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.4 min read
Don’t Break Up Big Tech
This spring, Amazon did something very un-Amazonish. Across many popular product categories, from batteries to baby food, the retail behemoth quietly discontinued aggressive promotions for its private-label brands, which compete with—and in truth ar
Inc.6 min read
A Company She’d Want To Work For
Air Force veteran Angie Lienert built her high-flying business around a great culture—after a chili dog changed her life.
Inc.4 min readTech
Detroit
The rebirth of Inc.’s No. 45 Surge City means the talent here is getting creative—and staying put.