Business Strategy for Software Executives
September 8, 2008
How to Expand into the U.S. Market
The CEO of an Israeli software explains strategies and best-practice techniques for successfully establishing a foreign software company in the U.S.
By Avinoam Nowogrodski, Clarizen
We launched Clarizen, now a global provider of on-demand project management software, in Israel in 2005. In December 2006, we secured $7 million in first-round funding from Benchmark Capital and Carmel Ventures. The two General Partners of both firms also joined Clarizen’s Board of Directors. From the beginning, the plan was to go global to expand our growth options. With Benchmark Capital, we determined we should establish a presence as soon as possible in North America — our largest target market.
Obviously, there are cultural and language differences, as well as other variations from country to country as to how business should be conducted. These differences are risks that can become hindrances to success in establishing a company in a foreign market within the necessary timeline and budget. So the decision to go international must be made carefully. Yet, it need not be intimidating.
Having set the strategic direction for our company, we forged ahead and successfully established our North American headquarters in Menlo Park, California, after having been in business in Israel for 1.5 years. The following points represent the best-practice techniques we employed to reduce the time and effort to bring a company into the U.S. market and mitigate the risks of navigating cultural business variations.
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