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Unconventional Genius sets out to broadcast influential ideas and progressive business stories through the minds and voices of some of the most prolific names in the tech, CE, publishing, and professional world. Each week Max Borges, Founder & CEO of Max Borges Agency, speaks with industry leaders to unveil motivational narratives on how they found success. Listeners can anticipate learning business tips and tricks relevant to their own professions and life goals, while also having the chance to witness how most stories of triumph are truly “unconventional.”

Max Borges is the host of Unconventional Genius and the Founder and CEO of Max Borges Agency, a communications agency that works exclusively with consumer technology clients. The Max Borges Agency has launched thousands of consumer tech products. To learn more, check out:

Mar 19, 2018

New immigrants to the United States do not represent a threat to “American” jobs, they represent potential, and lots of it. Manan Mehta and the team at Unshackled Ventures believe that immigrant-founded startups are one of the most amazing sources of incredible innovations that can change the course of the country and impact the world for good. I invited Manan on the podcast to hear what is happening at Unshackled and was not disappointed to find that the way his VC company has been able to help new immigrant-led startups is more encouraging than I realized. You’ll be inspired and motivated by what you hear, so I invite you to listen.

The amazing talent and resources of this generation’s Ellis Island

From 1802 to 1954, Ellis Island was the gateway through which over 12 million immigrants came into the United States. For many non-native born Americans, it symbolizes the hope of new opportunity and the possibility of personal achievements they've only dreamed of before. Manan Mehta of Unshackled Ventures believes the Ellis Island of today is the American university system. The nations of the world have come to the United States seeking education, training, and a way to utilize their innate talents and intelligence. The United States is poised to benefit from this influx of competent, entrepreneurial bent individuals. In this conversation, you can hear the enthusiasm and delight in Manan’s voice as he describes the way Unshackled Ventures has been able to set many new immigrants on their way to startup success. It’s a great conversation I hope you’ll gain inspiration from again and again.

The idea of startups was born in the hearts of immigrants

New immigrants to America come with a built-in entrepreneurial spirit. Think about it, every immigrant is willing to take the risk of leaving his/her home in hopes of building a new life in a strange land. THAT is the stuff entrepreneurs are made of, and is one of the reasons Manan Mehta and the team at Unshackled Ventures, a Venture Capital firm that backs immigrant-led startups has put such stock in immigrants in the first place. During our conversation, I asked Manan to share some of his most encouraging stories and he blew me away with his accounts of the innovation and drive the immigrant founders he works with possess. These amazing people are creating world-changing technologies you'll want to know about, so don’t miss their stories.

New immigrants have a powerful recipe for success: Long on ambition, short on things to lose

If you are not an immigrant you don’t really know what it’s like to come to a country like the United States with nothing but ambition and opportunity. It’s a dream come true, but a very hard road at the same time. Manan Mehta says the combination of being long on ambition and short on things to lose is exactly what spurs immigrant founders toward success. They are willing to work hard, learn their craft or area of expertise, and apply it in ways that are often unheard of in the industries they are in. That's how immigrants are disruptive in all the best ways. Find out how Unshackled Ventures is supporting and equipping new immigrant founders in tech, fashion, sports, grocery, logistics, and more on this episode.

When you are a first-time, no-name founder, your greatest advantage is going to be your grit. ~ Manan Mehta

Once a person has achieved success, traction and momentum are on their side. Rupert Murdoch and Sir Richard Branson are examples of entrepreneurs who no longer need to hustle in order to find open doors of opportunity. But those who are just starting out, who are unknown and inexperienced have to possess a determination that enables them to find and make the best use of the opportunities that are out there in the marketplace. That’s where Manan Mehta says that immigrants shine because sometimes all they have is a brilliant idea and lots of grit. It's that combination that enables them to stick it out until doors of opportunity open. His advice to immigrant founders in that position is simple: “The more you can capitalize your grit into humility and coachability, the faster you’re going to succeed."

Topics Featured In This Episode

  • [1:47] How Manan went from marketing to running a Venture Capital firm
  • [7:43] Why immigrants and veterans are an amazing source of talent and drive
  • [15:38] How Unshackled Ventures has helped immigrants attain success
  • [21:53] Identifying the amazing ideas and individuals who need VC support
  • [29:00] 100% in terms of betting on the right people
  • [32:19] Manan’s dream for Unshackled Ventures 10 to 20 years from now

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Manan Mehta

Connect With Max Borges

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