We just finished up our Autumn 2019 season, and what a year! In total, this year together with our 14 GTM partners, we organized 5 programs (2x USA, 2x Sweden, 1x China) in which 30 companies participated. Additionally, around 170 companies deepened their understanding on these markets through our internationalization workshops.
Discover below some insights from our USA and Sweden programs.
New York is known for being one of the world’s most competitive business markets. One which our Grow to USA program gives a brief but deep encounter with.
Having now executed four programs to New York, we have two main recommendations to companies contemplating participating in our GTM programs, in order to reap the maximum benefits:
1. Consider your own timing
GTM is not for everyone. It is built and meant for companies who are ready to scale up and grow via an international market entry. As such, the company itself should be in a viable position to actually then be able to execute a market entry.
2. Preparation is key
As the saying goes “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. We strongly recommend each company who goes through our GTM programs, to set the necessary time aside beforehand in order to prepare for the program, and what happens thereafter. Meaning;
Do your own research, have an action plan, perfect your pitch, begin acquiring international customers, book meetings during the program week etc. GTM is an intensive deep dive into the local market giving you access to critical know-how and networks, but it’s no magical turnkey solution by itself for a successful market entry, no matter how hard we try to make it.
The Swedish market is often a natural next step for Finnish SME’s to expand too. Stockholm is also a good starting point in beginning to build your Swedish network and opening doors to the rest of the Nordics.
September’s Grow to Sweden program taught us once again, that even though our two countries are close to one another, our way of doing business still differs. Here are a few key takeaways from our local growth experts for you to learn from, to avoid the most common pitfalls:
1. Finland is not exotic. You are competing with local companies.
2. Sweden is the land of chains and concepts. They really like to package things. Utilize this!
3. Swedes don’t want to be alone; they want to be involved and listened to
4. Do not rely purely on your own networks, find a local person/team
5. Remember, it is okay to say NO to customers
Our 2020 program dates are now set and application is open!
Don’t think too much. Start, Learn, Go, Try, Fail and Succeed. – Sami Suni, Showell, Grow to USA
This program will not force-feed you answers or hand-deliver solutions. You will have to find them on your own. I can guarantee that after the program you will know more, but most importantly you will know more about the things you didn’t know before. Embrace uncertainty. Work on your pitch. Focus your message. Repeat. – Otto Sunnari, Sofokus, Grow to USA
Before this trip entering the Chinese market as startup felt like landing on Jupiter. But after the trip I had 4 hot sales leads, access to a welcoming soft landing platform and a network of potential support. Lots of work and luck is still needed but our plan is clearly more realistic now. – Markku Makkonen, Fourdeg, Grow to China
Our Swedish market entry plan is now much clearer. During the program we got in touch and had discussions with companies that had already established in Sweden, were introduced to partners that can help us enter the Swedish market and received information on what customers, employees and partners in Sweden expect. Thank you Innovestor for arranging this program! – Henrik Jakobson, Salusfin, Grow to Sweden