Meet Martin Wallner, the founder and CEO of a company in Austin and an immigrant. Martin received an H-1B visa last year and founded The Purple Crown, a platform that facilitates roommate relationships in cities. After graduating from Harvard, Martin had to return to Austria. Though his visa status is currently secure, he plans to go to D.C. to advocate for other tech founders who were not selected in the H-1B lottery.
"I never actually feel different than anyone else. I feel completely part of life here. It’s my country.”
I am originally from Austria, but I have been here in the United States for about 10 years. Now on a green card, I am the founder and CEO of Macro House, a company that provides housing for people who are new to Austin. We have about five full-time and five part-time employees right now and provide housing for about a hundred people.
I moved here the first time in 2003, as an exchange student in high school. I lived with a wonderful family in Houston that I’m still in touch with. They actually made me fall in love with the U.S. I always did want to come here since I was little, so I came back for college, and then after that I had to leave because of the visa situation, but I came back. I had to reapply later on for an H1-B, so now I have a green card, but I always felt like here in the United states that, even though I do have small accent still and I was not born here, I never actually feel different than anybody else. I feel completely a part of life here. It’s my country.