Unshackled Residency FAQs — Info Session #1

Unshackled Ventures
4 min readAug 2, 2023


The excitement and curiosity were palpable during our first live Eighteen150 Info Session, where aspiring entrepreneurs gathered to learn more about our Eighteen150 — a residence program for solo-immigrant founders to explore their ideas while on a visa in the U.S. We provide $150K, full immigration support, and employment.

To ensure that all interested candidates receive the same valuable information, we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions from the session, accompanied by our answers. Whether you are deliberating on the application process or pondering eligibility criteria, this collection aims to provide you with precise and clear answers.

If you have any lingering questions that aren’t addressed in our FAQ section on our website or within this piece, sign-up for our final Eighteen150 information session on August 23, 2023, here: https://lu.ma/tedldoal

Alright, let’s dig in…

How early can I get a decision if I apply today?

While we carefully review each application to ensure a fair evaluation process, our goal is to inform all applicants of the status of their application by September 27th, 2023. We understand the importance of timely responses and will work diligently to process all applications thoroughly & efficiently.

I was a co-founder of a previous startup but this is my first time venturing to be a solo founder, does that exclude me from the “first-time founder” criteria?

No, being a co-founder of a previous startup does not exclude you from the “first-time US founder” criteria for Eighteen150. At Unshackled, we acknowledge that the entrepreneurial journey of immigrant founders often begins long before coming to the US. Whether you were involved in a previous family business, launched companies in your home country, or came to the United States with a business idea, we recognize that immigrants frequently have experience as repeat entrepreneurs based on their prior endeavors. Your previous startup experience does not disqualify you from being considered as a first-time founder under our program.

Does my business need to be incorporated before applying? Does it matter where I am incorporated?

No, you do not have to be incorporated. In fact, 70% of all Unshackled’s investments to date have closed before the founders incorporated their business. However, once you do incorporate your business we do require a Delaware C-Corporation.

Can I maintain my full-time job until I figure out my visa stuff (currently on h1b) and then focus full-time on my startup? Does the Eighteen150 program enable this?

The expectation for accepted Eighteen150 founders is that they commit to going full-time on pursuing their ideas. At Unshackled Ventures, we deeply understand the complexities entrepreneurs face when it comes to visa matters, including those on H-1B status, and have established structures in place to support these founders.

If required, Unshackled as an entity, can act as a founder’s employer. Founders get the benefit of our established track record with USCIS, our ability to showcase a genuine employer/employee relationship, and our ability to then initiate the process for a green card. This strategic approach ensures that you can focus on building and scaling your startup without worrying about visa hurdles. We understand that the visa process is nuanced and unique to each individual. To cater to the specific needs of our founders, our immigration partners create tailored plans based on their current stage in the visa journey.

What are you looking for in the short-video component of the application?

In the short-video component of the application, we are eager to get to know you on a more personal level. This is your chance to showcase your unique personality and present yourself to the Unshackled team. Instead of focusing solely on your business, we encourage you to pitch yourself as an individual. Be authentic and share the story of your journey, highlighting the distance you have traveled and the experiences that have shaped you into the person you are today. We believe in the power of genuine connections and want to see the real you, so feel free to be creative and let your personality shine through in the video. Show us what makes you stand out as an entrepreneur and as a person.

Why solo founders?

Eighteen150 is specifically tailored for solo, first-time immigrant founders in the U.S. who, without this program, often struggle to overcome the hurdles of time, financial limitations, and visa constraints that often stifle creativity, innovation, and hinder progress in the early stages of their founder journey. By providing comprehensive support, mentorship, and resources, we aim to be the catalyst that ignites their entrepreneurial potential, breaking down barriers and empowering them to transform their ideas into thriving companies. In year 9, our responsibility is clear — help as many immigrants as possible realize their dreams of starting successful businesses in a financially sustainable manner.

Friendly reminder: The application deadline is August 27 at 5:00 pm PST!

We hope you apply & best of luck!



Unshackled Ventures

Pre-seed fund dedicated to investing in and unlocking opportunities for immigrant entrepreneurs.