Monthly Archives February 2016

WHY SHOULD YOU TRY TO INTERNATIONALIZE YOUR START-UP

Internationalization comes nowadays as part of the future plans in most start-ups, although not quite realistic or close in time enough; many companies do not totally understand the implications and preparation needed to take profit of the opportunity to internationalize when it actually appears in front of them.

International relationships and investments are utterly practical for the majority of entrepreneurships all around the world. It gives the company the possibility to get access to opportunities based on the shared knowledge of the international partners on other countries, both in looking for new investors and studying new business opportunities and markets.

It is not an unusual situation nowadays to have investors from different parts of the same country in a company, and soon it will be considered normal as well to invest on other countries and to have foreign investors, on a great basis because of globalization. Additionally, multi-nationality inside the company can help the start-ups improve their business and success in a broader number of countries thanks to the combined knowledge. The world is turning into a global system which makes even more necessary a vision inside the company capable to adapt to this new situation, instead of the regional and country focused way of thinking that used to lead the business expansion and projects.

Being prepared for international relations can also be the perfect way for a start-up to acquire the funding needed. International investors are becoming a regular piece of many start-ups, and looking for this kind of investment can help in many cases an entrepreneurship acquire enough funding to turn from a little, regional and likely to fail company to an international and successful firm.

Information obtained from Loogic.com (last consulted on Feb 2, 2016) “Las conexiones internacionales son fundamentales para el futuro de tu start-up” Javier Martin (24-11-2015) available online at http://loogic.com/las-conexiones-internacionales-son-fundamentales-para-el-futuro-de-tu-startup/

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HOW TO GET PEOPLE TO KNOW YOUR START-UP WITHOUT A BIG BUDGET

Creating a start-up is always a big step, but getting people to know it is another main issue. New companies are usually unable to compete on a marketing basis with big enterprises, and it becomes an important disadvantage.

In order to make potential customers know your new brand, and decide to acquire your product or service, it is necessary for them to actually hear about you. It is a tough work, both because of the competition around the start-up and the usual lack of a big budget. However, there are several tools available to these new entrepreneurs in order to get visibility in the market.

An action having a lot of repercussion worldwide is to accept Bitcoins in the purchases; it generates a lot of feedback both in communication and social media. Companies such as Microsoft or the Fortune magazine allow right now making purchases using the Bitcoin.

It is also crucial to take into account how even if the main intention of the company is to create direct and indirect business actions, public exposure is always going to be a two-way road. The company needs to be prepared to deal with any response from the client, both positively and negatively; and it should remember public information cannot always be controlled.

A good option for those start-ups with low budget and a social background is to get a celebrity to sponsor the project. Creating a crowfunding campaign increases as well the visibility of the start-up, and allows validating the business idea before actually putting it into practice.

Another possibility is to use an investment model called media for equity, created in Germany on the 90’s and consisting on acquiring advertising spots on the media at a better price, in exchange for shares from the company.

An interesting tool available nowadays to low budget start-ups is a “growth hacker”. This type of employment combines marketing and programming, giving the ability to look for low cost ways to optimize the start-up presence on the digital media.

However, both new and traditional companies should never forget one of the main tools regarding visibility, social knowledge and new customers is a totally free one: positive word of mouth will always be an effective attraction to new clients, though uncontrollable.

Information available from Expansion.com (last consulted on Feb 2, 2016) “Fórmulas low cost para dar a conocer tu start up” Elena Arrieta (17/02/2015) available on http://www.expansion.com/2015/01/28/emprendedores-empleo/emprendimiento/1422466096.html

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6 MAIN MARKETS WITHOUT A LIFE CHANGING START-UP

A big part of the entrepreneurship idea has to do with being able to change the world, companies such as Google, Apple or Facebook managed indeed to change completely the way we work, communicate and live, becoming the prime companies inside their markets. However, there are still several markets that have not experienced that complete transformation induced by the appearance of a revolutionary start-up.

Here we have a summary of the 6 main markets still waiting for an entrepreneur to change our lives:

1. Artificial Intelligence

Even if the World could see in 2011 how the supercomputer Watson participated in a USA TV contest, artificial intelligence has not hosted any other life changing event in more than 4 years. However, it is indeed true there are a lot of important updates regarding interaction between humans and artificial intelligence. For now, we can only wait for an entrepreneur mind to put all this advances together and change the World.

2. New ways of Transport

Companies such as Google, BMW, Volvo or Tesla attempting to create an autonomous car, or commercializing space travel are some of the ideas on this market. We can expect that somewhere in the future a company will create a start-up allowing honey moons to be actually enjoyed on the Moon; however, we still cannot see any start-up able to change the World as much as the creation of the train did.

3. The Immortality Business

Both health and medicine improvements have allowed the human kind to live better, longer lives. We can find already some entrepreneurs such as Peter Thiel (founder of PayPal) trying to fight against time, with investments on start-ups fighting cancer or looking for a way to defeat death. Another important change in medicine is will be the evolution to a preventive and customized healthcare, There are lots of ideas, but the life changing start-up has not still arrived. We will have to stay mortals as we wait for it.

4. Finances for everybody

Ever since the Lehman Brothers situation, the financing game rules have radically changed. Smartphone payments are starting to become a regular thing, and there is a fierce competition between industry regulars (credit cards producers, TPV providers…), tech giants (Apple, Google) and start-ups (Square, iZettle…) trying to come with an innovative solution, but yet nobody has been able to accomplish it.

5. Social, Local, Mobile, for real

It is one of the main tendencies on information technology, and the B2C with the three of them will be more useful for the consumer. Even if some business have reached certain success on this line (TripAdvisor, Airbnb) none of them reaches the power of Google or Apple.

6. Worthwhile experiences

Offering customers the realization of their dreams or life marking experiences has become a happiness industry itself, and it is being profited by some entrepreneurs. Consumers look right now for start-ups able to create those experiences in a few hours. Being able to satisfy them with experiences to collect, possess or combine is a completely new market with the possibility for a start-up to change consumer’s lives.

Information obtained from Expansion.com (last consulted on Feb 2, 2016) “Sectores con futuro que aún no tienen la Start Up definitive” Elena Arrieta y Tino Fernández (28/11/2014) available here.

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