On September 26, 2017 the Temple University Fox School of Business, European American Enterprise Council, the Global Innovation Forum, and the U.S. Department of Commerce co-hosted a forum to explore the opportunities and challenges for startups and small businesses in the global marketplace and to discover resources to help your globally-minded business succeed.
Startup, corporate and government leaders spoke about:
How Philadelphia-based startups are going global;
Tools and strategies to succeed in international markets;
Legal considerations for global startups; and
Government and community resources available to help startups succeed abroad.
See who spoke at the event
Welcome & Introduction
Ellen Weber, Executive Director, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, Fox School of Business, Temple University
Councilman David Oh, Chairman of the Committee on Global Opportunities and the Creative/Innovative Economy
Panel: Philadelphia Startups Going Global
Anurag Jain, Co-Founder and CEO, Prepay Nation
Nigel Satenstein, Head of Business Development, Pinpointer
Blandine Chantepie-Kari, Vice President, University & Entrepreneurship, European American Enterprise Council
Special Remarks: The Value of Global Connectivity
Ram Mudambi, Professor of Strategic Management, Fox School of Business, Temple University
Panel 2: Tools and Strategies to Grow Internationally
Usman Ahmed, Head of Global Public Policy, PayPal Inc.
Kersy Azocar, Vice President of Microlending, Finanta
Marvin Weinberger, Inventor-in-Chief, Innovation Factory
Claire Pillsbury, Deputy Director, Global Innovation Forum
Panel 3: Legal Considerations for Global Startups
Vincent Duconge, Trade Lane Manager for France, Geodis USA
Thomas Goldman, Senior Partner, Thomas F. Goldman & Associates
Benjamin Hardman, Attorney/Advisor, U.S. Department of Commerce
Jonathan Grode, U.S. Practice Director, Green and Spiegel LLC
Panel 4: Government Partners and Community Resources
Darlene Atta, International Business Consultant, Temple Small Business Development Center
Lori Cooper, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of the European Union, U.S. Department of Commerce
Peter Gonzalez, President and CEO, Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians
Dino Ramos, Chief Operating Officer, World Trade Center Philadelphia
Antonio Ceballos, Director, Philadelphia U.S. Export Assistance Center, U.S. Department of Commerce
Jeffrey Conradi, Associate Director for International Programs, Fox School of Business, Temple University
Tricia Van Orden, Deputy Director, Trade Promotion Coordinating Secretariat, U.S. Department of Commerce
What We Learned
Takeaways from the discussion.
Start with what you know
“It all started one day late last summer when I got a call from one of my best childhood friends. He started telling me about his roommate, Sam, who was born and raised in Kathmandu, Nepal and to this day still does not have a home address” – Nigel Satenstein, Co-Founder of Pinpointer, which connects e-commerce sellers with consumers in hard to reach areas of the world. Nigel went on to explain how it was only natural to implement their technology in a region that they knew well – Kathmandu.
Inspired through his involvement in two other online startups, Anurag Jain co-founded Prepay Nation. Now one of the fastest-growing companies in Philadelphia, Prepay Nation has customers in the U.S., Canada, France and the U.K.
Web-based tools allow startups to effectively participate globally
“Focus on what you do really well, and find platforms to help you do the rest.” – Usman Ahmed, Head of Global Public Policy at PayPal Inc.
“Skype, WhatsApp and Google Voice have been really big for us, especially when we try to talk to people internationally without charges. We have also been using a couple of really helpful APIs that have helped our product go live, which are basically mapping tools that are more robust and better suited to our needs in those regions.” – Nigel Satenstein, Co-Founder of Pinpointer
“Two years ago I embarked on a plan to bring to market one of my products. At the time I launched a Kickstarter campaign – it was very successful in capturing interest. In fact over 25% of the people that signed up for the product were from other countries and much of our success internationally is a direct result of success of that campaign.” – Marvin Weinberger, Inventor-in-Chief at Innovation Factory
“Shopify is a great website that will help you design a website for e-commerce, but the challenge is that it is all in english. [PayPal’s] Global Sellars Program is a plugin to any of those platforms (like Bigcommerce or Shopify) and in 15 minutes what it will do is create digitally a language translated version of your site. We spend 48 hours after those 15 minutes working to create a real localized version of your website…in 2 days you are available in 60 markets and usually see your sales increase as a result.” – Usman Ahmed, Head of Global Public Policy at PayPal Inc.
Be sure to protect your ideas & engage professionals to help
“If you need an attorney in a foreign market Foreign Commercial Service representatives can help you identify people. For many things – especially intellectual property – having a local attorney can be absolutely critical.” – Benjamin Hardman, Attorney and Advisor, U.S. Department of Commerce
“The patent is only as valuable as the money you have to defend it when push comes to shove.” – Thomas Goldman, Senior Partner, Thomas F. Goldman & Associates
“You have to protect your idea before you go anywhere. For instance, you have to register [your trademark] in the country you are going to go to.” – Benjamin Hardman, Attorney and Advisor, U.S. Department of Commerce Patent and Trademark Office
Take advantage of public & private sector resources
“I encourage new companies and startups to look at our resources, like export.gov. The Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration manages a really good website to help companies find out what they need to know about exporting. It can be for market intelligence, videos on different topics and information to self educate.” – Lori Cooper, Senior Adivsor and Director of Transatlantic SME Program, Office of the European Union, U.S. Department of Commerce
“The US Department of Commerce just announced a very exciting new grant for the the Welcoming Center that we are going to be partnering with the University City Science Center, which will allow us to work together over the next several years. Essentially the Science Center will provide space for startups and we will provide connections and access to the international entrepreneurs that are already living here in this region. It’s an exciting new platform that we are developing that will also include a database that people will be able to access in the future.” – Peter Gonzalez, President and CEO, the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians
“Part of our Pennsylvania International Trade Guide consists of numerous modules that startups can do on their own. It includes an export readiness assessment, so it gives you a good idea as to whether you are so called ‘export ready’.” – Dino Ramos, Chief Operating Officer, World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia