The venue is located in the heart of Manhattan in the co-working space of the Belgian-American Chamber of Commerce (BelCham) In addition, startups can benefit from a supporting network consisting of the BelCham, the Luxembourg Trade and Investment Office and the thirty or so startups already housed there. Finally, there is the flexibility offered to startups to be able to continue to manage their activities in Europe during the course of the 4 week programme.
Benelux Catalyst provides a perfect mix combining an ambitious programme that brings together startups from the three Benelux countries focused on the same goal: to offer their startups the best coaching and support to successfully penetrate the US market.
“Being well prepared is key“
During 4 weeks, the selected startups will learn about the cultural and commercial particularities of the American market, with focus on sales practices, financing methods and growth strategies.
“This programme is reserved for strong startups, which already have a significant activity in Europe”, explains Valentin Rongoni, Start-up Advisor at Luxinnovation and head of the programme for Luxembourg.
“However, to be useful, this programme has to be well prepared. Four weeks may seem long, but it is not since we are talking about much more than just an introduction about how to enter the US market. Instead it is a very concrete programme that can lead to the conclusion of a startup’s first North American business transaction.”
A time for training, a time for business
A big advantage of Benelux Catalyst is that participants do not need to devote themselves solely to the programme. Trainings and workshops are scheduled in the afternoon to allow participants to take care of their European business in the morning in their local time zone. An approach which startups find reassuring.
“The Benelux Catalyst programme was our best ever and our most impactful accelerator programme,” notes Jacques Touillon, who participated last year as CEO of Footbot.io. “Above all, our success is down to the very well balanced programme that greatly helps a Luxembourg startup adjust to the US market.”
Network, network, network
Connection building is another major asset of Benelux Catalyst. This is helped by the fact that the whole network of Belgian, Luxembourg and Dutch partners are combined together and also with the network of local US startups. These potential connections can help startups with their journey in the US, but also with signing new partnerships with Benelux players.
“It has been a real catalyst for us not only to learn how to best approach the US market both operationally and culturally, but also to strengthen ties with our home country. It now allows us to grow on both markets by drawing on the best from each side,” confirms Oriane Schoonbroodt, founder and CEO of LabelR, another Luxembourg startup who participated last year.
“Both the Belcham and Luxembourg Trade and Investment Office teams were constantly challenging us to help us identify our specific needs, to improve our positioning in the challenging NY ecosystem but also to put us in touch with key stakeholders to benefit from the great potential of this market ”
Last year, Footbot, LabelR and Flenhealth were the three Luxembourg start-ups who successfully participated in Benelux Catalyst. This year again, three Luxembourg start-ups will leave for New York after being selected by the Ministry of the Economy and Luxinnovation. The deadline for applications is 17 April. The selected startups will be announced on 24 April.
All information: www.beneluxcatalyst.com