Hundreds of thousands of applications are submitted each year on April 1st for H1B employment-based visas. Only 85,000 of those will be selected and approved. Last year, employers in the City of Cleveland filed for 1,161 H1B workers.   

While H-1B visa application rates have been an ongoing issue, many people are getting more and more concerned due to the political climate. Within the international community, there are also many innovative entrepreneurs who would like to start their business here, but struggle to do so because they are not able to obtain legal status to stay in the United States.

On March 25th, Global Cleveland joined the Cleveland Chinese Entrepreneur Association (CCEA) and Flashstarts to present on the Global Entrepreneur-In-Residence program. The informative event turned out to be a success with more than 40 attendees and additional speakers including immigration attorneys and partners.

FlashStarts and Global Cleveland have launched the Global Entrepreneur-In-Residence (Global EIR) program in Northeast Ohio to provide colleges and universities with a mechanism to increase global outreach and expand entrepreneurship offerings to students. Through this program, academic institutions leverage the expertise and experience of international entrepreneurs who serve as technical experts and mentors for students.

Global Cleveland believes that partnering with Flashstarts to bring more global talent to Cleveland and help more immigrant entrepreneurs grow their businesses will be beneficial to our community. Global Cleveland views engaging immigrants as an ingredient of regional economic development and is positioned to catalyze and launch efforts that will help attract newcomers to the region and support those that are already here.

Here’s how it works.


For universities:

International entrepreneurs dedicate 20 hours of their experience and expertise per week toward the universities’ mission. Contribution includes mentorship and office hours, published research, and facilitating collaboration between universities and industry.

For International Entrepreneurs:

Foreign entrepreneurs are able to focus on developing their business ventures in the U.S, not on obtaining a visa through the lottery system.


About FlashStarts:

Flashstarts is a Cleveland-based business startup accelerator, consultancy and venture fund focused on unique and innovative uses of software and technology. Startups will benefit from Flashstarts’ executive team’s deep expertise in Health IT, SaaS and Enterprise software. Flashstarts’ rigorous 12-week summer accelerator program is powered by rapid cycles of feedback and iteration, customized guidance from dedicated coaches, and an extensive network of top-tier, experienced mentors. For more information, visit  or follow @Flashstarts  

About the Chinese Entrepreneur Association:

Cleveland Chinese Entrepreneur Association (CCEA) is a non-profit organization established in purpose to facilitate investments and entrepreneurs from China and Cleveland. The organization was founded by a group of Chinese-American entrepreneurs and professionals in late 2016. We are committed to fostering/empowering entrepreneurs through all aspects of creating a valid business, bringing Chinese entrepreneurs to Cleveland and Cleveland to China, and ultimately helping them to make entrepreneurial dreams to reality. We welcome entrepreneurs, business owners, VCs, business service providers, and other high-level business or government personnel from all ethnic groups and entrepreneur groups to join us. Our vision is to create a home for globally-minded entrepreneurs in Cleveland and it is the backbone of CCEA’s activity.