>> President Donald Trump's travel ban is sending chills through Silicon Valley startups. I'm Reuters' Heather Summerville. Since President Trump signed that executive order banning immigration from seven countries, the phones at immigration attorney offices have been ringing off the hook. And who's calling? Startups. Founders are really concerned about their ability to travel, to start their businesses, to hire and to do what they set up to do.
I talked to the founder of a software company called Split and he has an office in Silicon Valley and also an office in Argentina. He's hiring very quickly, like every startup is, and he's thinking about sending those new hires to the office in Argentina, so that they don't have to deal with immigration hassles and all the uncertainty.
So, I've talked to venture capitalists, including a Kate Mitchell, who's the founder of Scale Venture Partners. She is talking with her CEOs and co founders of the startups she's invested in and really advising them, don't let your employees travel. Even if they're not from one of the seven ban countries, just maybe not take the risk and don't let anyone travel.
So Silicon Valley has for so long been the leader in technology innovation, and a lot of that is due to immigrant founders. And more than half of the unicorns are founded by immigrants, they're just a really important part of the ecosystem. So, there's a lot of question now about our ability in Silicon Valley to be competitive if we can't hire the best people.
And so there are larger economic and competitive questions here. There's been a lot of focus on the H-1B Visa program, which will have dramatic implications to Silicon Valley if there are changes there. But what I learned is that this travel ban, it's all really really affecting the small companies, these startups need to hire quickly.
They need to produce quickly. They need to ramp up as quick as possible to meet investor expectations. And this travel ban has basically caused some businesses to come to a full stop.