The Episode in 60 Seconds
Competing with Silicon Valley Startups – what to expect
- Switzerland is generally strong in research and not so strong in productization and marketing. Be aware of this and give your amazing product the showlight it deserves.
- Cap tables (the “who owns what” in a company) are a big topic. SV investors don’t like to see large, fragmented cap tables. Be smart and don’t give away more than 20% of your company per round.
- SV is fast-paced and direct. Be prepared to adapt your style of doing business.
Is Silicon Valley the promised land for all startups?
- The short answer is: no. The long answer is: it depends. Know where the experts in your field cluster. This can be Houston, New York, Chicago …
- Don’t underestimate the value which comes from a Swiss brand: neutrality, trust and reliability, to name a few.
Building up your presence in the US
- Your expansion should be customer centric. Move to a new market when you feel you understand and are ready to serve the customer there.
- Expanding abroad usually entails building a physical presence there. Often this requires at least one of the founders to relocate in order to build a quality team away from home.
- Ideally, your first hires have existing customer relationships that you can leverage.
- Build the business first, fundraise second. This will give you much more negotiating power.