America is losing the global STEM job market, largely because increasing numbers of qualified STEM graduates are immigrants returning to work and create businesses in their home country.
Fortunately, San Antonio is tackling the “brain drain” problem head on.
Freeflow Research, a non-profit global accelerator, was created to connect foreign-born students, business owners and investors with resources and opportunities that they need to stay and work in the U.S.
The San Antonio-based initiative was founded in 2012 by Peter French, the current President of Café Commerce, and is currently run by Ricardo Grimaldi, an international investor who was born in Mexico.
French and Grimaldi hope that through public education initiatives, city-based programs and national statistics, they can stop the “brain drain” from continuing in San Antonio.
“In Texas, I think our view of immigration has been skewed toward Mexico and undocumented populations,” French said. “But 40 percent of the Fortune 500 companies in the United States were started by immigrants or children of immigrants.”
French and Grimaldi have worked with the City of San Antonio to establish resources for entrepreneurs and to study the financial impact of immigrant entrepreneurs in San Antonio.
In 2010, more than $10 billion was generated by new immigrant business owners in Texas, and nearly 25 percent of businesses in the state are owned by foreign-born individuals.