FreeFlow Research’s purpose is to build a strong network of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) researchers and entrepreneurs in San Antonio, Texas engaged in basic and/or applied scientific research in the areas of cloud computing, software and technology development, mobile application development, clean energy technology, and other STEM-related industries.
The negative economic impact of our growing STEM talent shortage is compounded by a national decline in the number of new startups, the survival rate of startups, and immigration policy that forces US-educated STEM talent and entrepreneurs to leave the country. On April 5th, 2013 all 85,000 H-1B skilled-worker visas were claimed just five days after the application period opened. A corresponding decline in immigrant-founded startups is particularly alarming as foreign-born entrepreneurs are more than twice as likely as native-born Americans to start new businesses.
The United States is the global hub of higher education and entrepreneurship. It is in our national interest to be a magnet for the world’s top minds, yet we are failing to provide pathways by which foreign-born scientists, inventors, and entrepreneurs can stay and contribute to our communities and our economy. We are unwilling to accept this status quo, which is why we established FreeFlow Research
FreeFlow Research is dedicated to elevating the opportunities for foreign-born inventors, scientists, students, and entrepreneurs who are committed to improving the innovation economy of the United States. We strongly believe that immigrant entrepreneurs and STEM grads are job makers, not job takers. By attracting and anchoring international entrepreneurs and STEM talent FreeFlow Research will contribute to the expansion of the innovation economy of the United States.
FreeFlow Research will:
1) Provide and facilitate internships, apprenticeships, and research projects that enable us to extend the student visa period for talented international students. We will also facilitate and host sponsored research projects for 3rd parties. 2) Help place and facilitate the hiring of foreign-born STEM graduates with American companies. 3) Hire U.S and international STEM graduates directly so that they may continue pursuing their own basic and applied research, compete for public and private research grants via FreeFlow, and incubate and launch new startups. 4) Provide grants and pledge-back loans that fund the legal fees and visa application fees for promising international entrepreneurs who commit to launch and keep new job-creating ventures in the United States for at least twelve months. 5) Assist and educate startups, accelerators, companies, and organizations, going through the process of recruiting and hiring international STEM talent. 6) Sponsor legal research into immigration strategies, corporate structures, and research and education programs that create alternative pathways to retain talented international minds here in the United States.
FreeFlow Research has launched an outreach campaign targeting international students enrolled in STEM programs in Texas universities. We are designing a skills and needs assessment tool to link our members’ networks, provide them with access to immigration and entrepreneurship resources, and guide them to our marketplace of opportunities for research projects, internships, apprenticeships, and jobs.
FreeFlow Research is based at Geekdom, the largest coworking space in Texas.
FreeFlow Research was established as a Texas nonprofit corporation in October 2012. In October 2013 we merged with Technology Connexus Association and and received our formal designation as a 501(c)(3).
The FreeFlow Research Board of Directors includes David Barnett, Magaly Chocano, Walter Teele, Aaron Passey, John Hill, and Peter French.