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The Global Entrepreneur in Residence Program at the Illinois Institute of Technology

The Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) has chosen to participate in the Global Entrepreneur in Residence (GEIR) Program to help its international alumni corporate founders and essential personnel to remain in the USA through the H-1B visa pathway so as to retain much needed highly technical talent in Chicagoland.

USA colleges and universities through its prestigious higher education network increasingly fill a critical role in promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation. The purpose of GEIR program is to demonstrate to the world’s innovative entrepreneurs that the USA remains the best place to build their businesses and create jobs. IIT joined this effort to aid their international alumni and strengthen IIT’s dedication to their entrepreneurial endeavors.

To learn about the national GlobalEIR Program,
please visit:

The IIT GEIR Program Overview

IIT offers its support for the university-backed work H-1B visas pathway to its alumni international entrepreneurs who will serve the IIT community as mentors of professional opportunities for IIT’s entrepreneurial efforts on campus and within IIT’s technology commercialization community.

In return, the GEIR will spend half of their time (20 hours) working with the Office of Technology Development (OTD) to further the entrepreneurship and technology commercialization interests of IIT.  The H-1B visa duration of stay is typically 3 years but is extendable to 6 years in special circumstances.

To qualify for our GEIR Program, the applicant’s company must be at a stage of growth where it has a board of directors, money in the bank (basically enough funding to cover or exceed 12 months of complete business operations), and a viable plan for future growth.

The GEIR’s company will be directly sponsoring the H-1B visa and the GEIR is responsible for expenses associated with securing the visa.  The selected company/applicant will be required to execute an Independent Contractor Agreement with IIT with a Term that is the same duration of the H1-B status maintained using this GEIR Program.

OTD will select from IIT alumni candidates and assemble and work with the IIT GEIR cohort.

Program Dimensions and Objectives

The activities of the GEIR’s will fall into five dimensions, each with its own set of identified activities, targeted groups, key performance indicators and objectives to be tailored to the capabilities of the GEIR and the entrepreneurship needs of IIT.

The five dimensions of focus of Global EIR program are:

  1. Learning: Contribute to and assist development of IIT’s interests in entrepreneurship;
  2. Commercialization: Assist OTD with the IIT technology commercialization efforts;
  3. Thought Leadership: Assist OTD in the marketing of IIT entrepreneurial activities;
  4. Networking: Assist IIT-associated entrepreneurs with better utilization of IIT entrepreneurial assets;
  5. Program Longevity: Set-up the foundations for continuing growth and expansion of the GEIR program in the future.

For more information or to apply, please email Scott Klapman, Manager, Technology Development.

Click here for the Global Entrepreneur in Residence Application