The Silicon Valley high-tech start-up industry, hardily supported by Asian immigrants and H1-B workers, is starting to see a new crop of entrepreneurs from Latin America.
These innovators hail from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Brazil, among other Latin American countries, according to a Slate report. They've created start-ups that have designed everything from digital wallets and video games for mobile phones to customized travel advice.
The Slate article credits Argentine native Wenceslao Casares for putting the region on the Silicon Valley's radar. Casares, CEO of Lemon.com, a company that created an app that stores digital receipts, credit cards, and discount cards on cell phones, persuaded the former director of Paypal to take investors and startup executives on invite-only tours through Latin America to learn about technology innovations there. Trips now extend to Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.
As whole, immigrant-led start-ups in Silicon Valley account for 52.4 percent of all start-ups, according to a recent study by the Kauffman Foundation, which supports entrepreneurial efforts.
Historically, Chinese and Indian engineers have had the largest share of high-tech companies in the region, generating new jobs and pumping money into the California economy. Indian immigrants founded 26 percent of these startups — more than the combined total of immigrants from Britain, China, Japan, and Taiwan, according to the foundation's report.