International start-up learnings
Start Alliance meets French Tech Hub Berlin
During the last session of the Start Alliance program in September 2017 startups from all partner cities met for a business breakfast at the French Embassy.
The French Tech Hub and the Start Alliance invited Anastasia Heilmann, Country Manager DACH Leetchi and Julien Fredonie, Head of Innovation Lab at Infosys to speak in front of the Start Alliance crowd. They answered their questions, shared their views and gave tips for entering the German market. Here are 10 hints you should keep in mind!
- Check-out the market! Maybe the people don’t understand your product/service - Germans didn’t understand how they could make a use of Leetchi until they heard this is quite like a “private crowdfunding”
- Different countries, different way of consuming! Germans use the platform of Leetchi in another way than French do. French use the platform in 80 % of the cases for birthday present. Whereas German prefer to use it for projects and social crowdfunding (and don’t see the necessity for birthday gifts).
- Take data privacy issues seriously! Germans are more sensitive than French in terms of condition & data privacy. They are very careful with their personal data. Make sure you have secured your data and you are able to explain to your customers what is the use of your data. Best is to have data stored within the country.
- Collaborate with the local ecosystem! It’s important to have one collaboration with a big company: if you have one big name you can reach other companies. Work hard to find this first one! Joining events, but pick wisely (be focused!) or… organise your own events.
- Use the social networks! Don’t be afraid to use LinkedIn and Xing as a digital business card!
- Adapt your communication strategy to Germany! Having a PR Agent and extend your communication through can leverage your B2C acquisitions. Choose wisely the journalists you are willing to work with.
- Gain credibility! Have an address in Germany. Be reliable. Be on the point; German customers take you at your word.
- Be aware of the complexity of legal issues: make a use of German legal support!
- Avoid influence marketing and over mailing! Email marketing is very difficult in Germany – as Germans are considering it as Spam.
- Don’t be afraid for not speaking German! You’ll learn and… people in Berlin are very open, very cosmopolite and helpful. A lot of daily business in the local ecosystem is done in English!
More about the Speakers:
Country Manager DACH Leetchi, crowdfunding and fundraising solutions. Anastasia has specialized in social tech. Organiser of the After-Work-Conference "Digitalisation & Social Impact"
15 years of experience in fast growing digital companies, with expertise in on line business & entrepreneurship. Julien is currently Head of Innovation Lab @ Infosys with a focus on “disruptive technologies” (Ai, blockchain, IoT, big data, automation…) and how to apply them in large corporates. Julien is also collaborating with young companies to solve business problems (ie: Supply chain, HR, procurement, customer engagement etc..)
More about French Tech Berlin:
Next Start Alliance program in Berlin:
November 27th - December 8th | Information and application until October, 31st