International Recruiment · Foreign Cofounder

Starting a company as an international student?

Temirlan Nugmanov Founder | Student | A Kid With Big Dreams

March 3rd, 2016

I am a first-year undergraduate student at NYU from Kazakhstan. I have been developing a fitness IoT startup since September 2015. So far,  I have been iterating the concept through  NYU grants and competitions. Two teammates joined me recently and we have not properly discussed equity split because I have been doing the majority of the legwork and they haven't yet brought significant value just yet. 

Now, I recruited  two electrical engineers, one computer engineer, and three machine learning developers. They are all internationals doing Masters studies at NYU and are looking to treat this opportunity as a short-term internship. However, for them to be legally approved to stay in the US over the summer they have to be enrolled into OPT or CPT. This means that I must incorporate the company and deal with my visa process. Consider all that with the fact that we are have been approved to launch our beta at NYU in August 2016. 

Has anyone been through this?

Any advice in regards to biz in NY or foreign entrepreneurship helps a lot! Thank you. 


March 3rd, 2016

Simply put, the US immigration policies towards international entrepreneurs suck! There are multiple options ranging from people who can bring-in a million dollars (EB5) to giving up your company to strangers (H1B) to O1 visas. But most of these take ages and ton of money to go through.

If I am reading your situation right, you are better of finding a co-founder who is a US citizen and registering a company as a partnership rather than sole proprietorship.

My two cents based on my research and similar phase I've been through. Good luck with your project.