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Dear Sophie: How can I get my startup off the ground and visit the US?

Sophie Alcorn


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Sophie Alcorn is the founder of Alcorn Immigration Law in Silicon Valley and 2019 Global Law Experts Awards’ “Law Firm of the Year in California for Entrepreneur Immigration Services.” She connects people with the businesses and opportunities that expand their lives.

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Here’s another copy of “Dear Sophie, ” the advice column that reactions immigration-related questions about working at engineering companies.

“Your questions are vital to the spread of knowledge that allows people all over the world to rise above margins and are able to carry on their dreams, ” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley migration advocate. “Whether you’re in people ops, a founder or striving a task in Silicon Valley, I would love to answer your questions in my next column.”

Extra Crunch members receive access to weekly “Dear Sophie” towers; use promo code ALCORN to purchase a one- or two-year subscription for 50% off.

Dear Sophie,

I’m a female industrialist who started my first startup a few months ago.

Once my startup gets off the foot — and as COVID-1 9 comes under control — I’d like to visit the United States to test the market and had a meeting with investors. Which visas would allow me to do that?

–Noteworthy in Nairobi

Dear Noteworthy,

Congratulations on founding your startup! There are many ways to engage with the U.S. startup ecosystem, and you can start now, even before you physically come to the United States.

I recommend doing some research into the programs and resources offered to entrepreneurs like you through the U.S. Embassy and Consulates near you in your different countries. I recently interviewed Lilly Wahl-Tuco, a foreign service officer who has worked for the U.S. Department of State for 15 years, on my podcast.

Wahl-Tuco discussed some of the State Department riches — including platforms, contenders and concessions — to be accessible by U.S. embassies and consulates for financiers living in the area.

A composite image of immigration law attorney Sophie Alcorn in front of a background with a TechCrunch logo.

Image Credits: Joanna Buniak/ Sophie Alcorn( opens in a brand-new window )

Serving as the first Environment, Science, Technology and Health( ESTH ) patrolman at the U.S. Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2015, Wahl-Tuco was tasked with energizing the financiers of Bosnia. After she traveled all over the country, seeing every incubator and find several financiers, Wahl-Tuco said she was surprised that most of the people she talked with didn’t know about the resources that the U.S. government offers through its embassies.

She recommends that financiers reach out, structure and do online research to figure out what’s offered in their country or even though they are other foreign embassies furnish resources and programs aimed at providing entrepreneurs.

Wahl-Tuco likewise was argued that financiers reach out to their neighbourhood U.S. Embassy. For example, you can contact the U.S. Embassy in Kenya to find out if you can discuss your startup and business schedule with an ESTH officer( if there is one) or someone else there. Connecting with embassy personnel can open up numerous opportunities.

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