From Europe to the USA: Do it fast, do it now. Or better not? Here some piece of advice from Christian Busch.
#accelerator #media #tech #germany #usa #scale
Find investment. Get customers. Grow your network. Build the product. Expand your team. Think global. Be agile.
In order to jump into the American market, one must be fit and ready to live life at the fastest speed.
Entrepreneurs in Europe often face the dilemma of whether they should jump into the USA market. For Christian Busch, the CEO of the German Accelerator, the answer is simple: sure, but you need to be ready.
Munich born and New York-based, Christian has a deep understanding of the differences, challenges, and potentials for German startups to make the big move across the Atlantic.
We welcomed him to our office for an open talk with the startups and we highlighted five tips he shared to European, and especially German, founders when considering taking this next step.
1 — Raising money: timing is key.
Thinking of attracting American investors? There are usually two ideal moments for that.
One is at a very early stage: decide from the beginning to set up your company in the USA. If that is the case, be aware of the bureaucracy challenges that will follow (with visa, covering expenses etc.). The alternative would be to go west once your company has grown and is established already at home. Big enough to the eyes of American investors who will be ready to say “take my money”.
2 — Preparing your trip: think global from the start.
The innovation market in the USA is a pulsing one, with a higher willingness from customers to test and pay for products. Sounds like a plan? Then a good idea is to start building your product USA-adaptable early on. Think about usability: start in details such choosing an international domain (for German companies, better not go for “.de”, for example) and even the language — if your website’s main page is not set up in English yet, you might need to rethink some steps.
3 — It’s ALL about relationships.
A tip that is valid especially for the media market: relationships are the real door openers in the USA. Knowing the right people is often more relevant than building the right product. “It’s a people’s driven business.”
4 — Time is money, so be fast.
American business culture runs at a fast pace and that means replying and following up soon. Got an intro by email? “I would expect a reply in the next 60 minutes”.
5 — Product usability: “don’t make me think”.
Usability is really important for American customers. They appreciate products that are “easy to use and look pretty”. So do not save energies with UX design: make your product as easy and straightforward to use as possible, one that your users don’t even have to think to understand it.
A general comparison between product building:
- In Germany, companies tend to focus on selling multiple features. For example, startups see themselves as “a platform with two widgets, three extensions…” and the list keeps growing.
- In the USA, on the other hand, the focus lies on selling benefits and experiences — and the special touch is to use superlatives to make it all more impressive. American entrepreneurs like to sell “the greatest solution, the fastest service, the best quality…”.