2021 Investment Summit Agenda Overview
Stay tuned for updates to the 2021 Investment Summit agenda. In the meantime, below is a sneak preview of some of the sessions we will hold for the Investment Academy, Plenary programming, pitching sessions, workshops, networking activities, and roundtables.
Global Market Dynamics | SelectUSA Tech | Workshops for SelectUSA Tech Companies | Select Global Women in Tech | Industry Spotlight | Programming for EDOs | Workshops for International Companies | SelectUSA Investor Guide | Finding Your Workforce | U.S. Government Programming
Global Market Dynamics
Trade Agreements and Investment Regulations
Global trade policies continue to evolve with changes in commerce, digital trade and specific markets’ strengths and priority sectors. As these changes manifest in labor policy, trade agreement negotiations and regulations, companies will need to evaluate their investment decisions based on new and rapidly changing factors. This session will discuss how business investors can adapt to and benefit from the changing environment.
Shipping and Logistics
Getting your products from the factory floor to store shelves is one of the fundamental aspects of doing business. Your company will face dozens of shipping and logistical challenges related to storage, weight, distance, transportation mode, customs, tariffs, supply chains, assembly points, and more. Every country and region has its own rules, regulations, and unwritten norms dictating how they do business, and the United States is no exception. This session will cover the many factors that one must consider when planning out their logistics and supply chains in the United States.
Showcasing Opportunities in the U.S. Territories
The United States is a large and diverse country, composed of 50 states, five territories, a federal district, and Native American Territories. Each location in the country offers its own set of unique advantages to potential investors. The five territories of the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa as well as the Navajo Nation are no different. These regions of the country all have something to offer prospective investors. Join us in this session as we provide detailed information on the characteristics of American territories and unique locations that make them an attractive place to expand your business.
Supply Chain Optimization Mini-Series
- Supply Chain Optimization with SelectUSA: This webinar will bring together thought leaders and offer well-informed perspectives on issues to support supply chain optimization and operationalize academic literature. This panel will share advice on strategic and tactical ways for managing supply chain.
- Navigating the "Made in America" Landscape: The Made in America Executive Order is a part of the Biden Administration’s broader commitment to increasing investment in manufacturing industries and U.S. workers. This panel will discuss how to conduct supplier scouting to identify American manufacturers, including small and medium-sized companies, that are able to produce goods, products and materials in the United States that meet Federal procurement needs.
- Supply Chain Resilience in America: This webinar will provide recommendations and utilize current day examples of supply chains adapting. The discussion will feature representatives of international companies that have successfully adapted their supply chains due to the ever-changing economic landscape
- Supply Chain 101: Supply chains are becoming ever more complicated due to changing technology, fluctuating supply costs, unpredictable economic factors and the global pandemic. As companies form and expand, there is demand for strategy and understanding of the supply chains. This panel will provide knowledge on how to improve the performance and competitive position of your company.
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Investment Trends and Opportunities in Emerging Tech
This session will forecast what new technological breakthroughs are likely to drive productivity, spur innovation, transform manufacturing, and impact the future of work. Experts will discuss the scientific, engineering and technical areas that will affect business decisions going forward. The panel will address robotics, autonomous transportation systems, artificial intelligence (AI), additive manufacturing, material sciences, microelectronics, advanced computing and other topics.
Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and Advanced Air Mobility Mini-Series:
- Entering the U.S. Market: Challenges and Opportunities
- Investment Success Stories, featuring CEOs and EDOs
- Federal and State Government Regulations, Restrictions, Grants, and Partnerships
Energy Storage Mini-Series:
- Entering the U.S. Market: Challenges and Opportunities
- Investment Success Stories, featuring CEOs and EDOs
- Federal and State Government Regulations, Restrictions, Grants, and Partnerships
The Future of Smart Cities
Cities and communities across the United States are developing smart city solutions that will prepare them for the next era of modernity. New technologies such as the Internet of Things, Cyber Physical Systems, and Artificial Intelligence link and integrate the cyber and physical worlds. The path forward, however, holds numerous challenges—from economic and policy to technology, procurement, and coordination. This panel will discuss the future of smart cities and integration with startups, showcasing how cities are using their budgets to spur new startups, create jobs and gain access to the most modern technology to address their growing needs.
Fostering entrepreneurship is a fundamental component of economic development strategy in many regions of the United States. Building this ecosystem requires the utilization of many different resources, including industry associations, university partnerships, business incubators, investor networks, and partnerships between economic developers and the business community. This session will examine the many examples of vibrant entrepreneur ecosystems within the United States and how such ecosystems contribute to startup success.
