Why did you decide to set up shop in Texas?
The decision to move to Houston-Texas is based on the great opportunity to grow in the innovation market. Research has shown that Houston being the 4th biggest economy in the United States is somewhere 21st as a tech innovation hub. To improve its position Houston is actively stimulating innovative start-ups. We believe what that means for entrepreneurs is it doesn’t matter who you are, it matters what you do, so people can come and start here from wherever and you’re given a lot of due respect as long as you roll up your sleeves and get to work. The other more practical aspect is that there’s a low cost of doing business here and a pretty strong and available labour pool. Houston is strong in enterprise software. That’s probably because they have a number of both Fortune 500 success stories like BMC Software as well as startups that have become successful out of the BMC ecosystem.
This matches Foryard, being focused on setting up Software Innovation Labs as a Service (SILaaS). We have great experience in guiding government and semi-government organisations developing new products with emerging technologies in order to stay ahead of the game. We also strongly believe in open-source knowledge platforms which stimulate our mission, “Everybody a fair chance”. Therefore, our US expansion business strategy will revolve around the need to provide quality software products and services to our target customers whom vary from (semi)-government to corporate. This shall be undertaken through the establishment of a professional team and the provision of quality, custom-designed services, catering to these client’s particular needs.
This market expansion will of course increase our ability to grow rapidly. Our current growth is a clear indication that the existing products fit our client’s needs. This growth in client markets is also needed to keep discovering the technological niches and their consequent product needs to support our innovation model.
With our proven business strategy, the company has a clear path to follow to extend abroad, which will start in Houston, Texas. This expansion is backed by experiences of Foryard’s co-founders with branches in Amsterdam, Louisiana and Singapore, the incorporation of a highly experienced executive since last year to lead the project, and a clear market opportunity in Houston.
From energy to healthcare, nanotechnology, aerospace and information technology, the Houston region offers a strong infrastructure to support these growing industries plus a highly trained and skilled workforce. Houston has a distinctly favourable business climate. The region benefits from a skilled workforce, world-class infrastructure and transportation system, and a pro-business environment that stimulates rather than stifles business growth.
The last part is any company needs a good network of service providers: Lawyers, accountants, human resources firms and so forth. And there’s a strong set of those people here that are willing to provide these services for special rates and on special terms for entrepreneurs.
What advice can you give to Dutch companies who want to do business in Texas?
Starting a business in Texas requires to complete a number of basic steps and make some key decisions. As part of your overall plan, you’ll need to select a location, decide on a business structure, and obtain the necessary licenses and permits. Additionally, determining which financing options will meet your short-term needs and long-term goals is crucial. Therefore, our main advice to do business in Texas would be “do your homework very consciously”. In the American market, there not much room for mistakes.