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Entering the United States as an international student has shown to be a good avenue for starting successful U.S. companies. Nearly one-quarter (20) of the 87 billion dollar U.S. startup companies – and almost half of the companies with an immigrant founder – had a founder who first came to America as an international student.

The study from the National Foundation for American Policy, a non-partisan think tank based in Arlington, Va., shows that immigrants started more than half of the current crop of U.S.-based startups valued at $1 billion or more.

“Immigrants have started more than half (44 of 87) of America’s startup companies valued at $1 billion dollars or more and are key members of management or product development teams in over 70 percent (62 of 87) of these companies.

The research finds that among the billion dollar startup companies, immigrant founders have created an average of approximately 760 jobs per company in the United States. The collective value of the 44 immigrant-founded companies is $168 billion, which is close to half the value of the stock markets of Russia or Mexico.”

The three highest valued U.S. companies with immigrant founders include car-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc., data-software company Palantir Technologies Inc. and rocket maker Space Exploration Technologies Inc.

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