US market welcomes Swedish startups

The U.S. is a great target for expansion. That was the message from Dillon Banerjee, U.S. Embassy, at a meeting with startups in Umeå.

Uminova Innovation through the initiative Enterprise Europe Network in cooperation with US Commercial Service has held a seminar about the Select USA-program.

During a visit in Umeå and to the incubator Uminova Innovation Dillon Banerjee, Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs at the U.S. Embassy and Tuula Ahlström, Senior Commercial Specialist at the U.S. Embassy are looking for companies that are born global and startups that are considering US as a growth market.

When meeting the startups at Uminova Innovation they want to understand in what growth state they are and what they are thinking on international expansion.

“We want to identify those that are ready to do a more in-depth analysis and exploration of the US market,” he says.

“Select USA is a program for companies that have an established business model and maybe already are doing successful business. But that doesn’t mean that an early stage company cannot consider an expansion in the US,” Dillon Banerjee explains.

At the meeting, he invites the startups to a big summit in Washington D.C., June 10-12, 2019. The SelectUSA Investment Summit brings the diversity of the United States together under one roof – enabling any business to find the people, resources, and market it needs to be successful. It is the highest-profile event dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States.

“During a couple of days the startups can meet with several state officials to find out what the possibilities are,” Dillon Banerjee says.

10 top questions when going to US

These are the top 10 questions that most companies have, according to the Embassy’s partner in this initiative, the Silicon Valley law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati.

  • Location/property: Identify your optimal U.S. location, evaluate and address office requirements.
  • Funding: Prepare U.S. appropriate materials: executive summary, deck and pitch for investors.
  • Personnel: Recruit and build the right U.S. team; identify potential employees and contractors.
  • HR & admin: Arrange bookkeeping, payroll, HR, employee benefits and withholding tax systems that can support your U.S. business.
  • Banking: Establish U.S. banking facilities and coordinate U.S. and home banking arrangements.
  • Taxes: Establish U.S. and home market tax structuring and compliance procedures.
  • Visas: Address immigration requirements for relevant personnel.
  • Insurance: Extend business insurance to the U.S.
  • Government support: Identify U.S. state, local and federal programs.
  • Legal: Form U.S. entity; employee contracts & equity; Americanize contracts; trademark/patent filings; data privacy.
Peter Bäckström on the US market

Peter Bäckström is Business Developer at Uminova Innovation and Enterprise Europe Network.

  • Make a note regarding US
    Work systematically to understand customer needs and where in the value chain your product or service belongs. It can differ considerably from the predictions that exist on your home ground.
    Pay attention that there are large differences between different states in the US, both in terms of legal and cultural. It is easy to underestimate the time and resources required to enter new markets, and in the US, every state can in principle be counted as a new country.
    There is a wealth of consultants that can help you with "everything", but it is important to build your own network of contacts in the United States that you trust.
    Silicon Valley has many advantages as a place of establishment in the United States, but don't forget to also look at other locations that may have other practical benefits.
  • What help is available?
    Through the Enterprise Europe Network, which is available at Uminova Innovation, innovative SMEs with international ambitions can receive help with advice on international business and solid matchmaking with international partners, customers and suppliers.
    Swedish companies can also advantageously use Nordic Innovation House in Silicon Valley and New York. The Swedish Embassy in the United States through Business Sweden and various initiatives that promote trade and exchange between the US and Sweden can also be a source of help.
    Companies that belong to an incubator can get further in-depth help in their internationalization work and at the same time get help in choosing the most suitable actor.

Text by: Mikael Hansson

Published: 19 March, 2019

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Mikael Hansson

19 March, 2019