Three lessons on how foreign entrepreneurs succeed in the U.S.

As a land of opportunities, the United States has always been a magnet for entrepreneurs. To get a step closer to their dream, ambitious startup founders from around the world pay the high price of sleepless nights and endless working hours. What does it take for a foreigner to succeed in the U.S.?

1. Build a new network

The truth is that a lot of foreign startups fail on the other side of the Atlantic. One of the main reasons for this is that founders who just moved to the U.S. rarely have a strong professional network.

Both fundraising and finding first customers are heavily reliant on who you know. Perhaps this is why an accelerator or graduate school often becomes the starting point for many foreign entrepreneurs in the U.S.

2. Every business is a people business

To get traction or raise capital abroad one must understand how people in other cultures think. Many professionals who grew up in other countries simply don’t have the storytelling skills to capture the attention of investors as effectively as their American counterparts.

Often they are too modest to “tell the story”: they prefer pitching a realistic and grounded vision for their business. However, investors in the U.S. are routinely bombarded with perfectly crafted pitches and discount the excessive optimism of startup proposals.

3. Embrace the challenge with positivity

What successful foreign-born entrepreneurs have in common is a positive attitude. They spend more time analyzing new opportunities than complaining about past experiences.

They don’t grumble about U.S. politics or immigration – instead, they see themselves as being in the right place at the right time. These foreign entrepreneurs firmly believe that America is still the most open and welcoming environment to visionaries from other countries.

In a global economy, unique experiences and a vision that travels beyond borders often becomes a startup’s key asset. Foreign founders in the U.S. dare to be different; perhaps that’s the one key advantage that they can draw on to make them eventually succeed.

By Victoria Zavyalova, co-founder, V Startup Agency
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