I was reading about green energy this week and spotted strong waves in three countries. If you had seen them earlier, you could have surfed them to startup success.
Wind power via windmills is one example. While tiny in comparison to overall energy needs, nonetheless it is a useful source for special situations. And it is growing around the world.
So who is the windmill energy market leader? That depends on what part of the windmill energy solution you are talking about. A windmill requires a propeller, turbines (with special gear boxes), a line transmission system, tall mast, anchoring in the ground, construction, erection and of course the original design. That is a lot of sub markets for entrepreneurs to choose from for their focus.
What has happened?
Simple: some countries have emerged as leaders of wind energy. The big three are Germany, Spain and Denmark. In the U.S. the giant General Electric supplies wind energy solutions around the globe and you probably have read of the central role of wind in The Pickens Plan . India's companies are among the largest in propeller blades for energy windmills. Utilities in the leading countries are in a strategic struggle for increasing share of the global wind energy market. You can read more here about the competing wind energy companies.
Alert entrepreneurs spot rising waves such as wind energy. They start by quickly figuring out how to create a business model to make money. Remember, alternatives to oil have to get fat government subsidies in order to survive. With that figured out, they next choose a sub market to focus on. Perhaps it will be gear boxes for the wind turbines. Or giant propellers made of aircraft grade composite materials. Next comes choices that will make up the elements of a powerful competitive advantage: the "unfair advantage" that I write about. That starts with the core team for the startup. You can read about the rest of what you need to get the money and succeed in my second book, The Power of Unfair Advantage.
Investors who are also alert will be open to such alert entrepreneurs when founders show up with their business plans. There are also more money people you can talk to. Investors in green energy will include existing corporations as well as governments. With that expanded pool of capital, founders have a better chance of getting the breed of long term thinking investors (that they have found they need. It has taken decades of wind power selling to get the market to its current levels of sales).
As the pieces of windmills are created, the countries where the most are of the new thing are emerging (first from fresh startups) are where you want to be. That is the same reason for on-line games you should be in South Korea, for semiconductors in Silicon Valley, and so on. Go where the talented people who you need are living, where the local press is buzzing about this next great thing, where the government is supporting (with real action with real cash) the new wave.
As for wind power, I must conclude by pointing out that any country could have started an entrepreneurial wind energy wave. Anywhere on the planet. It could have been in your back yard. You might find it interesting to look around for where the water energy generation industry is beginning a new wave (turbines in rivers and oceans). My bet is on Norway to take the first round of leadership in that new category. Time will tell.
BOTTOM LINE: Look for waves beginning to rise in countries around the globe, especially in your homeland. Try to ride one, using it to energize your startup. If you spot a wave you think you can ride in another country, get there right away. Everyone important to your idea will speak English. Expatriates will already be living there and you can join them and get some to join you, along with outstanding locals. It's a mobile workforce world we live in during these changing times. Investors will not be far away, including the new wave of global venture capital firms. After that, it's up to you to pick the moment to launch your new enterprise. Be sure your plan is to build a great company on a foundation of an unfair competitive advantage. That's how the next great startups get going.
I wish you The Best on your adventure!
That is how you ride a wave rising in a country.