This article is written by Clinton James, a Contributor Author at Startup Turkey.
Joshua Burke is a staff at the U.S Mission in Turkey where he works at the office of Trade and Commerce. On other fields, Joshua Burke is an entrepreneur and investor at the same time. Joshua Burke gave a speech during the 2016 Istanbul Turkey summit.
Joshua Burke, speaking in one of Startup Istanbul’s events, is an entrepreneur, investor and U.S diplomat or Foreign Commercial Officer at U.S Commercial Service says that the governments have a major role in ensuring the success of businesses in their individual countries. As we all know, a country with a stable government fosters a suitable sustainable environment for startups and other businesses to prosper. There are a number of ways in which governments can support startups in their countries.
Firstly, they can support the startup ecosystem by providing financing support. As a good example to how such happen, in 1994, Hamdi Ulukaya initially moved from Turkey to New York to learn English. In a few a years, he started a cheese business, and later, saw a yoghurt factory for sale in the newspaper which motivated him to commence on it.
However, he did not have the money to purchase or take it up, and opted that he could work with the United States small business organizations to get a loan. This was given to him though only a few years later, the first Chobani yoghurt was being sold in New York supermarkets and in 2015, this technology had garnered over 1.5billion dollars in revenue. Hamdi attributes this success to the grants and loan from the U.S government.
Secondly, governments also help support startups by providing infrastructure. WyR (what you rave) was a company founded in Chicago by the Hamdi Ulukaya. The founder realized that consumers were more likely to purchase goods and services based on recommendations of friends and family rather than other factors. However, in less than 12 months after starting the company, it failed. This did not make the founder give up though. He realized that he had been asking the wrong questions for his growth. The problem was not in the recommendation network he created but that individuals were not being connected in effective ways.
This became an opportunity for him once more, he created another company called Kahoots which today has become the world’s leading Human Relationship management platform. This success was attributed to 1871, which is a program that is funded partially by the state of Illinois. Hence, by providing 1871 which is funded constituently by the government and has some of the fastest internet speeds in Illinois. The government has supported the infrastructure to aid startups in this field to thrive. WyR and its failure should also enlighten governments to support laws and develop a policy that supports failure since over 95% of new startups break down within the first 3 years.
It is critical to distinguish that the startups and companies may fail, but the founders and people behind those companies may not. These entrepreneurs have, however, learnt from their own mistakes and made a motion forward. Startups need to communicate the government of their needs so as to be heard effectively, that way, the government and investors can work on addressing and putting up more support to them.