New marketsInterviews

MyCardium AI COO Antony Shimmin was among the experts who shared their tips for exporting services and products at FUEL Liverpool this week.

The event, supported by Growth Platform and Clockwise, saw almost 100 people attend a public breakfast panel event before more than 20 scaleup and startup businesses gained direct access to experts in a series of behind-closed-doors masterclass pods focused on specific challenges they may face.

Shimmin set up MyCardium AI – transforming the accuracy, precision and consistency of diagnostic imaging – with clinical founders. He says 90% of its business now comes from overseas.

“Understanding the maturity of the respective markets you’re looking to access is really important,” is his advice. “Who are the laggards? Who are the up and comers? Who are the established parties?

“Our market research data, which informed some of our earlier decisions, is massively out of date now – so we’re, for example, seeing huge growth in the cardiac MRI market in the States due to the price per scan charged by the insurers seemingly decreasing.”

FUEL Liverpool hailed as ‘fantastic’ event by business leaders

Shimmin said businesses must be “prepared to travel and put in the air miles”. 

“People buy from people,” he explained. “If you’ve travelled halfway around the world to win business, people respect that and will find an opportunity to present.”

FUEL Liverpool – experts explain how to plan for growth

Another piece of advice is to engage with local and national government agencies for support with internationalisation.

“Accept that you can’t do it on your own and identify aligned partners to be a force multiplier,” he added.

“And recognise the different ways countries do business. The speed at which decisions are made in the States are incredible: we see a real desire to move quickly after the initial conversation when, for example, in the UK it can take six months to get a deal over the line.

“Our experience with Germany, whilst limited, has been equally as bureaucratic.”

FUEL Liverpool – how to build a ‘dream team’

Kellie Noon, co-founder at Interkultura, empowers businesses and educational partners to achieve greater success through international growth development programmes and consultancy.

“Don’t underestimate the value of preparing for different attitudes to negotiating, risk taking, and time management,” she said. “I see loads of clients struggle because they’ve assumed that trading internationally only means looking into import and export documentation, and fail to take into account that people still buy from people. 

“Invest time in learning how to connect with the new audience well and it really will stand you in good stead.”

FUEL Liverpool – investment tips from the people who know