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Northside Innovation Meetup – International Growth

By Sabrina Dridje, Director of Community Engagement, Made in NY Media Center by IFP

There is no better way to escape a torrential downpour than to step into the hoppy comfort of Brooklyn Brewery to join our Northside friends for their monthly (and always excellent), Innovation Meetup.

Northside Media Group, the purveyors of everything culture in Brooklyn from the annual Northside music and film Festival, to local staple publication L Magazine, Northside have long since been trend setters and spotters across all things creative and Brooklyn. With the ever expanding innovation and tech community this side of the bridge, Northside Innovation events and tradeshow have become an important presence in our annual calendar.

Following up on last month’s Innovation Meetup where our very own Executive Director Joana Vicente and our Incubator members Narratively spoke on the importance of good storytelling, this week’s event focused on another topic very close to our community – international growth. With an ever growing international entrepreneurial community and the launch of international exchange programs for startups (more on our inaugural program with Berlin here), the challenges and opportunities for international companies coming to New York, are elements we are aiming to address throughout our programs.

Hearing from the founders and leaders of Karma, Voxy, and Venture Out, here are the top 4 insights that came to light for companies to consider when expanding to New York:

1. Understanding cultural differences should be a priotiry when expanding into foreign territories. Do not underestimate the need for someone on your team who can advise you on the local landscape

2. No one will sell the vision of your company better than you. Be prepared to travel extensively in the first year to gain that original traction

3. Embassies and trade commissions will be your biggest asset and will help to navigate lead generation, local taxes and visas..

4. …which leads to the final issue that consistently comes to light when talking about international expansion – immigration. The need to ease the process and timeline for foreign entities to relocate talent to the US