At the beginning of November, our Business Development Manager Darja participated in the Business Blueprint event, organized by AmCham Finland. The event was part of the Launchpad USA program that aimed to connect companies to experts and investors in New York.
Diatom Enterprises have been working with clients from North America for 11 years now, however, we have decided to participate in the event anyway, since establishing new contacts has never harmed anybody. Thus, we accepted the challenge and took part in a two-day event in New York together with six more companies from the Scandinavian and Baltic regions: two companies from Finland, two from Estonia and two from Latvia.
Exploring NYC with other participants
The first-day program allowed participants to prepare the theoretical background for establishing a company in the USA, covering all kinds of questions: from law and taxes to branding and marketing. One of the conclusions from the theoretical sessions, though, was that if you want to expand to the US and be officially present there, you better hire a lawyer; if you want to live and work permanently in the US, you need a VISA and to get that – hire a VISA expert. It will save you a lot of time and money. And, most probably, you will be able to succeed with the first attempt.
One of the valuable points from the marketing session was that people in the US tend to create a portfolio about a potential collaboration partner, therefore it is crucial to be present in the media. Otherwise, you are “invisible” and have no story to share with potential American clients. But better do not try to buy media, it will look cheap and vulgar; better be creative and do not be afraid to implement guerilla marketing. At the same time, it is perfectly fine to develop your brand remotely: you can easily create a strong image and share stories via various virtual channels, starting from LinkedIn publications and ending with submitting articles and being published on Forbes.
One of the presentations is going on
The second day was rather “The Action Day” as it gave the opportunity to pitch the investors, presenting them with our companies. The special pitching event allowed every participant to pitch in front of New York Angel Investor Group. That was quite a dynamic and interactive session: Q&A session was tense but with valuable feedback for all the presenters.
Diatom pitching in front of New York Angel Investor Group
Participants had a chance to have a short talk to some of the investors before and after the event. One of them shared that he sometimes has to listen up to 30 (!) pitches per day. However, the tough part isn’t the pitching itself, it comes afterwards: when over time investors see the development of startups and evaluate how right or wrong they were when deciding to support or not to support a particular startup.
The two-day-event was rounded off with a warm and welcoming evening reception at AmCham Finland New York Office on Broadway. The reception brought even more opportunities to establish new contacts among the members of AmCham Finland in NYC.
At the evening reception with the representatives of AmCham Finland
OUTCOME & CONCLUSIONS
More than 30 new business acquaintances, knowledge, ideas to ponder on and new experiences: that is about the event in a nutshell. And the first time in New York for our colleague Darja, of course. Darja says: “I was charmed by the city: New York is dynamic, never sleeping and 24/7 city, however, you feel comfortable there as everyone is ready to help and assist you. Networking sessions were the warmest and most welcoming in my experience, all new business acquaintances – willing to learn more about you. The perfect organization by AmCham Finland made this event not only interactive but also productive and informative, with further collaboration opportunities. If I was offered to participate in the event again, I would definitely accept the invitation without hesitation”