Entering a new market is no easy feat for any business, let alone for a startup with limited resources and staff. But that shouldn't discourage you from taking the leap.
That was the main takeaway from Startup Global New York, a forum aimed at exploring solutions to common startup issues like securing intellectual property and scaling a business. The event--hosted by eBay, the U.S. Commerce Department, the Global Innovation Forum and the New York City Economic Development Corporation--was held on Thursday at the eBay office in New York City.
"Borders are collapsing," said Julia Neznanova, the founder of Hakka Labs, a content platform for data scientists and engineers in New York City. Speaking at a panel discussion entitled "Myth vs Reality--Can Startups Really Win in the Global Market?" she described her belief that startups should not worry about whether to take the plunge and enter a new market. Rather, you should aim to fulfill your startup's mission, said the entrepreneur, who is also the director at Friends of eBay, a startup accelerator operated by the e-commerce giant. "It's more about what product you are building" and your company's trajectory, she explained. If it makes sense to expand, do. But don't force it.
Another thing to keep in mind is whether there will be interest in outside markets. And if so, will you be able to keep the quality up? Entrepreneur in residence at Microsoft, Tereza Nemessanyi explained that "sometimes when you make something that is [expandable] it dumbs down the 'secret sauce.'"
And while the dream is to be able to grow your business without localizing your company, the reality is most startups will need to take this step.
The best way to do this is to choose the right partner, someone that can not only open doors for you but can help you scale your business. "If it's just an access point to get the government contract, that's clearly a big cost to the business. But if what it does is give you access not only the government but this big company or that big company that has real business value for you."