Soft Landing Programs
Soft Landing Programs help firms adapt and connect to the local business community as well as successfully establish a position in the American marketplace. This panel will examine the services and incentives that such initiatives provide across the United States, with an emphasis on the tech industry.
Research and Development Trends
Intellectual property protections, an advanced education system, and a culture of innovation are among the reasons the United States is widely considered to be the best place for innovation and entrepreneurship in the world. This panel will analyze the role state and federal governments play in spurring groundbreaking technological advancements through funding research clusters, offering R&D tax credits and establishing public-private partnerships to support economic development in the United States.
Startup Success Stories
Hear firsthand experiences from CEOs of innovative early-stage and startup companies from around the world who have successfully expanded into the United States. Learn about their biggest challenges, how they adapted to the American business environment, and how you can apply their experiences to your own business.
Startup Fundraising and Financing
Ensuring the positive momentum of an early stage business can be challenging. Fortunately, the United States possesses the most developed and liquid financial markets in the world. This session will breakdown the immense assortment of business financing and funding mechanisms available to early-stage firms in the United States, from early-stage angel investors, to venture capitalists, to later-stage equity. This session will provide an understanding of how these financial instruments can enable growth and support a wide variety of startups and nascent businesses.
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Workshops for SelectUSA Tech Companies
What you Need to Have in Place Before you Raise Funding in the United States
Raising early-stage capital in the United States is a daunting task. This workshop will cover the U.S. early-stage funding landscape, discuss the difference between early-stage VC funding, angel investment and other seed funding, and then explain what entrepreneurs need to prepare, from both a business and legal perspective, before pitching for capital in the United States. The workshop will answer questions such as: What do I need to have in place before raising funding in the United States? When is the right time to start approaching investors? Do VCs require a business plan or an executive summary?
Scaling your Startup
Scaling a startup into a large company can often break early-stage firms. Too early and the business can fail; too late, and the opportunity might be missed. When scaling, a successful entrepreneur must consider numerous factors, including the state of the industry, the management of your team, your financial situation and the expectations of your customers, among many others.
This workshop will cover scaling, including both successes and failures, in order to better inform you on the most important strategies for scaling successfully in the United States. It will illustrate with 2-3 case examples how companies have attempted to address these challenges, as well as resources via example funding groups and universities that are available to help new companies develop a deeply market-centered strategy, business plans and contacts to help jumpstart your business.
How to Successfully Sell and Market to Enterprise Companies
Selling to large enterprise companies can prove to be a long journey for many entrepreneurs. But, when startups join forces with established players they receive the benefit of entry to new markets, increased exposure and accelerated growth. In this session, entrepreneurs learn more about the challenges you can expect to face when selling to enterprise and how to devise strategies to tackle them, all without wasting valuable time and resources.
The U.S. Early-Stage Investment Landscape: Angels, VC’s and More
This interactive workshop will present and discuss the early-stage investment landscape in the U.S.: from incubators/accelerators, to angel networks, venture capital and early-stage private equity. The workshop will cover topics including what investors look for when evaluating an investment, what materials to prepare, points about pitching an investment and what types of securities and legal structures are favored. Come prepared with questions!
How to Raise Capital and Think Like an Investor
This workshop is an interactive experience and will engage you and make you imagine that you are investor making an investment decision. We will walk through the aspects of the decision-making process in a lively discussion on how you (as an investor) would think about making an investment in the companies that your workshop colleague’s lead. Come prepared to make a short, elevator pitch (30 seconds) presentation on your company and why the other participants should invest in it. Then the group will discuss the aspects of the presentations that made them want to invest and we will see if the investment choice changes after the discussion!
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Select Global Women in Tech
Select Global Women in Tech Mentorship Network
Female founders of high-growth international tech companies that meet the eligibility criteria for the SelectUSA Tech program have the opportunity to match with an experienced, successful mentor who will meet 1-on-1 at least three times over the course of a six-month program which formally begins at the SelectUSA Investment Summit. Mentees will receive personalized support in developing a market entry strategy, scaling and fundraising their business, and other key investment topics. They will also have access to educational webinars and exclusive peer networking opportunities through our mentorship platform.
