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The Global EIR program provides an alternative visa track for talented global entrepreneurs to thrive in OH.


Immigrants play a key role in creating new, fast-growing companies. According to a recent study done by National Foundation for American Policy, more than half of the U.S. billion- dollar startups had at least one immigrant founder. Though international entrepreneurs contribute immensely to the U.S. economy, they often struggle to find a way to remain in the country based on current visa policy. Meanwhile, American colleges and universities are competing globally for top talent. Academic institutions seek unique program offerings to enhance faculty and student engagement. However, finding the right mentors and researchers sometimes can be very difficult.

Flashstarts’ Global Entrepreneur-In-Residence (Global EIR) program provides international entrepreneurs a mechanism to stay in the country through H-1B cap-exempt visa while simultaneously partnering with American colleges and universities to help them increase global outreach and expand entrepreneurship offerings to students. Entrepreneurs can use their stable visa status to develop their startups without being forced to leave the country.

Academic institutions can leverage the expertise and experience of global entrepreneurs to serve as technical experts and mentors for collegian entrepreneur community. The program also offers international students an alternative visa path after graduation, helping universities retain top talents on campus. Examples of contribution include promoting student innovation and entrepreneurship through mentorship, coaching and weekly office-hours; working with college faculty through research lab collaborations and published research; and facilitating collaboration between universities and industry.

Our Global EIR program is inspired by the Global EIR program in Massachusetts that was first established in 2014. To date, have launched or are launching the Global EIR program. Flashstarts is partnering with Global ClevelandGlobal EIR , and Burton D. Morgan Foundation to bring this program to Northeast Ohio for the first time, with the goals of securing differentiated resources for our local entrepreneurship programs and encouraging international entrepreneurs to build their businesses in our region.



* Visa decisions will be made by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Neither Flashstarts or any other partner institutions will be in any way responsible for, undertake, certify, or guarantee any aspect of the H-1B visa application process or outcome.