Sumit Suman is the co-founder of Mentii, an online mentoring platform connecting successful mentors with aspiring young people. Sumit started the business both in New York and Bangalore in order to benefit from capital, talent and the market across two startup hubs. But, as the co-founder of Mentii, it was imperative that Sumit could work on the U.S. side. This is where the trouble began.
The whole visa process was an expensive distraction, especially during the early bootstrapped stage when the team needed to devote all their resources to finding and proving the market. After receiving a protracted Request For Evidence (RFE), where responding to it would have resulted in further legal expenses, Sumit had no choice but to withdraw his visa application. This is despite the fact that Mentii had already invested 40 percent of their total expenditure on immigration-related costs!
Now back in India, Sumit explains that his decision was the only option for his business; even if there was a legal (though uncertain) way to stay in the U.S. in order to grow the company, the cost of doing so was too prohibitive. While the Mentii team will still find a way to engage the U.S. market, and U.S. investors, the team will not be growing here -- in other words, no additional jobs will be created in America.