Insights: Publications Three Recommendations for Selling and Finding Capital in the United States


Why the Italians Come to America

Every year in the United States, on July 4th, Independence Day is celebrated.  This is a day to commemorate our independence and freedom. Many Italians have come to the United States in the past for these ideals.

Today, many Italians continue to arrive in the United States for a new life, but a greater number come to discover new commercial opportunities. This article is for these people.

I work with Italian entrepreneurs who are working for or founding advanced technology businesses. In general, these people are fantastic. But there is a problem: to grow, they try to sell this technology or they look for capital from investors in the rewarding American market, and Americans have an antiquated concept of the Italians that unfairly discounts the ability of Italians to produce advanced products and services.  Instead, when Americans think of Italy, they think of gelato, wine, clothing. 

Recommendations for Italians looking for capital or selling products in America?

I have three recommendations for Italians as they seek to overcome the aforementioned misconceptions about modern Italy:

  1. Don't just talk about your work, talk about your network. When an Italian talks about his work, an American imagines him on an island, not in a lively community like Silicon Valley. He thinks "Yes, he works with advanced technology, but all of his friends work in a vineyard." It's not fair, but it's true. Therefore, an Italian should talk about collaborative projects and events where he finds similarly-skilled friends, vendors, and customers.
  2. Present examples and statistics. You should present examples of famous Italian brands (Fiat, Luxottica or others) that use advanced technology and are known in the American market. Maybe you worked with one of these brands and you can talk about the work you do with them. Alternatively, you can present statistics. For example, you can explain that a company like yours has a certain percent of the market share. This way, Americans understand how your work fits into the big picture.
  3. Use the analogies. If we talk about Bocconi in Italy, we think of a leading university with excellent professors and students. But, unfortunately, most Americans do not know Bocconi. In addition, (and this is truly incredible) they are not familiar with large Italy-focused companies like TIM or Eni. Thus, analogies should be made. The analogies will help Americans understand your relationships and your potential. For example, you can say "I was a product manager for TIM, a company like Verizon in the United States" or "the services I provide are used by companies like Netflix."

I know it can be difficult to show Americans modern Italy. But it is possible. And when you can, you can sell products or find capital in the rewarding American market.

The post was originally published in

Latest Thinking

View more Insights
Insights Center
If you would like to receive related insights and information from Kilpatrick Townsend, please provide your contact details by filling out the form and clicking “Agree.” If you would like to access the PDF only, please click “Download Only.”