-we just need to be able to get the founders visas quickly (None of the current paths works well enough for this, but a slight reworking of the O1 visa around criteria and timing could be sufficient.).  If the test works with us, you could expand it to other investment firms.  We're happy to be the beta tester, and we're confident we'll prove that it's a good idea."

At present, Y Combinator accepts startups from around the world to its accelerator program. In fact, there are more than 20 firms coming from abroad in the latest group of Y Combinator startups, the report said.

Altman wrote that he is furthering the idea because of the impact that these startups would have in the US in terms of job creation. He wrote, "100 visas a year is nothing.  But 50 new startups a year could be a huge deal. Many will fail, of course, but one could be the next Google, Facebook, Airbnb, or Dropbox. Though this is almost an immeasurably small number of visas, it could have a measurably large effect on the number of jobs created in the United States."

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