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An American Dream and the hard life of an entrepreneur

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In the early 90's my employer, the phone company in California spent over $50000.00 to send me to get certified to be a Systems and Application Developer, specializing in mainframe. This, after I paid for my own college education.

A couple of years later, the phone company wanted to trim its staff and offered 'early out' packages. I took this since I could easily find contract work as a Systems consultant. I soon found and did temporary contract work for Wells Fargo Bank,  Charles Schwab, The GAP and also the phone company.

In the 90's, more and more H1B foreign workers started to come in to the U.S. There was no transparency in what they were earning. American workers had to compete against their salaries. American companies started massively outsourcing work as well. 

Late 90's, because I could no longer compete with outsourcing and H1B workers, I decided to become an entrepreneur. I sold my house in San Francisco and used the profit to finance my new company in Europe (France). It is with this company that I invented a system. We filed patent applications in 2001/2002. In 2002, the Ministry of Finance and Economy in France also gave our company a grant of almost 500.000,00 euros (EUCLID project) to showcase the proof of concept for this system. This pilot program of my system was used by cardholders in French Polynesia with great success. In 2005, USPTO awarded a patent for the patent application that was filed in 2001.

Today (10 years later), we have not been able to convince a bank to implement my system and I have been looking for temporary work contracts for many months now, but haven't been successful. We now know that it's not because the system will not work. And it is certainly not because the banks don't see the value in offering it to their cardholders. 

These very same banks and card companies (Mastercard/Orbiscom) have copied my system. This news was quite surprising since MC’s lawyer has been in communication with our lawyer in the U.S, last quarter of 2009. What about the patent, you might ask? That's a subject of another blog and it might remind you of a 'telenovela'. But I will have to tell the story in my next blog. 

Like many americans, I have paid for my education. I also relied on the equity that I cashed out from selling my home to invest on my own company and my system. So far, 'Goliath' banks have copied it.

Many Americans used their home equities to finance their business operations and to finance their children’s education. My story is not unique. There are other americans who started their own businesses because of the same reasons.

What is going on in the U.S. as far as politics, economy and business is truly scary. The U.S. embraced globalization but failed to manage its effects. I have not heard about any worthwhile solution for our joblessness problem in the U.S., not even from Pres. Obama. 2009 was a great year for America's TBTF banks but one can observe a worrisome american diaspora in the economic sense. Americans have paid dearly for globalization.

What is a bit promising is the grassroots campaign in the U.S. to move money into community banks and credit unions. Pres. Obama also wants to channel more money to fund businesses. Perhaps the change will come from our Main Street's grassroots campaigns.

I'm not whining if that's what you think. I just think that my story needs to be told. I love my home country and I identify more with Main Street than Wall Street. I certainly hope that our politicians will find lasting solutions for our economy.

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