Philipp Stauffer, co-founder FYRFLY, Swisspreneur Podcast
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1:52 – What mistakes do Swiss startups make when it comes to moving to Silicon Valley?
16:02 – When should you not go to the Valley?
29:56 – Hiring the right sales person
32:28 – Tackling the PR and marketing game
43:23 – What shocks Swiss companies when they come to the US?

The Episode in 60 Seconds

Competing with Silicon Valley Startups – what to expect

  • Switzerland is generally strong in research and not so strong in productization and marketing. Be aware of this and give your amazing product the showlight it deserves.
  • Cap tables (the “who owns what” in a company) are a big topic. SV investors don’t like to see large, fragmented cap tables. Be smart and don’t give away more than 20% of your company per round.
  • SV is fast-paced and direct. Be prepared to adapt your style of doing business.

Is Silicon Valley the promised land for all startups?

  • The short answer is: no. The long answer is: it depends. Know where the experts in your field cluster. This can be Houston, New York, Chicago …
  • Don’t underestimate the value which comes from a Swiss brand: neutrality, trust and reliability, to name a few.

Building up your presence in the US

  • Your expansion should be customer centric. Move to a new market when you feel you understand and are ready to serve the customer there.
  • Expanding abroad usually entails building a physical presence there. Often this requires at least one of the founders to relocate in order to build a quality team away from home.
  • Ideally, your first hires have existing customer relationships that you can leverage.
  • Build the business first, fundraise second. This will give you much more negotiating power.
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