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Alastair Mitchell: why the US can be unforgivable

Alastair Mitchell: why the US can be unforgivable

The question of ‘where should we locate?’ is chipping away at executives more so than ever before. Business activity has become increasingly mobile, and that means one thing. With relative logistical ease, companies can set up wherever they choose. Or wherever they feel will be most profitable.

For tech companies at least, this means US international expansion. 322 million people. An economy worth $17 trillion. 50 states. 16 territories. 311 different languages.

But, begins Huddle Co-Founder Alastair Mitchell, “America is a very big country”.

After taking a command over the London cloud-based collaboration market, Mitchell, alongside co-founder Andy McLoughlin headed for the abundant tech plains of San Francisco, Washington D.C and New York.

“We didn’t get it right the first time, figured it out and went back in” explains Mitchell.

Huddle set itself up for successful US international expansion by inundating its C-Suite with an innate global bias. Mitchell stepped down as CEO and was replaced by the Danish Morten Brogger.

Having raised $51 million in its most recent round of funding, seemingly this time, they have.

This 5th episode of the Hot Topics podcast will focus on how businesses can break into the US.

Mitchell explains that entrepreneurs often forget the size of the US. Dazzled by the potential of untapped markets, IPOs and large exits, entrepreneurs lose sight of the vast difficulties that come with pioneering new and wildly differing territories.

The best piece advice Mitchell gave was to take it “bit by bit”.

Instead of aiming to make your mark on the continent as a whole “what you should really be doing, is going into one state. New York, that’s like launching into the UK overall. California, which is like the UK, France and Germany combined, it’s the 5th biggest economy in the world.”

To learn about US international expansion, see above for this week’s episode of the Hot Topics podcast.

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