Conquering the US markets is often seen as one the most challenging goals in companies’ internationalization plans. The reason for this is that even though the US has enormous market potential; significant share of companies’ market entries fail. For two years Grow to USAprograms have supported Finnish growth companies’ market entries to the US. In February 2019 the program partners Crowe, Boardman Grow, Nasdaq, Marsh, NewCo Helsinki, Team Finland, Business Finland, Innovestor, Finnish American Chamber of Commerceand Nordic Innovation Housewill take nine companies to New York for five-days to find out more about the US markets and grow their international network. These companies are Chic Mini Me, Citynomadi, Dust Shelter, Flowhaven, Granite Partners, Miradore, Safera, Smart Breakand StepOne Tech.
Grow to USA programs as well as other Grow to Marketprograms are natural continuum for different kind of business coaching programs like Kasvu Open. Kasvu Open is the largest growth sparring program in Finland which is targeted for companies that are eager to develop their businesses. In last fall Kasvu Open received the Internationalization Award of the President of the Republic. From Spring’s Grow to USA group four out of nine attending companies have undergone the Kasvu Open process during previous years.
”In my opinion Grow to Market -programs are natural next step for the growth-hungry companies which have attended Kasvu Open. These companies have already their internal matters in good shape, success stories from national markets, enough human and financial resources and of course entrepreneurial encourage to conquer international markets.” describes Petri Palviainen the Head of Advisory Service in the globally operating audit community Crowe.
Strengthening market position in the US markets
Grow to Market -programs offer valuable support for companies that have only started to plan their internationalization. However, the programs create also added value for companies that are already operating internationally but need help to strengthen their position in some target market. In Spring’s Grow to USA group there are several companies which main target is to strengthen their market position in the US markets, for example software company Miradoreand cleantech company StepOne Tech.
Miradoreis specialized in providing easy-to-use cloud-based solutions for managing IT & mobile devices efficiently. Currently Miradore’s software is used by more than 10,000 organizations to manage over 1,000,000 devices in more than 160 countries. For Miradore the US is an attractive market for several reasons. Miradore’s MDM product has a good market-fit, the target segment is big and growing and the demand for MDM is increasing due to new regulation further increasing the market.
“While Miradore is already having some business in the US we believe we can scale the business considerably with the right actions. We plan to set up a local business to have a proper presence in the US market and we need to localize our operations.” describes the CFO of Miradore, Janne Planting.
The main reason why Miradore decided to attend Grow to USA program was the help it could provide in identifying the critical steps the company need to take to succeed in the US market. Janne Planting believes that both the partners, but also other attending growth companies will create valuable possibility to get challenging and different views for their plans regarding the US markets.
“We understand that leaving home turf and entering new markets requires strong local know-how, especially in the US. The right partners will help us build that know-how and guide us through the next steps of setting up the local presence. This program will help Miradore navigate through the biggest risks involving the US market entry and take the right actions to scale the business as planned.” tells Planting.
Other good example of a company planning to strengthen their market position in the US with the help of Grow to USA -program is StepOneTechwhich develops and sells ethanol biofuel solutions. Their current offering is a solution for vehicles called eFlexFuel that is sold in 15 countries including the US. eFlexFuel transforms a normal gasoline or hybrid car to run on ethanol based fuel.
“Our offering is based on our core competence, novel technology that enables remarkably cost-effective, quick and convenient solutions to cut CO2 emissions by trading fossil fuels to ethanol. The success of our technology has brought us partners like St1 and Motonet. Furthermore, even the Finnish government subsidizes our customers. Partnerships are an important part of our business model as the value of our solution is huge to many stakeholders such as the biofuel industry.” tells Tuomo Isokivijärvi CEO of StepOneTech.
Currently company is entering a phase of rapid growth as they are expanding by ramping up sales efforts, adding new products and entering new markets. Ultimately, StepOneTech’s vision is to exploit further the potential of their technology and offer solutions for various other uses as well. The US has been chosen as one of the main target markets because it is single biggest market area with over 100 Million compatible vehicles.
“We have already invested and committed to rapid growth in the US next year and need to prepare an organization and find partners that can respond to the demand our marketing efforts will create. Therefore, it is inevitable for us to localize to USA in 2019. We believe that Grow to USA can be vital for our success because we need just the kind of help Grow to USA has to offer: support with the topics related to US markets, expertise, and local contacts and partners.” Isokivijärvi describes.
Grow to USAtrip’s five-days program is been build based on these and other participating companies needs so that it would support their market entry as well as possible. With needed know-how and strong network Grow to Market partners are determined to support these companies’ US market entries’ success.
Anna-Mari Blek, Business Director – Grow to Market, Kasvun Roihu Oy, +358 40 7576 434,
Petri Palviainen, the Head of Advisory Service, Crowe, +358 50 517 1663, firstname.lastname@example.org
Janne Planting, CFO, Miradore Ltd, +358 40 846 5510, email@example.com
Tuomo Isokivijärvi, CEO, StepOneTech, +358 44 786 1266, firstname.lastname@example.org