Of all the amazing things I saw on my recent trip to the South Summit in Madrid, Spain – like the sheer number of progressive, forward-looking young companies in attendance and the brilliant, minds behind them, it was the affirmation that success for any startup today is measured on a global scale and that companies that will change the world are no longer tied to a single location or country.
When I co-founded GSD Venture Studios, the goal was to provide the backbone that future disruptive startups need to become resilient global ventures. After years of experience, there are a few reasons why location-agnostic startups are best positioned for exponential growth today.
Globalization: We live in a world that has been reinvented through digital transformation – and the physical location of any venture, company or startup (even users) is not nearly as crucial as in the past. Technology has become the key means for connecting people and enterprises across time zones and continents – which means that the traditional “playground” for any newcomer in their respective industry has leveled up to be much larger and wider in reach.
What does this mean for startups and entrepreneurs in their earliest stages? Well, it’s an opportunity and a challenge wrapped into one. Let’s discuss the challenge first. An arena that spans multiple countries and cultures means more competition – it means that any venture that wants to unlock global success will have to compete with similar ventures not just on the local scale, but on the global scale as well.
It also means that the specific steps necessary to achieve success (such as product-market fit) will require more thorough research to ensure an idea solves a problem for a wide audience in contrast to niche needs that drove success for smaller localized startups in the past.
While there are pitfalls in starting a global venture, the upside is a possible goldmine of opportunities. Solving a problem with a wider reach and more relatability means creating a more bullet-proof business solution with higher demand. This kind of product-market fit is undeniable due to the sheer number of loyal users it can potentially generate. It also means that the resources necessary to gain visibility as an entrepreneur and garner the support system necessary to break through become more achievable and less daunting, since the global approach allows for a wider range of investors, mentors, and executives that can help drive the idea across the finish line and turn it into a profitable business.
This is precisely why GSD Venture Studios exists – to provide access to globally known and acclaimed mentors, C-level executives, investors, venture capitalists, and talent across disciplines to set a promising early-stage startup for global success. And the beauty of it is, throughout the entire process, the support is sourced from the best of the best across the globe – not just in the US or another specific country.
The best talent is found without geographical limitations. The ticket to success for any successful startup (of course, in addition to a brilliant idea and a product-market fit) is a team of winners and industry experts. The days of sourcing an A-list team based just on the candidates’ proximity to the headquarters are over.
The world-class team of a modern, successful venture is significantly more diverse than even in recent history (and is often scattered across the globe). All this is now possible due to the massive shift towards global connectivity and the ability to stay productive and focused with the support of AI, video conferencing solutions, virtual collaboration rooms, virtual whiteboards, and various brilliant supplemental tools. Recruitment does not – and should not – happen based on a zip code or a country anymore. Instead, just like a venture aims to achieve success on a global scale, it should also aim to have a global team that a) brings diverse expertise to the table and b) provides a wide variety of cultural perspectives that allows for a more agile work environment and business model.
As I reflect back on my time at the South Summit, I can’t help but think about where the venture and startup world is moving – and the dire need for entities that will serve as a “bridge” between the proliferating startups in Europe and the opportunities and resources that the US technology industry can offer. To drive the global digital transformation and facilitate the launch of more groundbreaking and industry-defining ventures means looking beyond our borders and bridging the gap between the tech industries in other countries and Silicon Valley.
There are a lot of entrepreneurs and startups out there that already dream BIG and are on the way to global success. Now, it’s our job to think BIG in return and seek such ventures globally to continue pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.