Inc.

YOU CAN’T BEAT THEM. SO JOIN THEM

International companies are challenging the primacy of American innovation—which could be less of a problem for U.S. founders than you’d think.

Wilfred Pinfold is not an arrogant guy. But who would have blamed him if, after 23 years at Intel, he considered Silicon Valley’s primacy a given? Then, in 2015, he and three partners launched Urban Systems, a Portland, Oregon–based integrator of smart-city technologies. They had a choice: Work solely with tech firms and cities in the U.S., or go where the action was.

For Urban Systems, the action was in Europe and Asia. Cities there were older, less car-centric, and more open to alternative transportation. The company partnered with startups in Portugal and the U.K. to develop technology that

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Inc.

Inc.5 min read
How I Did It And All That Jazz
JUDI SHEPPARD MISSETT JAZZERCISE Those fitness classes you go to? She basically invented them.
Inc.7 min read
Founders Project Golden Opportunity
Style icon Rebecca Minkoff mentors Trinity Mouzon Wofford, co-founder of Millennial wellness startup Golde.
Inc.3 min read
What to Say When They Don’t Pay
Eleni Gianopulos spent more than 15 years selling her handmade sugar cookies to a famous gourmet grocery chain. Then Dean & DeLuca stopped paying its bills. By January 2018, Gianopulos, founder and owner of New York City–based bakery Eleni’s Cookies,