Week 2: Never too soon to 'go international'
This week, almost to underline my comments in the first of this series about not knowing what each week will bring, was almost entirely different to last week. Last week was full of face to face meetings and there was no particular thread to my week, other than of course the fact that it revolved very heavily around early stage businesses.
However, this week there was a rather international flavour and most of my activities were conducted on LinkedIn, Skype, WhatsApp, Zoom, and all the other various ways in which we all connect nowadays, as well of course as on email. The most obvious international aspect of the week was that I was out of the UK for part of the week which was the reason for the more remote forms of access used.
But what of the contents of those discussions and how did they follow on with the international theme? Firstly, I have been asked to speak at Startup Grind in Tbilisi, Georgia in November. This event is a sister event to the one in London a few months ago and is focused on helping startups and early stage businesses grow around the world. It attracts thousands of attendees to network, listen to presentations on the stage, and visit the stands. So if you want to know more, or indeed to work in, or with, Georgia for any reason then find me on LinkedIn and I will happily see how I can help.
The international flavour continued as I followed up on a meeting from the previous week and introduced a UK company to a contact of mine that works exclusively with China and I felt that an introduction would be beneficial to both sides – contacts, and even contacts of contacts, can always make the difference between success and failure or, at the very least, the speed of success. China is of course a massive market in whichever way that you look at it, but it is also not the easiest market to deal with so the more friends you can make the easier life becomes.
Another of the events this week, and this one might be stretching the international theme just a little, was again the continuation of a previous face to face meeting; this one about growth, raising funds, and advisory boards. But what made it follow the international theme was that not only was I out of the country at the time but because I am specifically looking at working more closely with the company to help them expand internationally, and to raise funding to fuel their growth, both within the UK and internationally.
Lastly, is a company called BEEN (www.been.london) that I am already very active with and on the advisory board for. This company was only founded one year ago, by a lady that is international in every sense of the word, and has already sold product to 18 countries and is growing very rapidly. At present we are in contact on an almost daily basis as the company is about to launch a fund raising campaign, and a number of the larger, key investors will almost certainly be from a range of countries. The company can best be described at present as in the sustainable fashion market and makes quality accessories from what would otherwise be waste product, and both the company and their product range has already developed a following around the world.
All of this goes to show that no matter what stage you are in on your journey it is never too soon to ‘go international’.
This coming week seems to be back to being rather more random but, as I have come to learn, who knows what will have happened by the end of the week?!