Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in legal services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Xiao Wang, Co-Founder & CEO of Boundless Immigration, located in Seattle, WA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Boundless is a technology company that empowers families to navigate the U.S. immigration process rapidly and affordably. Our software makes it easy for immigrants to apply for a green card, citizenship, and other visas. We also connect our customers with an immigration attorney at a fraction of the cost of a traditional lawyer.
Tell us about yourself
I'm an immigrant, so I understand firsthand the challenges of coming to America and making a home here. I started Boundless after seeing a gap in the market. The U.S. immigration system is broken, keeping tens of thousands of families apart while they wait months and often years for their visas to be approved. Before Boundless, the only option for families who needed support and guidance to navigate this incredibly complex process was to pay thousands of dollars - multiple months of rent in my parents' case - to an immigration attorney. I wanted to help demystify the process for these families while making their immigration journey more affordable. It's deeply moving when a customer finally receives their green card. There's something very human and real about the work that we do.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I'll never forget the first couple Boundless was able to help, Ruan and Shawn. They were the very first couple to take a chance on us in 2017 - right after we publicly announced our company at a Techcrunch event. At the time, my personal cell phone was our customer support line, and I worked directly with Ruan on his application. I can't overstate how taxing and onerous the U.S. immigration process was (and is); the applications are hundreds of pages long, and to be entrusted with such a life-changing chapter in Ruan and Shawn's lives and then to see them successfully get their green card one year later was one of a handful of times early on that I knew the work Boundless was doing was not only impactful but essential. As the Trump administration created a trying time for marginalized communities, I spearheaded a coalition of more than 100 companies - including Microsoft, Twitter, and Levi Strauss - against the public charge rule, which would have an enormously negative impact on legal immigration.
I'm an advocate for civic leadership and art within the Seattle community. I'm an alum of Leadership Tomorrow, a civic leadership development organization, which inspires, prepares, and connects leaders across the public, private and non-profit sectors. I also serve on the Better Business Bureau Northwest Advisory Board and the Board of Trustees of the Seattle Repertory Theatre. Seeing members of Congress cite our reports in their immigration proposals Having members of the team tell me this is the best job they've ever had.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Making tough people's decisions and letting go of people you deeply appreciate.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- The main reason companies succeed is by refusing to die. If you refuse to die for long enough, good things will happen.
- The first five hires set the culture and direction for the company. If none of them are women or people of color, then it will be meaningfully more difficult to get diversity later.
- Figure out what you want out of business. The more honest you are with yourself, whether that's money, power, clout, etc., the more authentic you'll be to your team.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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