Attorneys Anna Putintseva and Rebecca Cohen were guest speakers on January 22, 2020 at a free International Startup Workshop for the international and innovation community at Syracuse University. The event was hosted by the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars at Syracuse University Libraries. Participants learned how to:

  • Help international students, as well as faculty and staff who work with them, understand the landscape and regulations around starting a venture in the United States.
  • Help startup ventures understand guidelines around how to build teams with international students, and campus resources available to support.
  • Help startups and local companies recruit top talent among Syracuse University students from around the world.
  • Help students on visas and new graduates on visas navigate a future path to starting a venture or working in the United States.

One out of every five students at Syracuse University is international, and students from 112 countries are among the nearly 4,000 members of the LaunchPad.  Many are interested in pursuing venture development and charting a path to launch a business and their livelihood in the United States.  In fact, 51 percent of America’s billion dollar startups were founded by immigrants. Diverse cultural perspectives and insights make for better informed and more engaged global citizens, in keeping with one of Syracuse University’s core values.

Unfortunately, the process of pursuing a venture in the U.S. is complicated, particularly for international students and new Americans. This workshop was created to help Syracuse University international students better understand venture planning, and assist mentors, faculty members and service providers in offering better guidance to international students.  The program helped startups and established ventures understand how to build a team with international talent and how to work with international students, particularly those here on F-1 or J-1 status.

About the Presenters

Anna Putintseva focuses on Business Transactions, Mergers and Acquisitions and Immigration Law. Anna’s international business experience provides support and guidance for clients with international presence and those seeking to expand their business overseas. In addition to transactional work, Anna also advises clients on a large spectrum of immigration law issues, including navigating investors and developers through various aspects of the EB-5 program, helping employers and foreign nationals with preparation of employment-based petitions, advising faculty members, researchers, medical and other professionals on applying for immigrant and non-immigrant work status in the U.S., and dealing with other immigration law issues.

Rebecca Cohen practices in Employment, Labor and Discrimination and Immigration Practice Groups. With expertise in labor and employment law and employment based immigration, she is able to provide representation to both employers and employees on issues that span a broad range of workplace concerns. As a certified mediator, she brings a collaborative, solution-focused approach to her law practice. Rebecca works with clients to help minimize potential liabilities by anticipating and addressing employment issues and helping to set policies that ensure compliance with relevant federal and state laws and regulations. She provides assistance with employment contracts, employee handbook and policy development, unemployment claims and severance and release procedures and agreements. Rebecca focuses her immigration practice on employment based visas. With a lifelong appreciation for the unique talents that foreign citizens contribute to American culture and to our economy, she is passionate about helping her clients successfully navigate the visa process. She also assists clients with dual citizenship matters.

About the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars at Syracuse University Libraries

The Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars in Bird Library is Syracuse University’s innovation hub, connecting the entire University’s resource-rich ecosystem with a global network that provides support for aspiring entrepreneurs, inventors and creators. The program serves faculty, staff, students, and alumni across disciplines who are interested in innovation, invention, entrepreneurship, venture creation, and taking ideas from concept to commercialization. The program supports a key pillar of Syracuse University’s Academic Strategic Plan to create an innovation ecosystem across the institution that prepares participants to be trailblazers in an entrepreneurial world