Lessons learnt when prepping your startup for a US launch

Internet of Things, smart kitchen appliances and connected homes - they might all sound like something from the future, but in reality 31.2 million households in North America have some kind of smart home system installed, equalling 16.7 % of all households. By comparison, only 3.8 % of European homes do - so you’d get why startups working with smart homes are looking across the pond.

This includes Minc company Animus Home - they’ve developed a smart home system that allows you to control all your smart home devices from one single app. Two weeks ago the three founders went to New York as part of a Minc trip to Innovate46, an event for Swedish entrepreneurs looking to launch in the US, and put on by Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce (SACC). Animus Home’s US launch is still a couple of months off, but this was a good first dip of the toe:

The goal of the trip was to broaden our network and meet with potential investors - we had a set program apart from Innovate46, but we met with a number of investors just at the event. This all happened through Minc - they connected us to SACC; who then invited us to Innovate46, says Fidan Bytyqi, co-founder of Animus Home.

The ambition for Animus Home has always been to enter the US market, but they all agreed on building the foundation in Malmö where they could focus on developing a stable and foolproof product before moving to the US for rapid growth.

This was just our very first trip, but we still learnt a number of things. For instance, Americans are much more straightforward than Swedes, something people told us numerous times. We were told that if you want to make it in the US, it’s important to have a clear vision - and to stick to it, says Fidan. - Our biggest learning was to think big, something that I think Swedes in general need to get better at, he continues.

There will always be pros and cons to evaluate before hitting any market - building your base in a city like Malmö means you can keep your costs down and still benefit from a global network, making it easier to launch internationally once you’re ready.

Top three learnings? 

  1. Think big

  2. Have a clear vision and make sure you stick to it

  3. Move fast - make fast decisions, cut your losses and get to the money asap

Our trip wouldn’t have been possible without Minc’s network. Thanks to their connections we were able to take the first small steps towards the US market, Fidan ends.  

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Do you have a business idea of your own and would like the chance to take part of Minc’s network? Read more about our incubator program here.

If you want to hear more about Animus Home’s trip to the US, join us for a lunch chat at Minc this Friday, where our Comms Lead Sandy Errestad will talk to them about their key learnings and their next steps as they start making the move to the US - read more and sign up here.

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