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Test your idea abroad before you scale it in America



The United States is a fantastic market for startups, with its huge single market, open-minded buyers, access to fantastic tech talent from the world’s greatest universities, and the holy grail of venture capital.

But many foreign startups think they have to start in the United States, which is wrong. Perhaps America is not even the ideal place to incubate your startup idea. Sound strange? Let’s go through some reasons to start your idea abroad first and then scale it here after reaching product/market fit.

1. U.S. wages aren’t startup friendly

Tech salaries in New York and Silicon Valley are off the charts. A young back-end developer there costs around $100K, while a guy in Munich with the same qualifications and experience costs around $60K.

2. The U.S. advertising market is saturated

While there surely are some modestly priced advertising markets hidden in the United States, it is also home to the most expensive advertising market in the world. Even reaching students as customers is hard, as every startup is aiming for the “Facebook effect,” attempting to go viral with colleges, and there is not one week where a startup isn’t launching at some U.S. college.

3. Overseas, you can aim for critical density rather than critical mass

When trying out your initial beta, it is better to aim for a critical density of 10,000 users in a smaller area than 10,000 users scattered around the vast United States. This will allow you to learn better from them, and the “viral” effect is much stronger when you go for critical density in your beta launch.

4. You don’t need the U.S. for talent or ideas, but you will need it for marketing

The U.S. does not have more clever scientists or innovators than the rest of the world. I actually think that the world’s supply of tech geniuses and breakthrough scientists are scattered somewhat evenly around the globe in technology clusters and renowned universities. So there is no scarcity of ideas, talent, and co-founders anywhere in the world. But the U.S. and especially Silicon Valley does have the world’s most concentrated knowledge of how to scale a nascent startup to a global powerhouse. The U.S.’s expertise in VC, marketing, and growth strategies are truly unmatched. Just look at Waze: It first demonstrated product/market fit in its home country of Israel and then arrived in the United States with its cool technology. There the U.S. marketing masters took over and pushed the Waze app so effectively that Google acquired the company for $1.3 billion.

5. Programs exist to help migrate foreign startups to the U.S.

From the standpoint of foreign startups, it might look daunting to enter the U.S. market and try to attract local capital. But there are VCs and startup programs that look specifically to bring foreign startups to the U.S. The State of Connecticut, for instance, initiated a breakthrough project last year to award $5 million to the best IoT, health, artificial intelligence, and FinTech companies from around the world to bring them to U.S. shores and Connecticut. Last year’s VentureClash competition had winners from Israel, Canada, and the United Kingdom, who are scaling their startups here now and are already employing hundreds of Americans. Similar startup programs have also been started by New York State’s government with its 43North venture challenge and a VC in California, which launched the Startup World Cup last year to attract the world’s most promising startups to San Francisco.

While I believe the U.S. is the best place to grow, scale, and exit your startup, I’d say that Barcelona, Tel Aviv, and Berlin are some of the best places to launch before trying to conquer the U.S.

Simon Schneider is CEO of Zyncd, UK Director of ECSI Consulting, and entrepreneur in residence at CT innovations.

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About Ms. A. C. Kennedy

Ms. A. C. Kennedy
My name is Ms A C Kennedy and I am a Health practitioner and Consultant by day and a serial blogger by night. I luv family, life and learning new things. I especially luv learning how to improve my business. I also luv helping and sharing my information with others. Don't forget to ask me anything!

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UK drone rules will require you to take safety tests

UK drone rules will require you to take safety tests

US officials might be easing up on drone regulations, but their UK counterparts are pushing forward. The British government has instituted rules that require you to not only register any robotic aircraft weighing over 250g (0.55lbs), but to take a "safety awareness" test to prove you understand the drone code. Regulators hope that this will lead to fewer drones flying over airports and otherwise causing havoc in British skies. Not that they're taking any chances -- the UK is also planning wider use of geofencing to prevent drones from flying into dangerous airspace.

The new rules come following a study highlighting the dangers of wayward drones. A smaller drone isn't necessarily safer than its larger alternatives, for example -- many of those more compact models have exposed rotors that can do a lot of damage. A drone weighing around 400 g (0.88lbs) can crack the windscreen of a helicopter, while all but the heaviest drones will have trouble cracking the windscreen of an airliner (and then only at speeds you'd expect beyond the airport). While you might not cause as much chaos as some have feared, you could still create a disaster using a compact drone.

It's nothing new to register drones, of course, and it doesn't appear to have dampened enthusiasm in the US. The test adds a wrinkle, though: how willing are you to buy a drone if you know you'll have to take a quiz? The test likely won't slow sales too much, if at all, but it could give people one more reason to pause before buying a drone on impulse. Manufacturers appear to be in favor of the new rulebook, at any rate -- DJI tells the BBC that the UK is striving for a "reasonable" solution that balances safety with a recognition of the advantages that drones can bring to public life.

Source: Gov.uk (1), (2)

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