LA’s own NationBuilder is being used to power The March For Innovation – a movement backed by Silicon Valley VCs and New York’s Mayor Bloomberg to push forward immigration reform with a focus on innovation.
This is an incredible development for a couple reasons – first, Silicon Valley and NYC are often regarded as the No. 1 and No. 2 tech startup hubs in the nation, and the technology they are using to power the movement is from LA. NationBuilder is not Ecommerce – it’s real tech – software for leaders. It’s interesting that it takes an LA company to provide a platform for Washington and political movements.
The second reason is because just last week I had coffee with a young engineering student from India who sat with Hank & I and told us about all of the rules and obstacles there are for hiring Master students studying at USC (by far the majority of them are international – China & India). Fees for visa. Caps on visas. Crazy rules on when Masters students can work and when they can’t.
And I’m not talking about any master students. I’m talking about the ones in the hottest professions in Software right now. Data Science. Security. Mobile. I have someone approach me every week for Android and iOS folks and I can’t recommend students from my alma matter because of rules in Washington.
I’m thankful for NationBuilder for making a platform for change. And I’m glad that Mayor Bloomberg and my former employer Steve Ballmer are making it happen. Immigration reform could unlock the power of LA’s engineering schools and it’s fitting that an LA company’s tech is enabling it.