International Expansion & our Unlocking Markets schemes

Transferring proven business models, technologies and solutions from one region to foreign complex geographies (particularly less well served, more opaque or untapped markets with higher barriers to entry) requires overcoming significant obstacles. Entrepreneurs must align governments, businesses, and consumers behind their product. We are here to help you succeed.

The challenge

We do not believe that international borders and cultural, political and relationship based differences should be barriers to your success and ability to make a global impact. Great innovations should not be restricted to only certain parts of the world and consumers in particular regions should not have to wait for solutions that already exist elsewhere. There are great opportunities for collaboration between entrepreneurs in their home countries and market opportunities abroad and we want to play a key role in facilitating these interactions and in fast-tracking the development of truly multi-national startups and fast growing companies. We can help you unlock and access foreign markets and expand your operations and your reach, through comprehensive support from us and through our relationships with public and private sector partners and our global network of contacts. We aim to be the keys to unlock the doors of different markets and communities around the world, the bridge that connects you to significant investment, crucial partnerships and comprehensive support and the map that shows you the route to scale your ventures and grow. It is a journey and we can help you at every step of the way, benefitting all your stakeholders. It is our goal to be the first port of call and the premier partner of choice for any technology company seeking smart, strategic and accelerated international expansion and the best launchpad from which to propel your global presence and offerings. We also work with our corporate and strategic partners and other investors, accelerators and funds to assist their portfolio companies looking to scale and enter new markets. We enlarge the value of their portfolio companies in this way, usually as part of a fee arrangement or equity share (often in form of milestone related convertible notes).

For most founders, building a strong proposition and growing a sustainable local customer base is one of the first steps when building a business but once you have seen success in your home market it is natural to look further and desire to expand your operations and offerings to a new and wider audience. In order to go from domestic to international successfully you will often need to confront a new set of factors that might not have affected your business so far and you need to make sure you are ready to make the move. Building an international presence and a global company is no mean feat as each region has its opportunities as well as a mix of different and complex challenges, laws and regulations, ways of doing business, consumer preferences, customs and cultures etc. Whilst globalisation has improved connectivity and is effectively making the world a smaller place where it is easier to break down borders by communicating and connecting with markets all over the planet, expanding abroad involves some significant risks and obstacles that must be overcome. For companies looking to accelerate their international expansion and foreign market entry and growth, we fast-track you and work across borders to help you crack new regions. We help you come up with the best strategic plans and understand ‘where to play’ and ‘how to win’ and can assist at any stage of the journey.

Transferring proven business models, technologies and solutions from one region to foreign complex geographies (particularly less well served, more opaque or untapped markets with higher barriers to entry) requires overcoming significant obstacles. Entrepreneurs must align governments, businesses, and consumers behind their product. They must ensure that quality of their service and brand remains the highest, no matter where it is deployed, so users all receive the same experiences. And they must do this quickly, before the opportunity has come and gone, been seized or squandered by others. Innovation, which derives from the Latin word novus, meaning ‘new’, can be defined on a broad level as the introduction of either new or significantly improved ideas, products, services or ways of doing things/methods (including processes, approaches or activities). We are committed to the ‘democratisation’ of innovation and technology where access to solutions is universal regardless of your location. Innovation, in this digital and internet led age, is increasingly being driven from the bottom up rather than just from the top down with users being empowered to have their say and collaboration between individuals, companies (of all sizes from small startups to large corporations) and entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world driving change. However, innovations do not always generate value and this is in part due to barriers which we want to combat. We do not look at the big challenges the world faces as areas of worry but instead as problems to solve and feel that this can best be done through leveraging the power of international collaboration and diversity of thought. We want to break down the borders, traverse geopolitics and develop business to business (B2B) relationships around the globe, using commercial links or bonds as a force for good and a driver of change. Rather than looking at interactions between countries merely through the lens of strategic rivalries (such as US vs. China vs. India etc.), by working together to tackle the greatest issues the world faces and to build the best solutions, everyone can win and prosper and grow economically with the creation of new wealth and jobs. We should not balk at the differences in cultures, languages and customs that may set people apart but embrace the similarities and make the most of network effects.

What we offer

Whilst the potential benefits that come with increased sales and market share, greater presence in your industry and an international footprint are clear, expansion to foreign markets is a major undertaking that requires a great deal of preparation and due diligence to mitigate risks, avoid costly mistakes and maximise your chances of success.

