International college students visiting Silicon Valley to learn about startups

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Immigrants have been founders of about half of all startups in Silicon Valley, but a special visa to give more of them entry to the U.S. has been put on hold by the Trump Administration.

Yet Silicon Valley remains a magnet for bright minds from overseas.

Fifty-three college students arrived on campus at San Jose State on Monday. To spend three weeks in Silicon Valley is a golden opportunity for these engineering and computer science college students from China, Taiwan, South Korea, Brazil and Spain. And some may become part of the next wave of immigrants to do a successful startup here.

Ga-in Ryu from South Korea thinks Silicon Valley is where she wants to be. "I think Silicon Valley is better than Korea because the States is a bigger market and more people and more opportunity. That's what I'm thinking," she said.

They'll be learning about startups and getting inspiration by visiting Google, Facebook and Cisco.

However, the Trump Administration has delayed a new visa program for a year that would make it easier for entrepreneurs from overseas to enter the U.S.

This comes as some budding entrepreneurs are starting to think going back home to do a startup might be better. "China has a high-speed economy so I think there will be more opportunity. Secondly, I think China has a very big population so the market will be very big," Beijing University of Technology student Jialin Shao said.

The Summer in Silicon Valley Program is in its third year at San Jose State's Davidson College of Engineering. It gives overseas students an introduction to the Valley culture. But new directives may make it more difficult for them to launch a startup here.

It's estimated that any curtailment of the entrepreneur visa program might only impact 3,000 people, but who knows among them who might be the next founder of another Facebook or Google.

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