4 steps to ‘acquirability’ in an age of tech optimism

In the midst of a financial crisis earlier this year, news circulated that Apple held more cash than the US government. Analysts took what they wanted from the situation, but one thing is clear: Technology is driving wealth creation despite uncertainty in many sectors.

Some have called it the Second Gilded age of massive wealth creation — the original Gilded Age being the Roaring Twenties in the railroad era. Startup geeks and entrepreneurs are keen to take advantage, but so are investors. In his book, Richistan, the Wall Street Journal’s Robert Frank profiles the world’s new moneyed rich and it’s no surprise that technology is identified as a key source of wealth creation. Sales of companies to larger ones are a major source of that wealth.

As we’ve mentioned before on memeburn.com, even those looking at gloomy outlooks for the world’s markets are putting their positive sentiments on technology. Economist Nouriel Roubini, who predicted the 2007/2008 financial crisis, is a case in point. Besides predicting the US is headed for another recession, Roubini told attendees of the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit that the potential of technology-related businesses to drive economies growth. International speaker and investment advisory head Doug Casey shares a similar sentiment.

If we are expecting investors to hedge their bets on the prospects for technology, then we need to take a closer to look at what is required to get an acquisition completed.

So what do you need to do before you sell in search of a buyer? The time to sell may never seem perfect, but there are steps you can take to find – and prepare for – that acquisition.

Patents: Ensuring you own your patent is critical. There are several agreements between counties around the world that bind patent and copyright registration in one country with other countries. So if you are in a hurry to register an idea in your own country where the process seems too long to handle, look to other markets where the process is faster. Then consider sourcing a third-party to assist with the process.

Prototype: Potential is key. But it has to be demonstrated. Find any successful type of pilot which reflects the wider world as much as possible and see if your business plan succeeds. If your offering can’t find paying subscribers in the early stages don’t be afraid to offer it at no cost on a trial basis. In the world of freemium, offering something at no cost does not undermine the value of your product. If it works, it reaches a wider audience and that value is then created by virtue of creating a demand by those who have tried it – and are now willing to pay,

Legal Compliance: Make sure your company complies with the laws of the land in either your current market — or the one you plan to sell in. Areas like online gaming or gambling are cases in point, especially in countries and states where casino-style activities are heavily watched. At the same advertising technology has to be mindful of laws like the Consumer Protection Act which makes several marketing strategies — especially some targeting new consumers — illegal.

Source government incentives: Countries around the world are actively seeking new business as part of their job creation targets. As a result, trade industries and departments offer a number of free services regarding visas, tax advice and getting the paperwork required for oversees transactions.

Take a look at the services offered by government agencies in any specific market you are targeting. The many offered are pleasantly surprising. If your business will create jobs in the event of an acquisition abroad you can get a hearing. UK Trade and Investment is just one example, offering a number of ways to help non-UK companies set up shop in the Britain.



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