Credit: Shutterstock
Credit: Shutterstock

2023 Recap: The Vertical’s top 20 stories for immigrant tech entrepreneurs 

Last year was a nonstop rollercoaster ride featuring AI hype, the startup scamming pandemic, SVB apocalypse, and the WeWork bankruptcy. Check out some of the top stories we covered in 2023.
  1. 3 Strategies in Surviving the 2024 AI Hype Cycle. Startups that are now jumping into the AI gold rush will most likely fall victim to the hype and eventually crash. As we head into 2024, what can founders learn from the tech bubbles of the past in order to survive and prosper?  
  2. Israeli-American startups: When “business as usual” is not an option. The war in Gaza has hurt the interconnected American-Israeli tech ecosystem, but there’s still opportunity for growth. Israeli startup valuations tend to fluctuate, and they are now very reasonable, according to experts. Investors are getting a really good deal, especially with the companies that are already established in the U.S.
  3. Why is AI dominated by immigrant entrepreneurs? Immigrants have founded or co-founded nearly two-thirds of the leading AI companies in the U.S. What’s driving so many foreign-born entrepreneurs to get into this field?
  4. Lessons from WeWork: When real estate pretends to be a tech startup.The bankruptcy filing of WeWork, the shared office space company once valued at $47 billion, offers sobering lessons for startup founders tempted by packaging traditional business models as earth-shattering ideas. Curious to know what these lessons are? 
  5. How immigrant entrepreneurs streamline green card applications with technology. With the U.S. migrant crisis reaching epic proportions, creators of innovative tech solutions seek to simplify complex paperwork for visas and green cards. A number of startups launched by international founders could streamline legal immigration and end backlogs. 
  6. News flash: Your startup’s investor pool just got way bigger. U.S. legislators are updating requirements for “accredited investors” — people or organizations that are allowed to invest in startups. How can immigrant founders benefit?
  7. Underfunded, Underrepresented: Latinx founders forge paths in the U.S. venture ecosystem. Latinx-owned businesses are the fastest-growing demographic among all U.S. entrepreneurs, according to reports. However, less than 1% of funds from the top 25 venture capital and private equity firms have invested in Latinx-led enterprises. Why does this lack of Latinx-led business funding persist?
  8. The scamming pandemic: How not to get screwed as a startup. Fraud is on the rise. Last year, scams in the U.S. increased by 30 percent over 2021, according to the latest data from the Federal Trade Commission. From fake investors and obscure media to false mentorship and compliance threats — the list of scams that startup founders face in the U.S. is endless. How to navigate the dark waters of the scamming pandemic and steer clear of traps? 
  9. I almost joined the Newchip accelerator right before it collapsed. Was it a scam? Here’s what I recommend to other founders. The recent collapse of Newchip, one of the world’s biggest accelerators, was a shock to the venture ecosystem. Bjorn Erik Hansen, founder and CEO at INTIEM, an AI-based SexTech solution, believes the organization’s business model was an intentional deception. Just a few days before news of the bankruptcy became public, his Miami-based startup had said “no” to joining Newchip’s new cohort.
  10. SAFE for VCs, not so safe for startups. In 2023, the Silicon Valley-invented investment instrument, “Simple Agreement for Future Equity”, or the “SAFE” note, passed its 10 year anniversary.
  11. Are startups overly dependent on Big Tech? A case for digital sovereignty. Startups have always been entwined in a complex web of reliance on tech giants. But this dependence seems to be growing as the global tech industry matures. What risks might immigrant entrepreneurs expect to face in the U.S.? 
  12. “We regret to inform you: You don’t fit into the box.” Which U.S. visa is best for immigrant techpreneurs? For years, lawmakers have discussed the Startup Visa Act. Unfortunately, such a policy is still non-existent, leaving international tech founders without a clear immigration path to follow. Here’s how to fit into the right immigration box and improve the likelihood of an approved application.
  13. What immigrant founders should know about raising capital in the U.S. post SVB apocalypse. The recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has sent shockwaves across the startup world. How will panic in the VC industry impact international founders raising capital in the U.S.?
  14. Three immigrant ‘mompreneurs’ who negotiated epic deals with ‘baby on board’. These women tech founders sold their businesses, raised capital, and launched new products while having their newborns. They are also determined to better the world for their children. 
  15. What’s up with the ten immigrant-led unicorns 500 Global invested in? Over the years, the early-stage venture capital firm 500 Global (previously 500 Startups) has invested in entrepreneurs from diverse geographies and backgrounds. Some didn’t have ‘the right face’ for other VCs. Where are they now? 
  16. Driving disruption: Amazon’s expansion into car sales and what startups can learn from it. Amazon’s new partnership with Hyundai represents a seismic shift for the auto industry. Can brand extensions be a growth strategy for diverse startup founders with their limited resources? 
  17. The voice of leadership: How can immigrant fempreneurs improve their communication style? Since the world of Tech has been historically male-dominated, the “voice of leadership” tends to be male. Women entrepreneurs – and immigrants in particular — should look for their own unique style, writes Lisa Patti, communication coach and founder at C3Speech.
  18. 8 female immigrant entrepreneurs who took on the system, and won. These immigrant women have surmounted prejudice, social injustice, institutional barriers, and fierce competition. Today their startups are thriving.
  19. 3 Tips to help founders build productive bonds with mentors. Great mentorship is often a game-changer for international founders launching a new business in unfamiliar terrain. Whether you are looking for an expert in your industry or someone who appreciates the nuances of your immigrant background, you need the right strategy. Katja Wald, an expert in coaching programs for entrepreneurs, shares three tips for building exceptional synergy with a mentor.
  20. Florida has earned a name as a global startup destination. But can it keep the party going? During lockdowns in major tech hubs such as New York and Boston, VCs and founders from around the world found refuge in Florida’s warm embrace. What’s next for this wild west of entrepreneurship now that the pandemic is over and the U.S. economy starts to slow down? 
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