On October 10, 2019 the ETC Baltimore, the Global Innovation Forum, the U.S. Commercial Service and the International Trade Administration co-hosted the Startup Global event during Baltimore Innovation Week for the second year. The sessions explored simple steps startups and small businesses can take to succeed globally, including recognizing the opportunity to be global from Day 1, using technology to streamline and extend operations, being aware of foreign regulations and how to protect your ideas, and discovering public and private sector resources to help your globally-minded business succeed. Speakers included Baltimore-based entrepreneurs, legal experts, corporate representatives and government officials.

— The Program —

Welcome and goals
Tricia Van Orden, Deputy Director, Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee Secretariat, U.S. Department of Commerce

Carey Arun, Commercial Officer, U.S. Commercial Service

Deb Tillet, President & Executive Director, ETC Baltimore

Kelly Shulz, Maryland Secretary of Commerce

Panel: Recognize the opportunity to be global from Day 1
Moderator: Claire Pillsbury, Deputy Director, Global Innovation Forum

Kimberley Brown, Founder & CEO, Amethyst Technologies

Bobby Patton, President & CEO, Patton Electronics

Panel: The value of early attention to compliance with regulations
Moderator: Tricia Van Orden, Deputy Director, Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee Secretariat, U.S. Department of Commerce

Douglas Bell, Global Trade Policy Leader, EY

Nicholas Hawkins, Associate, Womble Bond Dickinson

Linda Jackson, Director, InfoAge Solutions

Raquel Cohen, Intellectual Property Specialist; Copyright & Trademark Law Attorney at U.S. Department of Commerce

Panel: Talk to governments about how they can help
Moderator: Patrick Kirwan, Director, Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee Secretariat, U.S. Department of Commerce

Jessica Reynolds, Senior Director, Office of International Investment and Trade, Maryland Department of Commerce

Carey Arun, Commercial Officer, U.S. Commercial Service

Sarah Clegg, Head of Trade Policy, British Embassy Washington DC

— What We Learned —

Startups can be global from Day 1

 

It is easier than ever for startups and small businesses to be global from the onset. Speakers highlighted the importance of knowing the individual markets before you enter; understanding the risk; and having strong local partners.

Leverage technology

 

Thanks to digital tools and technologies, startups can streamline operations and connect with partners and customers globally. Panelists discussed the importance of an online presence, including web-based tools to communicate and social media tools like LinkedIn to find and connect with new partners and new talent in foreign markets.

Protect Your Ideas & Pay Attention to Foreign Regulations and Policies

In order to succeed globally, panelists highlighted the importance of knowing the foreign regulations and regimes in the markets you enter, including:

  • Have an offensive and defensive strategy;
  • Be aware of Free Trade Agreements (multilateral agreements like the World Trade Organization and bilateral agreements between countries);
  • Protect your digital assets (ensure you have two-factor authentication at a minimum);
  • Government resources are a great place to start, but you will eventually need a lawyer.

Tap Into Resources Early On

 

There is no shortage of resources available to help you go global — from the local to state to federal government, as well as from foreign governments. Speakers from the Maryland Department of Commerce and the U.S. Export Assistance Center work closely together to provide advising and counseling to help you build a global strategy, to find the right trade-shows and trade missions, and to advocate for policies and programs on your behalf. The UK government offers soft landing programs for those looking to enter the market and together with the U.S. have created a handbook with resources for small businesses.