There’s a lot to be unpacked in the 2016 Fosterly Regional Startup Census, the official report on which was released last week.
The census, which Fosterly hopes to do yearly from here on out, gathers data from a total of 217 startups in the DMV area, asking questions about the companies funding, founders, industry and more. It provides a lot of totally new numbers behind what’s happening in the region’s startup scene, and as local innovation enthusiasts we’re pretty stoked about that. We’ll surely be doing lots of reporting, aided by these numbers, in the months to come.
But for the moment we want to talk about just one number: 13.9 percent. That’s the percentage of DMV area founders the Fosterly report identifies as having foreign places of birth.
On Friday afternoon, President Donald Trump signed an executive order barring all immigrants from seven different majority-Muslim countries for the next 90 days (the order also includes some other bans that last longer). As Vox put it, the order “lays the groundwork for a fundamental shift in how the U.S. allows people to enter the country.”
Now, we’re sure that the 13.9 percent of area founders (which, by the way, is a significant percentage — the same as founders that hail from the District itself) come from all over the world, under a vast array of different circumstances. The Fosterly report doesn’t go in depth on specific founder origin. Still, that’s 13.9 percent of the region’s innovators and creators and small business owners who decided, for whatever reason, to move here. And once they did they got to work, and the region is undoubtedly richer for this. Trump’s recent executive order, however, makes it much more difficult (if not impossible) for more would-be-local entrepreneurs to make this same decision.
Need yet another example of the real toll of a ban like this? Consider that 13.9 percent.