Welcome New York to the Global EIR Coalition

Last week New York was the third state to create a program – called the International Innovators Initiative (IN2NYC) – based on the construct of the Global Entrepreneur in Residence program.

This is a New York City based program created by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the City University of New York (CUNY). IN2NYC is by far the most ambition program to date. It will help up to 80 selected entrepreneurs gain access to the visas they need to grow their businesses in New York City and is projected to create more than 700 jobs for New Yorkers in the first three years.

The first program was in Massachusetts and is a state driven initiative. The second program was in Colorado and is a privately funded initiative. The New York program is a city driven initiative.

When we started the Global EIR Coalition last year, we knew that Massachusetts and Colorado would be straightforward since they were both in process (MA was done, CO was almost done.) However, we didn’t know which state would be next. We’ve learned a lot about the process of getting things up and running, especially since each state or city university system, which is a key part of the Global EIR program, is different.

New York, as with many things that New York (and New Yorkers) do is big and ambitious. It’s impressive how the various constituents, especially the CUNY system and the NYCEDC, have come together.

After working since 2010 on the Startup Visa and being endlessly frustrated by the inability of Congress to get anything done, I shifted my focus last year to a state by state approach, using the legal and functional framework created in Massachusetts by a team that includes Jeff Bussgang, a fellow board member with me on the Global EIR Coalition. We have several more states in the pipeline to launch and I’m super excited about where this is heading.

If you are in a state other than Massachusetts, Colorado, and New York and are interested in playing a leadership role around the Global EIR Coalition, please email me.

  • Improve the human condition by Jailbreaking-Innovation within the halls of academia! How? Departmental EIRs embedded via the TTOs. Advantages: Supplies entrepreneurial mentorship, increases invention disclosures, accelerates translational science. #DoGoodFaster


  • Joshua Gutman

    Go Craig Montouri!!

  • Ajay Pal Singh

    thats great. I just opened your blog to check about Colorado EIR program as I was not able to recall exact name and boom! one more city. Best wishes.

  • This is interesting. As I understand this, these EIR are working here via the nonprofit visa exemption. Who pays their salaries? Are they working in their own startups? Who happens at the end of their visa term?

    • HistoryInAction

      The EIRs are working here via the university/nonprofit visa exemption, yep.

      The NYC program is based on the colocation, university affiliation framework, meaning their startup sponsors the sole visa (an H-1B). The visa is cap exempt because the university has filed a Nexus letter stating that the startup being located on campus contributes in a meaningful way to the university core mission, which includes promoting entrepreneurship due to the creation of university centers for entrepreneurship over the past few years.

      Their startups are paying for their salaries, subject to the approval of a board of directors that has the right to fire the founder regardless of the equity control, a requirement for the startup to be qualified to sponsor the H-1B for the founder (employer-employee relationship).

      As a result, the NYC model requires post-funded startups, though the founder spends 100% of their time working in their own startup from day 1 post-visa application approval.

      At the end of the visa term (three years), they’ll need to have either successfully gotten a standard cap-subject H-1B for another three years, an O-1 extraordinary talent visa which is infinitely renewable every two years, or a green card. Otherwise, they’ll need to leave the country. I do expect, however, that a three year old company will have the funding, revenues, and/or jobs created that it’ll be a much bigger deal if one of those companies leaves as compared to a six month company whose founder’s B-1 is expiring.