Anda Gansca is an immigrant from Romania, who came to the U.S. 14 years ago to attend Standford University. Since then, she has co-founded a tech company – Knotch — built a team of more than 100 people and created a category of software and products that did not exist before the company invented it.
She says it hasn’t been a cakewalk. Simply getting a visa required a lot of time, multiple people vouching for her in front of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and financial assistance from early supporters who believed in our concept despite the risk of losing their investment..
She has faced similar hurdles in hiring other immigrants to build the company. A visa transfer can take anywhere from 30 to 45 days. A new visa can take two to three months. Legal fees can range anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000.
Despite these hurdles, immigrants comprise more than 20 percent of her company’s workforce. She says they are an indispensable asset to the company — and to other employers — for several reasons.
Immigrants are risk takers. Ms. Gansca says that every immigrant she knows has made an immense leap of faith by leaving their home country, their families and everything they know to come to the U.S. Leaping out of ones comfort zone to see what else is out there creates a strong-willed and determined person.
Immigrants have diverse perspectives. Varied voices and backgrounds challenge the status quo, which leads to the development of innovative technologies.
Immigrants are change agents. Immigrants not only can handle change but also embrace and thrive in it.
Immigrants can see new possibilities. Immigrants have the ability to view the American market as both outsiders and insiders.
Immigrants have a strong work ethic. Just as immigrants were motivated to leave their countries to explore opportunities in the U.S., they are motivated to take full advantage of those opportunities by pouring their energies into their work.
Ms. Gansca highlighted some of these benefits last fall in a campaign called “Opportunity Makers,” a series of interviews and podcasts profiling 15 immigrant executives. It debunked the narrative that immigrants take opportunities away from Americans. More often than not, it found, the immigrant community actually creates opportunities, with their diverse voices and perspectives.
Credit: The Expert, April 30, 2021