At 2015's Annual CBI Conference, UK Prime Minister, David Cameron discussed the role of startups in the UK, stating that the UK is the 6th best place in the world to run a business.
He also approached the question of whether UK startups can keep up with the US. Can the UK ever be known for promoting startups and generating breakthrough technology that changes the way we work, socialize and spend our leisure time? The question is, can UK technology startups and business ever hope to succeed in the exciting and innovative US driven market. As a UK technology company, do we still find entering the US market a daunting prospect and potential graveyard? And finally is the US ready for UK Businesses? The answer is, it depends.
The US is the home of the Silver Bullet
The US has always been a nation of technology entrepreneurs, especially on the west coast. The volume of tech startups is incomparable. Many fail, many succeed but the fact is some of the biggest companies (Facebook, Google, and Amazon) started here out of simple ideas.
So, what is it about the US that makes it a hotbed of innovation and game changing ideas? Why is it the best test bed in the world for tech? Well it's clear; they have the biggest economy, a huge geography and an influential population who need and desire simplicity. If the US market accepts your concept as worthwhile, there is every chance that it will be accepted globally.
In business, the US economy is striving for innovation, automation and the problem-solving ability of technology, simple or challenging, consumer or B2B. In all areas, it could be said that the litmus test will always be measured on the level of success in the US.
WorkCast in the US
So with that said, why would a UK tech start up see an opportunity in the US? We already discussed the monumental number of US based tech startups, but does UK business have something to offer?
WorkCast has been the leading independent webcast platform in Europe for the past few years. The reason for this is that we have taken all the benefits of conventional content management systems, added marketing automation capabilities and then approached the delivery of this content in a brand new way. WorkCast supports all manner of video delivery and became the first webcast platform that fully accommodates everything you can do in PowerPoint, including embedded video that is delivered without local encoding or screen sharing.
This leading functionality, plus outstanding support and a personal touch has made WorkCast a firm favorite with customers who value brand and premium content delivery.
When considering entering the US market, it was important to understand if these things were important to US customers and we believe they are.
US Organizations need to differentiate
Many US organizations increasingly have to compete via content marketing. Webinars form a core part of these content marketing programs.
For many years the only tools that US organizations have had access to have been the leading web conferencing platforms such as GoToWebinar and WebEx. However, as these tools have proliferated and been a core of collaboration sessions for standard meetings, they have become increasingly outdated for external marketing led communications such as webinars. They have not been able to deliver the quality of content and brand experience that is required to allow these organizations to differentiate themselves.
Demand for WorkCast’s unique capabilities tripled in the US last year which told us that the US is ready for a different option when it comes to running webinars aimed at achieving real marketing-orientated goals. No one wants to get stuck using outdated technology that’s unfit for purpose and with WorkCast their options have diversified.
As a startup, it was important that we picked the right location and, by basing ourselves in Seattle, WorkCast has been able to meet a number of key requirements.
We have been able to offer a wider range of premium real-time support services to clients not only in US time zones but also for organizations in the US looking to target the Asia Pacific region. We are also able to provide dedicated sales and account management across these time zones. When it comes to adopting tech that caters to a global audience, what could be better than working with a truly multinational organization?
Will it succeed?
The signs are great, the US operation is already profitable inside its first year and demand continues to grow. Only time will really tell but it looks like UK tech startups, with a carefully monitored business plan, can definitely succeed in the US.