How to Succeed as a Foreign Founder in Silicon Valley To make it in the Valley, you need to focus on building a diverse team while maintaining roots in your country.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Silicon Valley's unique culture and ecosystem of experienced people willing to share advice freely, creates a breeding ground for building great companies. Most importantly, failures are readily viewed as the necessary "pit stops" that help refuel entrepreneurs in their journey toward defying the status quo, a red badge of courage.

If you're an ambitious foreign-born entrepreneur with a great idea, you probably should be asking yourself right about now whether you should pack your bags and come to Silicon Valley. The short answer is yes. However, we know first-hand how hard it is to enter this country and build a team and successful business. So, we asked a wide set of successful foreign-born entrepreneurs what their advise would be for a new entrepreneur entering the market and here are our four top tips.

Related: Coming to America: An Immigrant Who Overcame a 'Taxing' Problem

1. Build a diverse team.

When you come to Silicon Valley, you have an advantage: You have a unique global mindset and aren't only focused on the impact your company could make in the US. You should look for others with this same mindset but different skillset. In fact, Michael Seibel, partner at Y Combinator, believes it's a key priority. Seibel says, "Finding entrepreneurs from diverse and international backgrounds is a top priority for us at Y Combinator."

2. Find local advisors.

Your business, especially at its outset, is highly dependent on the network you've created and the broader connections that network can provide. Silicon Valley has a very collaborative culture, so take advantage of it.

For example, you can check out Meetup's Foreign Startups group in San Francisco -- a group specifically designed for foreign entrepreneurs to help them build connections, launch ventures and discuss challenges with fellow international entrepreneurs.

You can also try joining an incubator or a co-working space to help expand your local network. Eran Bali, co-founder of Udemy, says, "U.S. born entrepreneurs may have a lot of connections from their college, where they grew up or their family. Most immigrant entrepreneurs will come to the U.S. without many people that can help them in their journey. Joining an incubator and connecting with their compatriots in the Valley are good ways to kickstart a network here."

Related: How Six Immigrant Entrepreneurs Transformed Dreams Into Businesses

3. Don't be afraid to consider an immigration lawyer.

It's not a mystery that immigration law in the U.S. is not only complex but also incredibly challenging to maneuver. Getting the right help will allow you to manage the transition smoothly with the right guidance in mind. Do your research and connect with other international entrepreneurs who have faced the same challenges and can help you choose the right legal counsel.

4. Maintain a dual office.

While it is important to base yourself in Silicon Valley, it is also helpful to maintain some presence in your home country. We often see that the most successful entrepreneurs are able to maintain an office in their home country where they have access to great talent, especially if there is a shortage in the U.S. So stay in contact with those you have built a relationship with overseas and utilize foreign talent as it suits your company. Bali took this approach when starting Udemy for hiring engineers, explaining, "We were able to leverage the untapped talent pool in Turkey to overcome the shortage of engineers in Silicon Valley."

These tips are just a few that will help you build a great company in Silicon Valley. But remember, being a part of this culture isn't just about taking advantage of all the resources it has to offer, but also giving back. Lending your own advice and help to others is critical, and it will pay back in the future. If you're a foreign-born entrepreneur, it's very likely that you can offer a diverse perspective to others starting companies, so don't be shy and help them out as well.

Related: Adversity Only Makes These Immigrant Entrepreneurs More Determined

Sergio Monsalve and Ran Reske

Partner and Senior Associate at Norwest Venture Partners

Sergio is a partner at Norwest Venture Partners, focusing on early-stage investments in marketplaces, mobile applications, on-demand applications, consumer finance and educational technologies. Follow him on Twitter. Ran is a senior associate at Norwest Venture Partners, focusing on early to late stage venture investments across a wide range of sectors, with an emphasis on consumer Internet and mobile. Follow him on Twitter.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Side Hustle

Anyone Can Start a Passive Income Side Hustle For Easy Money — But Only If You Know These 5 Essential Tips First.

The rise of digital automation technology has made starting a passive income side hustle easier and more accessible than ever before.

Side Hustle

He Launched His Creative Side Hustle Out of a Garage. Now It's Worth $225 Million.

Tom Humble, CXO and founder of E.C.D. Automotive Design, followed his passion for custom auto design into big business.


Don't Just Babble on LinkedIn — You Need to Carve Out Your Own Niche. Here's Why.

To ultimately unlock the full potential of your LinkedIn experience, you need to establish yourself as a thought leader in a specific niche. This is why (and how).

Business News

This Company Promised to Transform Drive-Thrus With AI — But the Secret Powering Its Tech? Humans.

Presto Automation Inc., one of several major players in AI-ordering tech, has made headlines for using off-site employees in places like the Phillippines.

Growing a Business

How an Executive Coach Can Help You Set Better Goals — And Transform Your Business

Ways to enhance your competitive advantage — and psychological wellbeing — with the assistance of a seasoned, results-focused professional.

Growing a Business

7 Strategies to Secure Business from Fellow Entrepreneurs

When implemented, these seven strategies will be valuable and helpful in growing your brand and ultimately increasing your revenue.