Mainers set the bar for bootstrapping their own businesses, but when it comes to thinking beyond the state’s borders, particularly globally, many stop short, citing a lack of time or money.
While I admire such common sense, international trade is a hobby horse of mine: before moving to Maine I spent a good part of my career reporting overseas. I also lived in Japan, an island nation that needs global trade to prosper. So living in a state with abundant resources of its own, but a limited local market, I’ve sought out companies to write about that have ventured beyond the state’s borders, and done so successfully.
Portland-based Tex Tech Industries Inc., which among other things makes 75% of the world’s tennis ball felt, makes only $1 million of its $63 million in worldwide revenues from local customers. Similarly, Kepware Technologies, a software company with $30 million in revenue last year, culled 50% of it internationally but less than 1% in Maine.