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How to grow a global startup in the USA Dos and Don’t

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How to grow a global startup in the USA Dos and Don’t Markus Wagner, 15th of Sept. 2015 CEO - i5growth Inc. (Palo Alto), Chairmen of Adv. Board - i5invest capital (Austria/Vienna)


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That‘s us CEE Austria: M&A and later stage bridge or secondary capital in CEE First money in investments in CEE companies with US potential Fundraising Corporate Development Wanna join – Looking for M&A trainees! USA (San Francisco/Palo Alto): US MARKET ENTRY / BUILDING STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS European START-UPs European Later stage tech companies Growth hacking, marketing US HR US Looking for an US cofounder?


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Portfolio Overview M&A and “First money in” - investments


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US vs. Europe


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MUCH MORE MONEY, MUCH BIGGER MARKET BIP Austria 2014: US$ bln 437


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MUCH HIGHER VALUATIONS 29/11/2015 Factors that should be considered when talking about a bubble 1 2 5 3 4 Source: i5invest analysis, PwC, DJ VentureSource, Jay R. Ritter / Business Insider and Glassdoor / BI.


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11/29/2015 MUCH MORE & BIGGER COMPANIES


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Macro trend “Digital Globalization” It never was that easy to go international It never was that easy for GLOBAL COMPETION to steal your customers locally ? If you want to build an sustainable company, you need to go international. If you want to go international (other than copy cat businesses and markets) – you need to go the US. If you aren’t there, you are irrelevant = not successful (ps.: definitely not the whole company needs to be there) NO OTHER OPTION TO GO THERE


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Why startups come the US: 1. Fundraising 2. Doing Business 3. Selling the Company


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Fundraising in the US?


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What are investors looking for? Amazing management team Sources of credibility & trust: known team-members, angels, accelerators, … Huge market size Right cap table HQ Office location: US / Silicon Valley / SF, Visa issues: none User traction, great growth Revenues - proof of revenue potential Your competitor’s founder team most likely looks like: …and raised US$ 5mln+ from Andressen Horowitz


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You will find great startups from all over the world there Hundreds of accelerators, incubators Tens of thousands of startups Thousands of founder teams of ex-googlers, facebook, NASA, Tesla, Microsoft, EA, …


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So, what do Americans think about Austrian tech companies?


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…first thought


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…second thought ? You must not be an Austrian company, you need to be a company that is doing business in the US


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Doing business in the US


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Doing business in the US Step 1: Testing the waters / product market fit / building knowledge / fact finding / inspiration Go-Silicon Valley Program (WKO) 1-3 Month Individual trip (i.e. conference as trigger) going there for 2-3 weeks Step 2: Business Dev. Presence Setup structure (subsidiary or HQ/flip, visa, tax, budget) Building Business dev presence (exec, or someone you really trust, otherwise you get screwed) Make money, look for partnerships, do business, gather world class expertise, learn new tricks, adopt strategic positioning Tier 1 - Acclerator? Step 3: Serious presence Business dev, sales, key account, marketing, product management, growth hacking


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Fundraising and M&A - once you built business, traction and the network, you can do it


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Come prepared


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Where to go (go where the business is) NYC: Some finTech, ad Agencies, adTech, Media Companies LA: Agencies, Media Companies ? LA Seattle: Microsoft Texas: HW, Datacenters, Network (Houston, Austin) SF/Valley: finTech, adTech, deepTech, Space, bigData, travel, education, biotech, payment, wearable, analytics, pharma, medTech, HW, Datacenters, Apps, gaming, … ? global companies from all over the world Young, single, party, b2c, apps (VC, accelerators) Family, house/garden, Stanford, hardware, deep tech, b2b, b2c (VC, accelerators) Older, family, house/garden, network, storage, semiconductor, hw, deep tech, b2b


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Come prepared 1/2 Create a great linkedin presence (premium) Create a great Angel.co presence Create a great crunchbase presence Choose a time of interesting industry events Look for the right place to work (bay vs. SF, …) Look out for interesting accelerator programs Look out for experts, evangelists in your space, they might become angels later Meet competitors, connect with peers Meet former employees of competitors and potential future team members Act as you always have been there Bring a unlocked phone, multiple credit cards (or check) Bring English business cards, pitch deck, train the pitch


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Come prepared 2/2 Watch silicon valley show: http://www.hbo.com/silicon-valley#/ Start-up Class from Y Combinator Sam Altman in Stanford: http://startupclass.samaltman.com/ Reading Advice: http://www.amazon.com/Zero-One-Notes-Startups-Future/dp/0804139296 Start to read techcrunch frequently Watch great company pitches on youtube, i.e. TechCrunch Disrupt Learn about growth hacking: #500Distro https://www.youtube.com/user/500startups Look for the right meetups (www.meetup.com) Go Silicon Valley - Austrian Pavilion Group DROP ME A LINE - THANK YOU!


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Wondering if its the right time for your startup to test US/global waters? Look for US co-founders? Want join a global M&A and business dev team? Planning a trip to the valley?


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