3 tips for European companies looking to scale in the US

March 21, 2019
Fragmented by different languages, cultures, geographies and regulations, scaling a European business within Europe’s markets is a difficult task. One US investor recently asked why European entrepreneurs would choose to jump over ‘small hurdles’ for years when they could attack one large market right now. Scaling internationally isn’t without its own risks, but the United States is one market European startups eye when they’re looking to go global.

Here are three tips for European startups with aspirations to grow, capital to scale and their sights set on expansion into the US:

1. Know your market

As the founder of a European startup considering expansion into the United States, ask yourself:
 
  • What companies are we competing with?
  • Which of our competitors are entering the same field?
  • Who are the key US players we need to position ourselves against?

Using that information, founders can better track their space and the companies operating within in it. It’s imperative to understand how your company’s industry is evolving, too, by staying updated on the latest transactions, most active investors and new companies entering the sector.

2. Build the right partnerships on the ground

Building partnerships in the US is essential for European companies to source fruitful business development opportunities. For example, if you make connections with US-based startups, they may eventually turn into promising prospects. Those businesses will need products and services as they grow—and your company may be in the position to provide them, if you get in at the right time, with the right people.

It's also important to network with other entrepreneurs and investors who have scaled companies in the US. They could give you valuable advice about how to do so, what they wish they had known and pitfalls to avoid during the process. 

3. Hire the right talent in the US

To successfully scale in a new market, European startups need to find, attract and hire the right talent—US-based professionals who work at similar companies or in similar industries. Even better if you can recruit pros who have worked for European startups that have successfully expanded into the US. Their experiences will help your business gain its footing in unfamiliar terrain, as well as flag any necessary course corrections.  

With PitchBook, you can follow key players in your market, identify business development and networking opportunities, and find the right talent. Learn more about PitchBook’s data and how it can help your company scale.

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