Select Global Women in Tech - Success Stories
A lineup of leading women in tech will share their U.S. expansion stories and insights they learned along the way about being a woman in a male-dominated industry. They will discuss their scaling and fundraising strategy, roadblocks and challenges and will provide advice to international female founders in tech that are trying to land in the United States based on mistakes they made, what they wish they had known about the U.S. market and what opportunities lay ahead for women in tech.
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Programming for U.S. Economic Development Officials (EDO)
Investment Attraction on Shoestring
Economic Development Organizations (EDOs) are frequently one of the first to face budgetary reductions during economic crises. The repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic have threatened the financial stability of many EDOs and their ability to provide the functions deeply important to the communities that they support. This session will focus on how to react to the economic pressures facing EDOs, and the need for all EDOs, whether large or small, to be nimble and correctly prioritize resource allocation.
Building a Client Base in a Digital World
In this workshop, we will work collaboratively on how to improve the service offerings of an EDO and on how to build a solid client base. We will use current day challenges for communicating with clients digitally vs. in person along different stages of the investor journey. We will ideate on how we can build trust with potential investors from initial engagement to deepening the client relationship.
Eco6 Strategy Building Workshop
In conversations with dozens of Economic Development Organizations across the U.S., workshop facilitators have learned that creating a cohesive plan to attract, and guide key stakeholders is a critical component of building ecosystems. Through research and experience, 500 Startups has identified six core elements that are needed in order to have a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem: they call this their Eco6 Framework. Join this hands-on workshop where 500 will help EDOs outline a clear and actionable strategy for ecosystem building leveraging the Eco6.
Attracting Investment into Distressed Communities: Opportunity Zones in Small Cities
The COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented challenge to all economies. However, pandemics hit underserved and vulnerable populations the hardest, and now the crisis will exacerbate their need for capital for economic recovery and resilience. Opportunity Zones provide tax incentives to drive private capital into distressed communities throughout the United States. In a post-COVID world, it will be imperative to invest in our underserved communities’ capacity. How can we ensure the initiative is fulfilling its original policy objective to invest in distressed communities, and how can state and local actors step in to drive implementation? This interactive session will cover a playbook of best practices, and experience from the ground to encourage investment and establish resilient economies, especially to those disproportionally affected by the pandemic.
Audience: This session is open to cities with below 500k residents (smaller cities), and countries/states that represent such cities.
Attracting Investment into Distressed Communities: Opportunity Zones in Large Cities
The COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented challenge to all economies. However, pandemics hit underserved and vulnerable populations the hardest, and now the crisis will exacerbate their need for capital for economic recovery and resilience. Opportunity Zones, hailed by investors and community advocates as a generational opportunity, provide incentives to invest capital gains in distressed communities throughout the United States. In a post-COVID world, it will be imperative to leverage internal resources and combine investment attraction mechanisms improve underserved neighborhoods. How can we ensure the initiative is fulfilling its original policy objective to invest in distressed communities, and how can state and local actors step in to drive implementation? This interactive session will cover a playbook of best practices, and experience from the ground to encourage investment and establish resilient economies, especially to those disproportionally affected by the pandemic.
Audience: This session is open to cities with above 500k residents (larger cities), and countries/states that represent such cities.
How Your Tech Ecosystem can be Successful in Attracting Tomorrow’s Unicorns
Cities and states across the U.S. must attract startups and scaleups in order to accelerate their startup ecosystems and fuel economic growth. There is growing competition in the global landscape in attracting startups and scaleups. This workshop is designed to help your city to become attractive for startups to build or expand their businesses in your community.
Innovation to Drive a Globally Competitive Metro Investment Location
Join facilitators for an interactive workshop on how metro areas can develop new FDI Strategies reflective of the post-COVID investment world. Key takeaways from the session include:
- Learning - find out best practices on attracting investment from a global perspective
- Publicity - the workshop findings will be shared with our thousands of corporate clients
- Networking - Access to peers and interactions with decision-makers at your peer EDOs.
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Workshops for International Companies
Pressing Questions for Companies Ready to Expand into the United States
There are some questions you just cannot answer by searching the internet. Entrepreneurs ready to expand to the United States within six months are invited to ask their most pressing questions about U.S. expansion. Questions addressed in this workshop could include: When should I look to raise money from U.S. VCs? When do I need to create a U.S. company? Where is the best place to set up in the United States? How long does U.S. setup take and how much does it cost? How is hiring different in the United States, and what is the optimal team? Are there U.S. government resources to assist with U.S. expansion?
