The Power of Global Partnerships to Solve Local Challenges

A challenge Larta faces in assisting entrepreneurs outside of the U.S. is how to best leverage our global networks while ensuring we are efficiently and effectively solving local issues and challenges in the commercialization of innovation. We know very well the difficulty of going it alone—which is why we have developed our network-connected model around the world. However, global connections are simply not enough. In our mission to unlock the commercialization potential of emerging regions, we are excited to be moving forward with new global partners: Osiba Research of Johannesburg, South Africa and GEA Strategy and Consulting of Bucharest, Romania. We could not be more ecstatic about our partners. Each is a top firm with deep background and knowledge of entrepreneurship, innovation and small business development policy and programs in their respective countries. Although South Africa and Romania may seem worlds apart (well, geographically and culturally speaking, they are), the two areas have a strong base of world-class research, yet are not meeting their own expectations in technology transfer and commercialization.

So what are the specific challenges? Romania’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is lacking in some of the key actors needed for launching local tech-based enterprises on a global level. Practically non-existent are domestic experts in technology commercialization with international relationships and connections. Also, there is no Romanian VC willing or able to invest in tech start-ups or spin-offs. Although tech transfer and innovation are buzz words amongst policymakers, and there are some government support programs for innovators, the ecosystem is deficient or breaks down, discouraging or killing technologies before they ever reach the market where they can make a true social and economic impact. Larta and GEA Strategy will work to fill those gaps in the ecosystem and plug in high-tech Romanian small businesses to global markets to increase their global competitiveness and ease market entry.

In South Africa, there is a plethora of government support programs that indeed cover many needs of small businesses in the region. Unfortunately, private sector organizations, such as chambers of commerce and business associations, which could play an important role in supporting government’s small business support efforts, are fragmented and weak. Larta, in partnership with Osiba Research, seeks to develop and implement programs that address the lack of public-private partnerships and gaps in entrepreneur support programs, as well as increase the private sector’s capabilities to provide valuable, globally-informed support to innovators.

We look forward to working with GEA Strategy and Osiba Research to design and implement programs that support innovation, entrepreneurship and technology transfer and commercialization, starting in Romania and South Africa, and potentially expanding into surrounding regions.