Immigrants and Innovation: The White House Honors Our Co-Founder as ‘Champion of Change’
We are so proud of our co-founder, Anna Mongayt Counselman, who was recently recognized by the White House as an exemplary immigrant innovator at a “Champions of Change” event, and received the Outstanding American By Choice award. Anna, a Russian native, joined the stage with ten other immigrant leaders, each chosen for their leadership and innovative approach to growing our economy, advancing science and technology, and supporting their communities.
In a post featured on the White House blog, Anna reflects on her experience as an immigrant entrepreneur, “Having seen first-hand what a communist society does to personal ambition, I fully believe in the American Dream. While most of my friends pursued careers in accounting and finance upon graduation, I was determined to carve my own path and to build my own business”.
Anna’s entrepreneurial zeal is not uncommon among the larger immigrant population, who are twice as likely to start businesses as native born Americans. Over 40% of Fortune 500 companies were started by immigrants or the children of immigrants and in the past six years, one in four engineering and technology companies started in the U.S. had at least one foreign-born founder — in Silicon Valley that number jumps to almost half of new companies.
America is a nation of immigrants and dreamers. The risk-taking inherent to the success of any new venture is deeply embedded in our culture and society, which is why, as Anna wrote in her blog, “there has been no better place to start a business than right here in the United States”. Whether you are foreign-born or your family has been here for generations, what unites many of us is our drive to create something new.
Supporting aspirations and helping talented individuals realize their potential is the foundation of our platform. As the American and global economy settles into the age of entrepreneurial innovation, we are always looking for new ways to expand our platform to meet the needs of the next generation of innovators, disruptors and leaders.
Check out Anna’s post on the White House blog: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/06/04/there-has-never-been-better-time-start-company