We seek to pave an easier path for companies entering new markets around the globe. As well as assisting foreign companies in scaling to European markets, we run special schemes for companies looking to expand to the US and Asia (in particular the Middle East, China and India) where some of the largest and most exciting markets are located. The market potential is huge and this is not just due to the vast size itself but also the growing levels of engagement with technology and innovative solutions. There is a great hunger for this. The global economy benefits from innovation and there is particular demand in Asian regions and in countries such as China and India, for example, for the potential commercial applications of cutting edge research. According to the Global Innovation Index and a report by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organisation, the UK and several European nations as well as the US are amongst the most innovative countries whilst China and India rank towards the middle of the pack. Often, in fact, IP in the UK and Europe can require larger markets to work commercially and might not be best suited for their own regions. As a result, some of the IP in these regions ends up being underpriced or does not get commercialised in their own regions but can help meet the demands of large Asian economies, for example, and be pushed forward there.

We are not just another accelerator programme with various cohorts but we go above and beyond this with our highly customised intensive support. This is based on your strengths and weaknesses and all planning and timelines etc. are designed to address any specific needs in a speedy yet effective manner. We provide the expertise on the ground and connect the right people and right companies leading to a congregation of the right decision makers. We do not just sit there and wait for good deals but we go out there and build a pipeline of them to help the companies we work with. When you launch or scale a business in or to one country you learn a lot but when you do it in many regions, this is all multiplied. You can leverage our experience so you do not have to learn from scratch and can make swifter and more effective progress. We strive to ensure that your offerings in a foreign market are consistent with those in your home market and are of the same high quality. At the same time, we realise that in complex regions and new markets you need to be nimble and in order to ‘crack the code’ you may need to develop more specific solutions for the problems a particular region may face. This way you are able to maximise your chances of success with a different user base and tailor your offerings slightly to suit them. This becomes a advantage in the face of complexity.

We help you expand and scale internationally through our unparalleled multi-national network and platform that offers you our unique local market insights, experiences and access. We invest a great deal into building strategic, governmental and commercial partnerships to enable companies to best establish themselves in challenging and unfamiliar environments, benefit from the support packages (and where applicable, incentive packages), investment and resources on offer and achieve their full potential when scaling. We collaborate closely with local entities from both the public and private sector in each region to drive international growth and to help fast-track your integration into new markets as efficiently as possible. The capabilities of collaboration partners on the ground, particularly established corporations in the region, coupled with government support and access to liquidity provides a powerful mix to help you make a success of expanding abroad. In addition, we work with top universities and research institutions and local incubators and venture accelerators in regions around the world, which can assist you further. Our flexible and personalised approach provides you with a significant competitive advantage and seeks to provide you with all the tools you need to expand internationally whilst shifting as many of the risks that come with globalisation away from growing companies. We provide you with the relationships and access you need at the highest levels, helping you navigate through different regulatory regimes and cultural, political and legal hurdles. We also share our local knowledge and expertise with regards to adapting to market conditions, local logistics and consumer habits. We assist with office space and recruiting hires to complement your team and give you access to relevant local service and infrastructure providers. We provide all this so that you can accelerate your global rollout in the most effective manner.

Scaling to the UK and Europe

We also assist companies from abroad looking to scale to the UK and European markets, providing you with tailored and dedicated support and guidance from our dealmakers and working with you design expansion strategies that pave the best pathways for your market entry.

If you are looking to do business in and with the UK or European markets through exports, investment and/or setup of a hub we help you land comfortably on the best platform from which to grow your business in these regions, and provide you with the right networks, resources and contacts. We work with and welcome trade missions, market visits and delegations of executives and government officials/department representatives. Please get in touch if you would like to visit and connect with our world class partner universities, our ecosystem contacts, industry leading corporate partners and top chief executives, major investors, successful entrepreneurs as well as public sector partners and government departments. We aim to be the best launchapd and channel that helps you successfully do business in these markets.

Our Unlocking the Asian and American markets schemes

Our Unlocking the Asian and American markets schemes seek to provide a platform for you to make the most of global opportunities and successfully move into these exciting and vast markets. Whilst the UK and Europe are great markets by all means, there is a vast array of opportunities beyond these markets, particularly in the very largest economies and also the fastest growing ones.

