New York investors Mitchell Golner from Dreamit Ventures, KJ Singh from Techstars, and Lior Prosor from Elevator Fund, discussed the difficulties foreign startups have when starting up in the US and pointed out how entrepreneurs can manage the difficulties to grow and scale in the US at Israeli Startups NYC’s meetup.
4 tips for Building a successful startup in the US
- Lay a strong legal foundation.
- Get to know your audience/consumers
- “Put more details into details”
- Contact an investor when you’re ready
Kenneth Rashbaum, a partner from Barton LLP, spoke about the necessity of laying strong legal controls and regulations to a foundation of a startup in order to be a venture capital candidate. He said that the startups that need the most legal regulation are education, healthcare, consumer market, and financial services/retail based. Implementing proper documentation and controls makes a startup less of a liability and risk to the investment companies.
In order to make a successful transition, a startup needs to know its consumers. Golner noted that Wix, an Israeli startup, did an excellent job at getting to know who it was targeting. Its ability to appeal to its audience helped its transition to NYC. Both Prosor and Singh emphasized the aspect of focusing on the product and the market. Regardless of how advanced the startup’s technology is, without the product being applicable to the consumers, the startup cannot grow and scale.
Go through everything. Go through it again, and again. Outline the pitch, fix bugs, find the value to consumers, find the correct employees. If there are any questions concerning the startup, not enough details have gone into the startup. The investors said to focus on the metrics. Our CEO Lior Vaknin agreed and stated, “How are you growing big, where are you growing big, what makes you grow big?”
Singh’s idea of a successful foreign startup was Sketchfab. He stated that having an investor’s materials aided its success in the US. Having the means and funds to grow and scale can accelerate a startup’s progress.
Finding an investor might be difficult and requires a lot of networking. First, the panel stressed finding an investor who is interested in the same, or a similar, field. Golner stated, “Having some kind of recognition, can really help you get an investor into a meeting.” In order to get to an investor, a startup needs to get the investor’s attention and needs to get on the good side of the investor. Appreciate and respect the investor’s time. Do not be overbearing.
By either getting a foot into the door through a mutual connection or just being a stranger, it is essential to start off warm and to start off before actually asking for investments. “We look for progress. Just get to know us,” Singh said.
After laying a legal foundation, getting to know the consumers, putting details into every factor of the startup, and network to find investor connections, then talk to an investor about the startup.
Here is the Video from the event: