Q&A: How can an Indian acquire the rights to build a tech startup in America?


An interesting question came up on Quora recently

I am a 23 year old app developer living in India. I found a social problem that can be solved at a global level – with an app. I’ve been studying Tech, Business, Startups for over 4 years now. I have a plan to build a startup in Silicon Valley. Can Immigrants build startups? Visa? What should I do?

I thought it was about startup ideas and hence I responded

It is great that you have an idea for a startup. If the idea is truly global as you state, is there a reason you cannot start it in India?

If you are able to start it in India and prove the idea has legs, you should be able to get funding from investors to expand it globally. If US is your end-target, you could consider expanding to that market too.

When it comes to startups’ : Crawl.. Walk … Run.. is the way to grow.

Anonymous responded
But do you think there are any disadvantages to building a startup in India, like resources, user-base etc? I believe the startup has huge scope(trust me, I’ve done the market research). Put in another way, if you had the plan to build the next Facebook, would you build it in India or Silicon Valley?
To which I replied:
“Disadvantages to building a startup in India” was not your question. Starting a competitor to facebook may be more practical in India and not in Silicon valley. Why? Because the market for some of the top categories are saturated by No 1, No2… and barriers to entry are rather high
Anonymous followed up:
With all due respect, I’m not convinced that I should build the startup in India. I want to build it in America. Can you throw some light in that direction, please?
I replied: You could contact investors who are interested in your idea and see how it goes
Makes one wonder if the wannabe entrepreneur is genuinely passionate about the idea and feels that “build in America” is the way to succeed. … or seeks to use the startup route to live an American dream: get a visa and eventually migrate.

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