Thoughts from Latitude59 panel discussion “Startup growth and going global”.

The new market penetration can be divided into three stages: INTRO, BASICS, and STRUCTURED.

The basic reminders (to avoid burning money) for your new market penetration are as follows:

1. INTRO: Fly over and talk to people
  • Choose your target country well – not several countries at the same time
  • Visit all your target areas (e.g not just the Silicon Valley, but also NY, Boston etc)
  • Get to know your partners, customers and potential employees
2. BASICS: Set up a basic company
  • Choose the stars (they attract stars) as first employees – founders are 100x more valuable then you think of
  • If you hire a future CEO, it’s better if he has done something similar reliably before (see step 3)
  • Do a good background study – Americans are often overselling themselves, research various former partners
  • Spend a lot of time with first employees! Couple of weeks side by side, then daily calls etc.
  • Be sure you motivate your key people well!
  • Assure that the first employees completely copy your vision and culture.
  • Stay close to customers. If you have an unique value proposition to end users, keep the sales channel in-house – learn directly from customers (not from TC networking events, but end customers)
  • Founder should do the first sale, only then you can scale up
3. STRUCTURED: Running a business that taxmen get interested in
  • Make sure you get good advice on setting up international structure, pay that 5-10K to decent consultants

 

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