The Global Entrepreneur-In-Residence Program at

Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago (LUC) has chosen to participate in the Global Entrepreneur In Residence (GEIR) program in conjunction with ThinkChicago and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. This program allows immigrant entrepreneurs to start or grow their companies in the United States through the H-1B visa pathway, providing LUC students and the Chicago-land area access to the world’s most innovative founders.

American colleges and universities increasingly fill a critical role in promoting innovation, entrepreneurship, and job creation as the world’s most prestigious higher education network. The purpose of the GEIR program is to demonstrate to the world’s innovative entrepreneurs that the USA remains the best place to build their businesses and create jobs. Loyola University Chicago joined this effort to support the development of social enterprises and strengthen LUC’s dedication to entrepreneurial endeavors in Chicago.

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The Global EIR program is an initiative aiming to boost LUC’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and academic offerings by involving international entrepreneurs with real life direct experience in the entrepreneurial process in its different stages.


Applications are now open for all interested international entrepreneurs! Loyola students and recent alumni are encouraged to apply, but the program is not limited to Loyola-affiliated applicants. Preference will be given to entrepreneurs developing a social enterprise in Chicago.

Questions? Please send an email to with the subject line: GEIR Inquiry.

International entrepreneurs serve the Loyola community as mentors in LUC’s on-campus entrepreneurial efforts. The H-1B visa duration of stay is typically 3 years but is extendable to 6 years in special circumstances.

In return, the GEIR spends time working with the LUC incubator and sharing his or her expertise with undergraduate and graduate students at Loyola. 

To qualify for our GEIR Program, the applicant’s company must be at a stage of growth where it has a board of directors, adequate funding to cover or exceed 12 months of complete business operations, and a viable plan for future growth.

The GEIR’s company will be directly sponsoring the H-1B visa and the GEIR is responsible for expenses and legal requirements associated with securing the visa.  The selected company/applicant will be required to execute an Independent Contractor Agreement with LUC with a term that is the same duration of the H1-B status maintained through the GEIR Program.