How to Build an Intellectual Property Strategy for Entering the U.S. Market
This workshop is ideal for all international companies, including established early-stage companies/startups, looking to expand into the U.S. market. We will explore intellectual property protection strategies which most effectively utilize the valuable time and resources of your business. Being strategic about your intellectual property includes taking a holistic view of your business, beyond any protectable Intellectual Property assets such as patents, trademarks, and trade secrets, to identify things like:
- Are you eligible to file in the US based on prior activity?
- What are your short-term and long-term business goals?
- What should you be claiming in a patent application?
- Are there USPTO programs that can help you more efficiently achieve your goals?
What Foreign Investors Need to Know Before Entering the U.S. Market
The United States business market is very large and competitive. Businesses should focus first on their goals, initially sizing up opportunities and determining what markets will drive results. Establishing an entity in the U.S. is quick and can take only a few days. However, it is important to be mindful of the multi-faceted regulatory, tax and legal environment when setting up a company in the United States. During this workshop, we will walk through key questions to consider before establishing your presence in the United States and work through a checklist designed to provide an efficient and concise summary of the key issues and considerations foreign owned business should consider.
How to Build a Brand & Communications Strategy in the United States
Learn from a leading U.S. Public Relations agency about building a presence for your brand in the American market through media. This session will walk participants through the process for creating a media plan that powerfully tells your brand's story and then leverages it to secure media coverage that builds your thought leadership.
Privacy and Security
Regardless of industry or location, companies share the same goals and challenges when it comes to securing their data and complying with ever changing laws and regulations. In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to navigate common privacy and security issues, complying with state and federal privacy laws, different safeguards to utilize to ensure your consumer’s data is protected and how to defend against security threats.
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SelectUSA Investor Guide
Banking in the United States
Opening a business bank account is often an early essential step for any company opening a business in order to ensure legal compliance and financial protection. While all account holders are required to provide key documentation, the process may pose specific complications for entrepreneurs located outside of the United States. This panel will discuss the best practices in opening a U.S. business bank account, including the steps to open a business bank account, considerations for foreign-owned businesses and key requirements to expect.
Business Incentives and Grants at the Federal, State, and Local Levels
A company seeking to establish or expand a business in the United States may be interested in business incentives and grants as a way to facilitate its investment, but it is often unclear how to pursue the many options at the federal, state, and local level. This panel will provide an overview of business incentives and grants in the United States, including the key types of incentives and grants, best practices in navigating the process, and maintaining compliance with awarded incentives.
Business Structuring in the United States
When starting a new company in the United States, you must first choose what corporate structure you wish to create. Each type – whether it be a limited liability corporation (LLC), an S-Corp, a co-op, or something else – has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages, depending on the industry and priorities a business might have. This session will discuss the various corporate structures available in the United States, and which one may be best suited for your business.
Buy American Act
The Buy American Act mandates the federal government to purchase goods produced and manufactured in the United States. Maintaining compliance with this legislation is critical in transportation, defense, construction, and other industries, as the U.S. government is their largest customer. This session will discuss how the Buy American Act has evolved over the last 88 years, identify the most relevant aspects of it for new businesses and help explain the process for maintaining compliance.
Complying with Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS)
Certain transactions by foreign persons may be subject to review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to determine their impact on the national security of the United States. This panel will help investors better understand the CFIUS process and its authority, including the implications of expanded authorization under the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (FIRMMA).
Intellectual Property Protections
When a business invests in the United States, it is investing in a market with strong intellectual property (IP) rights. IP rights protect valuable business assets such as trademarks and proprietary software from potential third-party liabilities and infringement. This chapter guides businesses through the different forms of IP assets and protections and it also provides information on protecting a business’ online presence.
Investing in Rural America
With skilled workers, natural resources, and a welcoming business environment, rural America remains a largely untapped business destination for foreign companies. Investing in rural localities offers unique labor expertise, access to transportation networks, and the chance to build lasting partnerships with diverse communities. This panel will discuss investing in rural America and the resulting growth for both international corporations and local communities.
Breaking into a new market is a challenging task, and many factors come into play when doing so, such as competitor market share, local business norms and customs, unfamiliar legal environments and cultural differences. This session will cover various hurdles a business may encounter, best practices to overcome them and important factors to keep in mind when entering a new market.