Although the range of prospects is immense and could be seen as a potential goldmine, the chances of success without sufficient research, planning, knowledge and guidance, local partnerships and expertise are very slim. We seek to be the gateway to these regions which today increasingly can no longer be ignored due to their great potential, huge populations, rising levels of investment, growing openness and rapidly expanding consumer classes. For technology businesses looking to scale to the US we seek to leverage the resources of Silicon Valley, which is still the leader globally, not just in what is currently the most technologically advanced nation on Earth, in addition to the resources of other major cities such as New York. For those looking to expand in Asia we aim to connect East and West along the historic Silk Road countries and trade routes in order unlock the most promising commercial opportunities for growing businesses. India, China and the Middle East are areas that particularly excite us. They are markets that are growing rapidly every day, so much so that they are now impossible to ignore. We are big fans and supporters of the aims of the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative launched by China’s Head of State, Xi Jinping, to improve links, trade and cooperation between countries along the ancient Silk Road and the modern day ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ and ‘21st century Maritime Silk Road’.

We can help open doors for you through our extensive network of connections and contacts coupled with deep local knowledge and a great deal of experience in international expansion in these key regions. We help you build strategic relationships with key local partners in both the public and private sectors. We also help you to receive investment, navigate legal and logistical hurdles and complex tax environments. We support you in recruiting the best talent, as well as dealing with visas, and in gaining government and corporate support so you make the most of incentive packages and grants and leverage the resources available. The challenges involved with scaling abroad are not just to do with geography, culture and language but also psychology. In overseas markets, in addition to what you know, who you know is even more crucial. In Asian nations in particular, with different business etiquettes and practices, the building of strategic relationships is the cornerstone of success and we assist you in identifying the right partners and in navigating the relationship building processes. There are risks regarding regulation, protection of intellectual property, competitive local players and protectionism. Not only do consumer preferences and market behaviours from country to country but they even change from city to city and town to town and each region should be treated as separate with its own unique characteristics.

Tailored support to suit your needs

We offer a range of tailored market research and market entry, consultancy and expansion services to ensure that, with our support, you achieve your goals in scaling abroad and come up with the most appropriate scaling strategy. We help you to understand the opportunities, make informed decisions and come up with an effective plan for exporting to, investing in and/or growing in these regions. We do not only advise on the best routes but also assist with execution. We can provide you with access to dedicated expansion project managers and specialists on the ground. We help navigate the steep learning curve in a time and cost saving manner so the downside risks are minimised. We aim to provide you with a clear roadmap and competitive advantage.

As part of the schemes we organise and take part in trade missions and market visits abroad for companies looking to scale, partnering with large corporations and government entities, host events and workshops aimed at improving understanding of these markets, and host visits from delegations of high level government officials, investors and corporate executives. These can all serve to improve your visibility in these regions as well as giving you pitching opportunities. We enable you to leverage our relationships with corporate partners, local and national government bodies, industry associations and entrepreneurial ecosystems and facilitate engagement with them.

We have first hand experience of doing business in and growing businesses in these regions so are familiar with the difficulties faced and have built up extensive knowledge and experience as well as access to on ground relationships and expertise. There are several approaches you can take depending on how much you wish to export to, invest in or grow in a region, from setting up registered offices and incorporating full service companies to joint ventures and licensing arrangements. Before you make the move we can help you with research, market testing and network building through the identification of local contacts and potential partners and the arranging of introductions, events and meetings. If you wish to set up legal entities we assist with the entire process from start to finish and can provide bespoke solutions. In addition, we provide access to office space either through our own facilities or through local leading co-working spaces, incubators and venture accelerators we partner with and also assist with recruitment, helping you to understand the local job markets and employment practices so that you can hire the very best talent. The full suite of added value business services we provide including complete technological and software development, financial, marketing, legal and HR services, also applies to these foreign markets. Make the most of the experts we have with on-ground experience of the regions and connections to the most effective local partners.

There are huge opportunities out there but it is important to remember, however, that three quarters of world’s population live outside US and China and these 5.4 billion people represent 74% of world’s smartphone users, for example. The Middle East and Africa are excellent examples of areas that have not been tapped fully and have very exciting opportunities and growth prospects. There is so much potential that we can help you tap into and benefit from. We are constantly striving to build our global network so that we can assist companies as much as possible wherever in the world they wish to do business.