WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - February 25, 2010) -  The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) today recognized the StartUpVisa Act of 2010, introduced by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Richard Lugar (R-IN), as a critical piece of legislation that will foster job creation and economic growth in America. The proposal will grant immigrant entrepreneurs a two year visa if they have the support of a qualified U.S. investor for their startup venture. The NVCA has supported highly skilled immigration reform for decades and asserts that this legislation addresses a new economic reality.

"We applaud Senators Kerry and Lugar for recognizing the importance of foreign-born entrepreneurs to U.S. economic growth," said Mark Heesen, president of NVCA. "These individuals want to build their companies in the United States, but many have been discouraged in the past by difficult immigration laws. Today entrepreneurs can build their companies and create jobs anywhere. This bill sends the right signal that we want them here."

According to American Made: The Impact of Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Professionals on U.S. Competitiveness, a 2006 study commissioned by the NVCA, 25 percent of U.S. public companies that were venture-backed were founded by immigrants. These companies include Intel, Sun Microsystems, eBay, Yahoo! and Google. Further, it is estimated that close to 50 percent of current venture-backed companies were founded by immigrant entrepreneurs.

"Venture-backed companies employ millions of Americans and many of them would not be here today were it not for the immigrant entrepreneur who founded them," continued Heesen. "This bill will help to ensure that the best and brightest innovate and grow their companies in the United States. We wholeheartedly support this bill and look forward to working with Senators Kerry and Lugar to move this important legislation forward."

About NVCA

The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) represents more than 400 venture capital firms in the United States. NVCA's mission is to foster greater understanding of the importance of venture capital to the U.S. economy and support entrepreneurial activity and innovation. According to a 2009 Global Insight study, venture-backed companies accounted for 12.1 million jobs and $2.9 trillion in revenue in the United States in 2008. The NVCA represents the public policy interests of the venture capital community, strives to maintain high professional standards, provides reliable industry data, sponsors professional development, and facilitates interaction among its members. For more information about the NVCA, please visit www.nvca.org.

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Emily Mendell