Should more startups plan on being international from the beginning? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Josh Kleyman, Commissioner | Canadian Tech Accelerator, on Quora:

I first realized how small of a world we live in when I was sitting on a beach in Tel Aviv, almost 6,000 miles from New York, and bumped into my neighbors from home. That same trip, I sat down in an airport lounge in Helsinki, right next to my former college professor.

Becoming an international company isn't a matter of "if" anymore, it's just a matter of "when." Most of the time, you'll become an international company without even realizing. One day you'll open up your order list or Google Analytics and see someone in London, Amsterdam, or Bogotá as a new customer. Quora probably didn't think India would be their second biggest source of traffic.

A significant number of our alumni have even participated in our programs in multiple cities and multiple countries! It's not atypical for a company to complete the program in New York, hop over the Atlantic to London, and wrap up with a program in San Francisco.

Most of the companies that we work with in the Canadian Tech Accelerator have been doing business in both the US and Canada since day one. Have you heard of the iMirror? That cool mirror in Tommy Hilfiger stores that knows what shirt you just brought into the fitting room with you? Nobal Technologies, based in Alberta, Canada, manufactures in China, and sells to a Dutch fashion brand with stores in Europe, Asia and North America! And they have italian for lunch!

So take advantage of this new world economy -

  • Make sure your website supports multiple currencies and languages
  • Work with service providers who have international offices and expertise
  • Hire a diverse workforce
  • Look into economic development and export programs
  • Sign up for airline reward points!

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Published on: Jul 11, 2017