Fast growing sectors in the US

28 January 2016

Adam Bennett / Trade Commissioner, West Coast, USA

For many companies, the US is most definitely the land of opportunity. NZTE works closely with over 400 New Zealand businesses who regard this region as their primary growth market and numerous others are also in-market, actively integrating into the US ecosystem. 

Scaling up

There isn’t one type of company or sector that finds success. We have a full range of New Zealand companies here, from post seed-funded SAAS start-ups like Debitsuccess, to well-established heavyweights like Orion Healthcare and Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, and food brands like Zespri.

There is no doubt that it can be a daunting market to enter – particularly for smaller companies, as even large Kiwi companies look small when put into the US arena. For this reason it can be helpful to approach the US as a large, diverse and constantly evolving set of markets, rather than one market.

Interestingly, for those looking for investors and partners, the US isn’t all about the bottom line – at least not initially. The way companies are measured is as much about product optimisation, investment, and customer acquisition numbers as profit/revenue in the start-up phase.

Technology is not a stand-alone sector; it is part of the fabric of every successful company.

Adam Bennett Trade Commissioner San Francisco

Going big with data

The fastest growing sector is big data, which is the sum of all the information we create online and through wearable technology. This is huge currency in the US. Google, Ford and Tesla are even looking at sharing their own data to create something bigger, a true democratisation of data.

Artificial intelligence –or machine learning –is successfully mining this field and creating patterns and plans of how to sell, automatically. This helps run the Internet of Things (connecting physical devices to remote interaction). With this level of data comes the requirement for security and Wynyard Group is successfully playing in this space as a trusted partner of US authorities.

Playing with the big boys

Tech is king on the West Coast, and increasingly we are seeing nimble Kiwi companies using this sector to get alongside some huge American entities. For instance, Vend and Xero are on the gold track with Apple as part of a select group of 24 business app developers Apple has tapped into to help identify business opportunities for the iPad. VMob is right there too, with Microsoft in Seattle at their corporate Discovery Centre.

We’re all familiar with the opportunities that continue to abound for premium food and beverage producers, but the difference today is the growing spending power and influence millennial consumers hold. Millennials require a different selling process and positioning, which is something companies can really tap into as part of their unique selling proposition. If millennials are your market, learn what they want and how they want it –and tailor your approach.

It is also critical –and no longer optional –for traditional companies to embed technology into their day-to-day.

Technology is not a stand-alone sector; it is part of the fabric of every successful company. What New Zealand companies do well is offer unique solutions to help other companies be more efficient and, for many, technology is often part of their DNA.

Location, location, location

While San Francisco and LA are important entry points to the US, we are seeing clusters of success in several “second tier” locations. Seattle, WA; Austin, TX; Colorado; Chicago, IL; Portland, OR; Phoenix, AZ; and Kansas are all places where New Zealand is starting to find its legs. Washington DC remains an excellent beachhead into the public sector, and New York City is still ‘the’ location for many global HQs and thought leaders in design, finance and retail, and increasingly technology.

Who’s leading the charge

  • BurgerFuel has astutely positioned itself in the US through partnering with OhCal Foods LLC, a major franchisor of Subway restaurants, to spearhead the company’s entry into the US market.

  • Orion Healthcare is building a credible and trusted reputation for itself with the establishment of its 120 person ‘Centre of Excellence’ in Scottsdale, Arizona.

  • Wynyard Group has signed a deal with Motorola, which will provide Wynyard with access to around 12,000 of America's approximately 18,000 law enforcement agencies.