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Jeff Harbach Jeffrey Harbach

Why Many Founders Should Think Global From the Start

Entrepreneur LogoThe following story was a guest column by Kauffman Fellows CEO Jeff Harbach in Entrepreneur.

Envision your global expansion plans early to spot opportunities.

It might seem overly ambitious to set your sights on global domination before you have even landed your first customer.

But, Amasia Managing Partner John Kim makes a good case for why companies should think about being global right from the start. After all, markets are not necessarily divided by just geography anymore.

In fact, any company that thinks big enough and keeps growing has a very good chance of becoming a global company. There are some industries that are more apt than others to make the leap earlier. Software companies operating in the cloud, for instance, can operate anywhere in the world. Other types of commerce that are more physical in nature can make the transition as well, but perhaps not as fast.

For many businesses, operating globally in the future is a matter of “when,” not “if.” The key is to start thinking now about potential customers, partners and countries around the globe that can help your company grow so that you will be ready when the opportunities do arise.


Jeff HarbachJeff Harbach (Class 16) is President and CEO of Kauffman Fellows. Jeff has been an entrepreneur and investor since 2002, and was Executive Director of the Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN), based out of Austin, TX, from 2011–2013, where he served his fellowship. He has led multiple startups, including two 7-Eleven stores, a luxury furniture store and interior design firm, and a private country club golf network. He was also an angel investor himself with the Vegas Valley Angels. Jeff holds a BS from Brigham Young University and an MBA from the University of Texas, Austin. jharbach@kfp.org