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Born Global

Last month I took part in a technology commercialisation conference in Spain.  The question furrowing brows (European and north American, mostly) was a very focused and interesting one:  If most science based businesses are ‘born global’ by market niche, how do we enable them to actually go global?

The organisers had sought case studies of explicitly international accelerators and found, revealingly, none.  Which suggests that either everyone’s already integrated a global strategy into their work, or no-one thinks it’s terribly important.   Which it clearly is.

Competing views around the conference emphasised planning to be global from the start, getting customer feedback early, and forming partnerships abroad.  All very sensible and no doubt the answer is a blend of all three. 

The interesting thing was less the answers than the primacy given to the question in the first place.  I’ve rarely seen it so addressed in the UK, which suggests that  UK startup leaders might get off the boat in foreign parts to find that others have already beaten them to it.

Science based businesses are born global.  They need a global perspective from the start.  We know this – and elsewhere they’re working on systemic answers.