In this episode of Immigration Law for Tech Startups, I’m absolutely thrilled to be joined by
Navroop Sahdev, a pioneering economist and blockchain expert, who has already achieved so much early in her career: She’s the founder and CEO of The Digital Economist, a Connection Science Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a partner at NextGen Venture Partners, an early-stage venture capital firm.
Navroop shares her immigration journey. “I never imagined I would ever be out of India—even for a visit,” she says, describing her upbringing in Punjab. Then “I remember how frustrated I was in India. When I was 19 years old, I started looking into going overseas.”
Navroop also shares her thoughts on U.S. immigration policy and what entrepreneurs need to do. “Talent is equally distributed in the world, but opportunity is not. That’s where the reform needs to happen,” she says. “I’m optimistic with a new administration reforming a 200-year-old system.”
To immigrate to the U.S., she needed to figure out what extraordinary skills she possessed and could contribute, first on an O-1 extraordinary ability visa and then for an EB-1A extraordinary ability green card. “[W]hat was missing [in the blockchain space] was an economist bringing insights or building the next economic systems of the future,” she says. “That became my differentiating value proposition and that’s the type of thing you need for O-1 or EB-1.”
Please share this episode with aspiring entrepreneurs, startup founders, or anyone who can benefit from it. Reach out to us if we can help you determine your immigration options whether you’re in the U.S. or abroad.
In this episode, you’ll hear about:
- Navroop shares the push and pull factors that led her to leave her native India and go first to Canada, then to Italy, and eventually to the U.S.
- She shares her immigration experience in the U.S. and the following: B-1/B-2 visitor visa, J-1 exchange visa, H-1B specialty occupation visa, O-1 visa, and EB-1A green card
- Why Navroop says it matters what organization or company sponsors your work visa
- What mindset shift needs to happen when you’re getting sponsored by a company for an O-1 visa or self-petitioning for an EB-1A green card
- What The Digital Economist does
- Why the future is fintech, blockchain, and cryptocurrency
- What type of jobs will disappear
- Why finding a differentiated valued proposition is important in immigration
- Why Navroop recommends an O-1 visa over the H-1B visa
- Navroop’s advice for other entrepreneurs
Don’t miss my upcoming conversations with other top technology thought leaders, venture capitalists, startup founders, professors, and futurists on Immigration Law for Tech Startups. Subscribe to this podcast here or on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or whatever your favorite platform is. We welcome your rating and review!
Alcorn Immigration Law publications and courses:
- Subscribe to the Alcorn Immigration Law Newsletter
- Immigration Options Chart
- Immigration Law for Tech Startups eBook
- Extraordinary Ability Bootcamp course for best practices for securing the O-1A visa, EB-1A green card, or the EB-2 NIW (National Interest Waiver) green card—the top options for startup founders. Use promotion code ILTS for 20% off the enrollment fee.
Also published on Medium.