NYCEDC And CUNY Launch IN2NYC H1B sponsorship Program For International Entrepreneurs

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Program Will Support 80 Entrepreneurs and Create More Than 700 New Jobs for New Yorkers in First Three Years Alone

Entrepreneurs Will Be Required to Base Business at CUNY Incubators, Bringing Employment and Education Opportunities to Neighborhoods in Every Borough

This initiative, termed IN2NYC, is the brainchild of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), in partnership with CUNY and is one of the first of its kind municipal program in the nation designed to help international entrepreneurs access visas so they can create jobs in the United States.

IN2NYC will help up to 80 selected entrepreneurs gain access to the visas they need to grow their businesses in New York City, and is projected to create more than 700 jobs for New Yorkers in the first three years alone.

These 80 Entrepreneurs who would qualify for the H-1B visa will be outside the annual cap of 85,000 H-1B visas issued by the DHS, which now has a lottery system in place. Last year, 233,000 people applied for H-1B visa; with only around 1/3rd of applicants finally getting it. This year, more applications than ever before are expected when filing begins April 1.

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IN2NYC will also serve as a model that can be scaled and expanded at both public and private schools throughout New York City, with the potential to ultimately contribute thousands of jobs to the city’s innovation economy. The program advances the de Blasio administration’s goals of encouraging entrepreneurship and supporting international partnerships to build a diverse and inclusive economy for New Yorkers in every borough.

IN2NYC will partner selected entrepreneurs with one of seven participating CUNY institutions: Baruch College, City College of New York, LaGuardia Community College, Lehman College, Medgar Evers College, Queens College, and the College of Staten Island. Entrepreneurs will be required to base their businesses in their partner school’s incubator, bringing new services, revenue streams, and employment opportunities to neighborhoods and strengthening their innovation ecosystems. Entrepreneurs must also commit to support the mission of the partner school by contributing to academic research, developing curricula, providing students with internship and employment opportunities, or serving as mentors.

The program is designed to foster innovation ecosystems and diversify the economy by retaining international talent that has been educated locally, and attract entrepreneurs from abroad who have skills and knowledge that would benefit CUNY students and educators. NYCEDC will begin accepting applications for IN2NYC this spring, with the first group of entrepreneurs expected to be in place by the fall. For more information, go to

“This is a win for our universities, our working people and our city’s ability to compete on the global stage. We are making sure New York City remains a magnet for the world’s top talent, and putting New Yorkers to work at the technology and engineering firms of tomorrow,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“The success of our innovation ecosystem is rooted in the diversity and the talent of our people,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer. “For too long, we would graduate some of the world’s smartest entrepreneurs, only to send them packing as soon as they got their degree. This ends today. IN2NYC is the first city run program in the US to help international entrepreneurs access the visas they need to grow businesses, create jobs, and cultivate the next generation of talented New Yorkers. No matter our national origins, we’ve got to be One New York, innovating together.”

“New York City has created an innovative pathway for the next generation of international entrepreneurs to launch their businesses right here in NYC,” said Penny Abeywardena, Mayor’s Office for International Affairs Commissioner. “Not only does the IN2NYC program encourage entrepreneurship, and builds and strengthens New York City’s international partnerships, but the program also directly benefits CUNY students by training them on how to launch their own businesses. IN2NYC is good for the international entrepreneurs, good for the New York City neighborhoods in which they will grow their startups and create jobs, and good for the CUNY students who will be mentored by these innovators. Moreover, it reinforces New York City’s role as a global hub for innovation.”

“The program underscores how immigrants are integral to the economic, social, and cultural life of our City. New York City reaps countless benefits when immigrant entrepreneurs have opportunities to build their businesses. Through the IN2NYC program, the de Blasio administration demonstrates again how building a welcoming and inclusive city benefits all New Yorkers,” said Commissioner Nisha Agarwal of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

“Simply put, IN2NYC is a game-changer for NYC in the global competition to attract world-class tech talent and the businesses of tomorrow,” said Chief Technology Officer for the City of New York Minerva Tantoco. “IN2NYC builds on the Big Apple’s proud tradition of inviting bold and entrepreneurial thinkers to come to NYC and invent the future. IN2NYC supercharges the de Blasio administration’s goal of making New York the most tech-friendly and innovative city in the world.”

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