You may not know his name but Andy Bechtolsheim is one of the giants of American technology. Born in post-World War II Germany, he’s always been a natural inventor and entrepreneur. “I spent a lot of time building things,” he’s said of his rural boyhood. Unlike most kids, he was taking apart and reassembling radios at the age of four and coming up with his own version of an Intel controller at 16.
As an immigrant to America, Bechtolsheim helped found the legendary SUN Microsystems and was the second investor in a little startup called Google. (He didn’t come up with the name, but told Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page they needed to have a name.) Today, in his early 60s, Bechtolsheim continues to be one of the top angel investors in the country, seeding other entrepreneurs in a virtuous economic cycle.
It’s worth keeping Bechtolsheim in mind as the US engages in another discussion about how to fix what’s almost universally described as “our broken immigration system.” Leaving aside the specifics of proposals being raised by the White House and in Congress to address both legal and illegal immigration, we should try to make sure whatever policy changes emerge promote US-based entrepreneurs like Bechtolsheim and those who depend on their innovation and drive.
Read the full story from Business Insider: “America needs immigrant entrepreneurs”