High Tech on the Low hosted by Jordan Kastrinsky, is on a mission to make high tech accessible to the world. In my podcast, I explore the many different facets of the world of high tech from development to marketing, to sales, to entrepreneurship and more! With society turning ever more towards technological solutions to make processes more efficient and secure, it is important, now more than ever, that we unite the high-tech sector's collective resources under one roof to reap the benefits of this knowledge-sharing. There is so much opportunity out there to grow within the industry that we must provide the tools through which to do so.
For many international startups, being able to expand their operations into the U.S. market is critical for their overall success. With the U.S.’s large population base, big spending power, and open markets, growth in the U.S. is an exciting opportunity to scale and increase company credibility. Yet, what might seem like an easy foray into a, supposedly, ‘commonly’ understood market, can prove quite difficult. “Founders and startups need to understand that they are going into a territory that does look different from their home country, so they need to check their egos at the door,” adds Ken August, experienced commercial lawyer, and founder of the August Law Group, which specializes in helping international startups and other companies prepare to enter the American market.
Coming to the U.S. takes a lot of research, support, and planning. Companies that succeed can benefit greatly from the leap across the pond, but those who try to cut corners will often find themselves in a tricky position. As such, Ken essentially boils down his pillars of U.S. market preparation to three main tasks: market research, finding the proper team, and ensuring proper regulatory compliance.
“Companies need to be willing to actually come to America and see what’s going on here, learn the market, and make valuable connections,” Ken stresses. Even with the Zoom era making it easier for people to communicate, Ken believes that being physically in a location, surveying potential market entry points, and meeting people face-to-face is essential for understanding the U.S. market. Of course, this step is in addition to any other research a company may do, but PHYSICALLY scoping out the U.S. before you grow is key. In this way, not only do you gain deeper insight into the market, but you can better grow your network in the States, which leads to point #2.
Ken believes that to be successful in America, you need the right partners. The right partners, too, are not necessarily simply people in your industry or who you know from a mutual connection. Instead, the right people need to be experts in their field, with proven success, and measurable KPIs set out ahead of time to ensure your company’s proper development. “You need the right support system when you grow abroad. Having people on the ground in key areas will help your business establish itself with solid footing that will guarantee its capacity to grow”.
Lastly, Ken, as a lawyer, but also as a savvy businessman, sees regulatory compliance as key for most companies coming to America. “Listen, there’s bureaucracy everywhere, and America is no different. Making sure you are compliant with federal and state law is critical and, without it, startups can never hope to succeed in America.” It may be hard to understand that the U.S. has different regulations than Europe, Israel, or other markets. But it does, and with its two-tiered, federal system, companies often need to be compliant not just nationally, but in the individual states they set up their businesses in as well. Not following the rules will land many startups in bad positions that could force them to shut down U.S. operations even before getting them off the ground.
“Again, this goes with checking your ego at the door, you don’t know what you don’t know. So, that means that finding the right people to make sure you not only grow successfully but follow regulations is essential to a startup’s success.”