EB5 Investors Magazine "Top 25 Awards Edition" Volume 8 Issue 1 | Page 73

WINNERS LISTED ALPHABETICALLY PHIL COHEN TOP BUSINESS PL AN WRITERS BUSINESS PLAN WRITERS EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE P hil Cohen is the president of Strategic Element Inc., and a vice president at Altytude Advisers. Strategic Element has been offering professional services in the EB-5 industry since 2010, including business plans, economic impact reports and feasibility studies, and has participated in offerings totalling over $3.5 billion in EB-5 capital. In 2018, Cohen expanded his involvement in the EB-5 industry by participating in the development and launch of Altytude Advisors to address EB-5 redeployment. Cohen regularly speaks at and participates in EB-5 events and conferences, including: EB-5 Investors, iGlobal Forum and AILA, and was also the founder of The EB-5 Definitive Guide. American Dream a reality for many people, while at the same time facilitating investments into businesses that would both, contribute to the growth of the American economy and the creation of jobs. A win for all involved. WHAT NEW TYPES OF PROJECTS AND TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY DURING THE PANDEMIC? Projects have been competing for fewer available investors during the pandemic, and at the same time restaurants and hotel projects experienced a noticeable slowdown, due to the direct impact of less travel globally and inter-regionally. WHY DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY? The EB-5 program provided an opportunity to become a part of an industry that offered the dual benefit of helping to make the WILLIAM DEAN W illiam Dean is VP of Immigration at Masterplans, an Inc. 500 business plan writing company founded in 2002. He directs a senior team of market research and financial modeling experts who create visa-ready plans through referrals from 300+ law offices nationwide. Dean specializes in reviewing client files and RFEs to help E-type, L-1A, EB-2, and EB-5 applicants obtain their visas. He first encountered EB-5 in 2008, and since then has overseen more than 2,000 visa business plans. Dean is a frequent speaker at investment immigration conferences. He previously worked at the law firm Stoel Rives, and earned his B.A. from Brown University. WHY DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY? I joined Masterplans in 2005 as a staff writer, preparing plan content for people’s SBA loans and researching angel investment opportunities. As we encountered more E-2 and L-1 visa requests, I pivoted to writing those business plans, educating myself on the various criteria along the way. Eventually, I was tasked with creating the business plan that became the backbone of the I-924 filing for a new regional center in Florida, BUSINESS PLAN WRITERS EB5 INVESTORS MAGAZINE which USCIS approved in 2010. By then, I was focused exclusively on immigration and business development, actively networking with attorneys and training our staff on the different business and investment visas. WHAT NEW TYPES OF PROJECTS AND TRENDS ARE YOU SEEING IN THE EB-5 INDUSTRY DURING THE PANDEMIC? Someone on a webinar observed that the past year has revealed precisely how deeply embedded EB-5 is with the travel industry. Marketing projects, securing investors, even coming to the U.S. to scope out a direct investment opportunity – all of these have been massively complicated by travel bans and COVID. On the heels of 2019’s higher investment minimums and TEA changes, it’s put EB-5 into a slumber. Fortunately, there’s significant interest in the E-2, and the intracompany transferee L-1 visas are back in play after Trump’s freeze in 2020. Despite the recent political turmoil and social unrest, America’s shores still hold great appeal. EB5INVESTORS.COM 73