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Abroad Band

U.S. tech businesses find foreign soil is fertile soil.

If your information technology business has been growing for several years, it may be time for you to take the next step--a huge stride into another country. Why? The IT industry is ripening all over the globe. According to the American Electronics Association, overall U.S. IT exports to the world totaled more than $165 billion last year.

Of that bonanza, Canada and Mexico were the two largest individual buyers, accounting for approximately $25.9 billion and $18.3 billion, respectively. Japan purchased some $15 billion-worth, and the 15 members of the European Union spent a collective $40.6 billion.

Options on where to find good people and set up shop are also limitless, with a number of industry experts pointing to Israel for the former and Scotland for the latter. Israel is hot due to its burgeoning technology industry. Another plus is the talent it offers courtesy of defense department spinoffs and Russian immigrants. Scotland, meanwhile, has set up a "Silicon Glen" to attract high-tech businesses to its lush countryside.

So much is happening in so many places that at least one venture capital provider claims IT potential isn't limited to big-time players. According to Steve Baloff, a general partner of Advanced Technology Ventures in Palo Alto, California, "There are better and more opportunities for smaller and newly formed companies in information technology, especially software, because of the tools available."


Christopher D. Lancette is an Atlanta-area freelance journalist who covers international business for a variety of local, national and international publications.

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This article was originally published in the September 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Abroad Band.

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