Tendency Towards Internationalisation Among New High-Tech Start-ups


More than 60 per cent of new high-tech start-ups in Germany and Great Britain are active in the international arena already in their initial years of business. This is the result of a survey including 600 German and British new high-tech start-ups conducted by the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim. German executives stated in the survey that encounters at fairs, references or contacts established via industrial customers are the main stepping stones for the start-ups to be introduced to the international market.

When asked about the reasons for engaging in international activities, almost two third of the start-ups named growth and expansion objectives as the most important motive for internationalisation. It is striking that it is especially the British businesses that prove growth-oriented. Furthermore, it is surprising that only few innovative start-ups expand abroad for the purpose of covering the high product development costs common in the high-tech sector.

Lack of time on the part of the management proves to be a major problem when trying to enter the foreign market. Additional costs and high risks in foreign business were named as further obstacles. By contrast, lack of experience is barely a problem when trying to engage in international activities. The ZEW study basically stresses the importance of an early internationalisation for high-tech start-ups.


Gunter Grittmann, Phone: +49(0)621/1235-132, E-mail: grittmann@zew.de