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Nasdaq looks to test the market for markets--and fund its global expansion.

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This story appears in the October 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Nasdaq specializes in helping launch other companies into public ownership. Now the exchange wants to join the club. Last April, it announced plans to stage an IPO sometime in the next year or two, which leaves entrepreneurs with two questions: What does the move mean for IPO-minded business owners? And what will the exchange do with the money?

Industry analysts say Nasdaq needs the capital to fund its ambitious overseas expansion, a process that is already underway in Europe and Asia. As Nasdaq gets closer to creating a global exchange, listed companies will enjoy a bigger pool of potential investors without having to list separately with a number of different foreign exchanges. Chris Karkenny, CEO of NetCatalyst, a Santa Monica, California, investment firm, describes the potential result as a breath of fresh air for entrepreneurs. "The broader the ability to trade in your stock," he says, "the higher your liquidity at the end of the day."

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