The University of Iowa

Want To Launch A Successful Startup? Spend Time Abroad

September 12th, 2018

by Jonathan Moed, Forbes

Image accompanying Forbes article. Source:  Getty

Source:  Getty

I set out to uncover what’s behind this trend, and how going abroad can impact business creation and development. Here’s what I’ve learned, including examples of high-growth startups I have encountered throughout my travels.In my time traveling around the world to learn about global startup ecosystems, I have been struck by the quantity and quality of successful businesses I’ve come across whose origin story started with members of its founding team studying or working abroad, and in some cases, whose business model was directly inspired by experiences that occurred during a founder’s time abroad.

Problem Seekers

Entrepreneurs and founders learn through experience, and those who are successful share an ability to extract insights from their experiences--insights about what is broken, and how to fix it. The pursuit of problems represents the start of an entrepreneur’s journey, and for many aspiring entrepreneurs, seizing the opportunity to study or work abroad is a first and valuable chance to accelerate their journey by introducing fresh and different experiences into their lives.