Startups need to start thinking global from day one
by DINUSHI DIAS
When Bluedot Innovation CEO Filip Eldic first built his disruptive location services software, he soon discovered the Australian market just wasn’t ready for it.
But this didn’t mean the world wasn’t.
Speaking at the SouthStart conference in Adelaide, Eldic said that building good quality products and companies for Australia isn’t good enough, and founders need to start thinking global from day one.
"You need to start understanding where your spot is in the global space," Eldic says.
AVOIDING THE VALLEY OF DEATH
When Bluedot Innovation was embarking on global launch, Eldic says he needed more than $1.5 million to make it happen.
But when the startup entered the Australian investor market, the team soon found themselves at the bottom of the "Australian Valley of Death", a point when a failure to acquire customers for a research and development concept stunted funding and further evolution.
As a startup with dwindling finances and no customers, but with a tech product they knew would have demand in global markets, Eldic and his team decided to reach out overseas.
Today, Bluedot Innovation has staff and investors in two continents, customers in four and direct competitors across the globe.
To fellow founders with startups that offer something the world will want, Eldic says they should skip trying to dominate Australia as a stepping stone and head global from day one.
He says they need to consider opportunity, necessity and risk.
"Uber didn’t start thinking how do we change California," he says.
"They said how do we change the world."
It’s an ambition more Australian startups should begin with, he says.
"Going global from day one gives you a fighting chance to make you globally competitive," Eldic says.
Bluedot’s journey in being a global startup has come with many challenges but Eldic says it has made the entire team stronger.