Navigating the U.S. Visa Landscape
One of the first steps to establishing operations in the United States is acquiring the correct visa for yourself and any employees you bring from your home market. Understanding the complexities of the visa-application process can be a daunting task because the visa types, regulations and procedures can be complicated. This panel will discuss the different visa programs available, including the EB-5 program, as well as provide information on the various types of visas necessary to enter, invest and work in the United States.
One of the most essential – and challenging – considerations for any business seeking to invest in the United States is where to set up shop. Myriad factors play into the ideal location for a new expansion, including proximity to customers, competitors and supply chains. Other considerations, such as available tax programs, workforce and wage rates and real estate costs are also very important. This session will discuss some of the tools and processes that are most useful in identifying potential locations best suited to your specific business needs.
State and Local Taxes
Due to the dispersive nature of the American federal system, every state in the country operates with a high degree of autonomy in writing its own laws and creating its own tax codes. These tax codes often reflect the major policy priorities and industries of the state in which they are levied. This session will cover the essentials for understanding state and local taxes and what resources are available to learn which state’s tax structure may be the most beneficial to your industry or business.
Tax Credits and Incentive Programs
When operating in competitive markets, the proper utilization of federal tax credits and incentives programs can provide a crucial advantage for a business. The U.S. government offers numerous tax credit and incentives programs, but searching for, identifying, and applying for these programs can often be a complex and time-consuming process. The incentives themselves are often highly technical in nature and tailored to specific economic priorities or specific industries. This panel will discuss the most pertinent information necessary to help investors understand how to take advantage of the incentives the federal government offers.
Utility Markets Explained
No matter the industry, every company must factor the cost of utilities into their business plan. With a strong network of public and private providers, access to utilities such as electricity, gas, water and communications are created to be efficient, accessible, and powerful. This panel, featuring U.S. government representatives, academic policy experts and private utility company managers, will help investors navigate the U.S. utilities landscape to ensure a smooth utility acquisition process when opening a business in the United States.
Understanding the American Customs Process
Billions of dollars of goods are shipped in and out of the United States every day, all subject to various levels of regulations and taxation. Understanding of customs regulations can be a major benefit for any business, preventing potential delays and bottlenecks. This panel will help demystify this process to help investors understand where and how to get the information needed to legally import or export goods and equipment and ultimately deliver to consumers.
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Finding Your Workforce
Developing Innovative Apprenticeship Programs
This panel will highlight innovative training and apprenticeship programs that engage available talent in the United States and prepare the local workforce for the jobs of tomorrow. Representatives from leading international companies, U.S. economic development organizations, and technical college representatives will discuss how they developed partnerships and designed apprenticeship programs to meet the needs of the company and prepare the local workforce for success.
Human Resources, Staffing, and Employment Law
Strategic human resource branches do much more than facilitate workplace relations; they also promote efficiency, strengthen collaboration and foster creative work. Their staffing decisions can also affect the future direction for your company. Understand how to improve human resources and staffing, and how these departments are integral to your company’s workforce.
Partnering with Community Colleges to Find your Workforce
Community colleges across the country provide the opportunity for workers to learn the skills they need to evolve with the changing workforce needs of industry. Offering affordable courses with flexible hours and paces, community colleges cater to the needs of established skilled workers and beginner students with a focused curriculum on technology and workforce readiness. This session will discuss how your company can utilize the resources of community colleges to recruit and maintain a skilled workforce.
Partnering with State and Local Government to Develop your Workforce
Building a close relationship with state and local governments can create stable and enduring partnerships, helping you utilize the niche skills of a regional workforce, meet your workforce needs and foster community growth. These partnerships also provide an avenue for your company to influence how regions and localities address education and development of your future workforce. Hear more about reaching out to government resources and sustaining these relationships.
Training Programs to Develop Your Workforce
Innovation has always been driven from human capital, and cultivating this capital requires effective workforce development, which can be an intimidating task for companies of all sizes. Effective development programs not only improve interorganizational relations, but also lead to a more creative and focused workforce. With a practical application to every company, this session will enable businesses to understand the characteristics of successful workforce development programs and implement company-specific programs for their own personnel.
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U.S. Government Programming
- Bureau of Economic Analysis
- Department of Energy - Argonne National Labs
- Department of Energy – Loan Programs Office
- Economic Development Agency
- Minority Business Development Agency
- National Institute of Health
- National Institute of Standards and Technology – Manufacturing Extension Partnership
- National Institute of Standards and Technology – Manufacturing USA
- Patent and Trademark Office
- SelectUSA Stats
- Small Business Administration
- U.S. Census Bureau
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