The United Kingdom and Ireland are both home to flourishing tech startups looking for the right opportunities to grow globally. The United States is the logical target for their expansion, especially given its 320 million consumers, free trade agreements with 20 other markets, and massive market for technology purchases.
Furthermore, there is plenty of precedent. Companies from the UK and Ireland have outstanding track records of succeeding in our country. The UK is the largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States, with $564.7 billion total stock as of 2013. According to the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, affiliates of UK companies in the United States are responsible for more than 962,900 American jobs. Ireland is the eighth largest source of FDI, whose investors are responsible for more than $117 billion stock as of 2013 and 168,900 U.S. jobs as of 2012.
Startups can also tap into the incredible resources available in the United States. Our entrepreneurial culture is the perfect business climate for startups to thrive. Just look at the numbers: According to the Kauffman Foundation’s Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, an average of 476,000 new businesses were created each month in 2013. The United States leads the world in innovation and intellectual property protection, accounting for roughly 30 percent of global research and development (R&D). In 2012 alone, companies from the U.K. and Ireland combined spent nearly $9 billion on R&D in the United States, contributing significantly to the intellectual diversity of all three countries.
So how can SelectUSA, the U.S. government-wide program to facilitate investment into the United States, help even more companies to make the leap across the Atlantic? SelectUSA provides information, connects businesses with the right people, and helps investors navigate the federal government (learn more about our full range of services). In addition, the Commercial Service (CS) in the U.K. and Ireland launched a new initiative in 2014—SelectUSA Tech—to give early-stage technology companies the tools that they need to launch their businesses in the United States.
SelectUSA Tech’s 2014 “boot camp-style” events in London, Dublin, Edinburgh and Belfast brought together public and private-sector experts to address legal, tax, accounting, insurance, and visa/immigration issues, while also covering how tech entrepreneurs can access U.S. buyers, venture capital, debt financing, and general banking services. A final, key component of the events has been a “lessons learned” panel of local startups, who share their experiences launching and scaling stateside.
For more information about SelectUSA Tech Seminars, check out the flyer from September’s Edinburgh event or the highlights reels from our London or Dublin events. We also regularly participate in tech conferences and at incubator briefings. For example, over the course of a single week in October, CS UK held a SelectUSA Tech Seminar in Belfast, hosted a LDNY (London-New York Festival) #scaling2cities tech entrepreneur event at the U.S. Embassy, and co-sponsored “The Transatlantic Startup” event organized by the Global Innovation Forum.
Startups can also learn more about the U.S. market at the 2015 SelectUSA Investment Summit coming up in March, which will enable entrepreneurs to meet with economic development offices from across the United States, all in one building. The day before the Summit, we’ll also be holding a SelectUSA Academy to present the basics of investing and launching a business in the United States at a level of detail that will be particularly useful for startups and entrepreneurs.
To learn more about our SelectUSA Tech, please follow us on Twitter @SelectUSATech.