TradeUp Founder at the WTO Public Forum

On 27 September TradeUp (a Grow VC Group company) Founder Kati Suominen joined the plenary meeting of the World Trade Organization’s Public Forum, that brings together all key players in international trade for three days of deliberations in Geneva. Suominen spoke of ways in which the WTO and the international trade community can advance small and mid-size companies’ trade through new rules on trade facilitation, online payments, finance, and digital policies. You can hear her remarks here, scrolling down.

The high-level panel featured also Roberto Azevêdo, Director-General of the WTO, Rt Hon Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for International Trade of the United Kingdom, Robert B. Koopman, Chief Economist of the WTO, Manuel Aldrete, General Manager of Chicza Rainforest, Sherill Quintana, Owner and Founding President of Oryspa and Hildegunn Nordas, Senior Trade Policy Analyst at the OECD.

Suominen spoke at two other panels at the forum on digitization of trade and opportunities ecommerce opens to small busineses.

Read more about international trade and its finance at TradeUp site.

TradeUP liam fox bob koopman

TradeUp Founder Kati Suominen (right) with UK’s Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox and WTO’s Chief Economist Robert Koopman




TradeUp: Global Markets at a Glance

Sign up now for Global Markets at a Glance by TradeUp, a free tool for companies expanding abroad.   

TradeUp is committed to helping SMEs and startups raise the growth capital they need to get into markets around the world.

  • Are your int’l markets poised for strong growth?
  • How do they compare to similar markets in the region?
  • What’s the risk/reward profile for each market?

Sign up for your free customized report here.  Learn more here

TradeUp Global Markets Report




TradeUp: Free Report Tailored to Your Global Markets

Sign up now for Global Markets at a Glance by TradeUp, a free tool for companies expanding abroad.   

TradeUp is committed to helping SMEs and startups raise the growth capital they need to get into markets around the world.

  • Are your int’l markets poised for strong growth?
  • How do they compare to similar markets in the region?
  • What’s the risk/reward profile for each market?

Sign up for your free customized report here.  Learn more here

TradeUp global market trade report




Equity Crowdfunding is the Future of Small Business Financing

Diversity is one of the many aspects of business life that makes the United States so attractive to investors. There is no shortage of investment options available; from stocks to commodities and from municipal bonds to mutual funds, investors can always add new financial instruments to their portfolios.

Even with all the regulated financial exchanges in the U.S., the small business community is mostly outside of the investment sphere. For all the attention that the financial news media gives to venture capital, investors do not usually find it easy to reach small business owners to inquire about investment prospects.

Outside of Silicon Valley and the reality television series Shark Tank, small business funding is not generally exciting. For the most part, small business owners still believe that commercial loans from banks are their best hope for startup funding; this is despite the fact that American banks have sharply reduced this type of lending over the last few years.

Thousands of entrepreneurs launch interesting startups each month, and yet only a few of them will make it past the first year of operations. Inadequate funding is one of the most common reasons behind the high rates of failure among American small business owners, and this can be blamed on the lack of diversity in terms of financing.

With so many American businesses failing due to lack of funding, wouldn’t it be great to have a marketplace where entrepreneurs and potential investors could interact with the benefit of regulation and oversight? Thankfully, that day has arrived.

In 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved a set of rules to govern equity crowdfunding; since then, investors and entrepreneurs have been meeting with some hesitation on a few online platforms while regulators observe the action and make adjustments.

The adoption of equity crowdfunding is intrinsically tied to the legislation passed by Congress in the wake of the global financial crisis. As the situation stands these days, small businesses can raise up to a million dollars each year on crowdfunding platforms that have been vetted by the SEC.

The new equity crowdfunding platforms add a layer of “free market democracy” for American investors, but what about small business owners? 

If you are an entrepreneur interested in equity crowdfunding for your business, you should become acquainted with the process of due diligence that is required by the online platform. Insuring your company should be the first step, but you should also become familiar with the financial statements that potential investors will be looking for.

Equity crowdfunding does not have to be the final stage of capital raising for small American businesses. Venture capital firms are paying close attention to the Web-based crowdfunding platforms because it gives them a great opportunity to scout new investment projects. From within these platforms, startup companies may find angel investors who will one day take them to Wall Street.

Read the whole article on TradeUp Blog.

DealIndex crowdfunding data

Photo: DeadIndex.co equity crowdfunding data dashboard.




Why VCs Will Continue to Invest in Big Data Startups for Many Years to Come

By Jeremy Sutter, Business Writer

During the late 1990s, also commonly referred to as the dot-com era, it seemed all one had to do was have an office in San Francisco or Silicon Valley and have an idea for a website that would bring people together for an investor to throw money at it. Then came 2001 and the bottom fell out. Interestingly, the same hot trend of looking for the next big startup continues to keep charging on, but without all the fanfare and definitely without all the after-hour parties. 

Two things appear to be driving VC activity, particularly in the realm of extremely new, unheard of startups: the rise of managing and harnessing value from big data, and the demand for new ideas on how to design data infrastructure. Both are technical enough to filter out the fly-by-night chatter; only startups who truly have the engineering or data management background are going to get out of the starting gate with a viable product in these two fields. 

So startups are also coming up with new and previously unheard of ideas of how to move electronic data physically as well as digitally. Both scalability as well as speed matter tremendously and these new players are going places were tried and true systems can’t touch because they are locked into existing system protocols and paradigms. That makes for market disruption on a big scale.

The market’s need for new database architecture has also influenced what VC firms are looking at for their next investment opportunities. They are recognizing the need for solutions that meet scalability demands as wells as run more efficiently without bogging down a network. Operating cost is a big factor as well, so those with ideas on how to do more with less are also getting VC attention. 

Read the whole article on TradeUp Blog.

Big data

Photo: Wikipedia