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Unshackled Ventures Launches Eighteen150 Founder-in-Residence Program that Invests in Solo Immigrant Entrepreneurs to Fuel National Advantage

Eighteen150 will provide $5 million of Unshackled latest Fund III to immigration and employment support for solo founders in the U.S.


Unshackled Ventures, the only pre-seed venture capital fund that enables immigrant founders to start companies in the U.S., is pleased to announce the launch of Eighteen150, a first-of-its-kind founder-in-residence program, posed to support as many immigrant entrepreneurs as possible, regardless of their immigration status.

Immigrants are not just a part of America; they embody a national advantage. The labor force participation rate of foreign-born adults was 65.7%, surprisingly higher than the native-born 62.3% rate. Immigrant entrepreneurs harness their drive, unique creativity, and ingenuity to push the boundaries of tech innovation across various industries, from generative AI to logistics, military, energy, and defense.

However, many talented immigrant entrepreneurs face barriers and lack access to opportunities that would allow them to contribute fully to our national advantage. Unshackled’s Eighteen150 program ​​gives immigrants the opportunity to go full-time without immigration and financial constraints. Eighteen150 not only supports immigrant founders pursuing the American dream but bolsters the nation’s competitive edge in an ever-evolving global landscape by investing in unrecognized and overlooked talent.

About the Program
Eighteen150 will dedicate $5 million of Unshackled’s recent $35 Fund III and complete immigration and employment support, offering solo founders $150,000 or 18 months of runway to make extensive customer discovery, test key hypotheses, and build the founding team.

While immigrant founders’ diverse backgrounds, skills, and perspectives help foster innovation and drive economic growth, these attributes are hardly recognized and rarely receive the resources needed for growth. Unshackled understands the latent momentum of this community and aims to unlock it by providing Eighteen150 as an all-encompassing foundation for founders to innovate, pivot and create without being limited by time, money, or visa constraints. Access to networks and programs like Eighteen150 means the difference between success and failure.

“We’ve held on to our original conviction of shaping generations of immigrant founders since we founded Unshackled in 2014. With our third fund, we want to join founders even earlier in their journey, and Eighteen150 is the way to do that,” said Co-Founder and General Partner at Unshackled Ventures, Nitin Pachisia. “It’s an incredibly arduous process to get a visa or green card in America, let alone to try and create a business from the ground up. Manan and I want to remove any friction that the most ambitious foreign-born founders may face in their pursuit of building world-changing companies. We’re proud to help reshape the startup ecosystem and pave the way for a more inclusive future.”

“In a world where advancements happen at lightning speed, fostering an environment that attracts and retains the best immigrant talent becomes more critical than ever,” said Co-Founder and General Partner at Unshackled Ventures, Manan Mehta. “As they learn to grow and operate as independent entities, under their own influence, supporting these immigrant entrepreneurs is a testament to the American spirit and an investment in the nation’s future prosperity. Unshackled is providing the true essence of the American dream.”

Unshackled has already invested in Eighteen150 founders, such as an F-1 student from MIT focused on enterprise workflows, An H4-dreamer from UCLA focused on human connections and loneliness, and a former H1-B holder and Ph.D. grad from Harvard focused on climate.

Immigrant entrepreneurs from anywhere in the U.S. are encouraged to apply to Eighteen150, regardless of status or number of ideas. To learn more about Eighteen150, visit

About Unshackled Ventures:
Unshackled Ventures is the only early-stage venture capital fund that enables unrecognized and excluded immigrant founders to start companies in the U.S. Since its founding in 2014, Unshackled has proven its thesis that investing and supporting this population drives strong investment returns across key industries, including American infrastructure, generative AI, healthcare, space, and enterprise SaaS. The firm has invested in 80 companies and over 200 entrepreneurs.

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