New markets

The beauty of tech is that it can be launched into new markets more quickly than physical products.

Indeed, many investors have a focus on enabling their UK portfolio companies to expand into international territories, with the United States a popular choice due to the size of the market and a shared language. Yet there are still many hurdles to overcome.

What should founders consider when eyeing geographical expansion?

The subject is the focus of one of a series of masterclass pods at FUEL Liverpool next week. Antony Shimmin, co-founder at Mycardium AI – which transforms how medical imaging is delivered in healthcare through the use of ‘super-human’ AI – is one of the experts on that pod and will pass on his advice to more than 20 promising startups and scaleups.

He cites the strategy of signing up with an ‘employer of record’ in a new territory – an organisation which takes on the legal and administrative burden of employing staff on their behalf.

“An employer of record is seen as an ‘easy’ way to onboard foreign staff, but it is hugely expensive,” he tells TechBlast. 

He advises startups to “think of your pipeline and whether it’s worth setting up an office in that locality… gain advocates there, someone you can build around and leverage relationships through.”

FUEL Liverpool – supported by Growth Platform and Clockwise – will see up to 100 people hear from a stellar breakfast panel before a select group of 20-25 founders meet 12 experts across pods focused on export, funding, growth planning and people.

Kellie Noon, co-founder at Interkultura, will also advise founders on the export pod alongside CNC Robotics director & owner Madina Barker.

Noon’s company empowers businesses and educational partners to achieve greater success through international growth development programmes and consultancy.

“Don’t rush,” is her tip. “Check your blind spots before diving in. Take time to really plan where, why and how you want to grow. 

“Carefully look into different markets and take the time to check any assumptions you might be making: often clients assume that working with the USA or other areas which share a language with us will be easier, but that isn’t always the case!”

FUEL Liverpool speaking line-up finalised