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Early Stage Ventures

The essence of being an entrepreneur is having the ability to spot an opportunity and act upon it. It’s about finding solutions for problems that others have yet to discover. Getting a product or service to market can be both daunting and rewarding. An idea by itself does not have much value unless you can do something with it, such as developing the idea into a product or service that can be commercialized. Every innovator that succeeds at commercializing their idea must overcome the same economic, development, market research and time based challenges to become successful.

Is there a customer base for your product?

Your product or service will fail to take off unless you identify a customer base for it. One of the major fatal flaws that results in the failure of many startups is the fact that they fail to address who the customer base for their product or service is. In other words, they fail to identify if their product or service is so meaningful that someone will pay for it.

Are you addressing any barriers to the adoption of your product?

Another startup killer is the inability of founders to account for barriers for adoption during the design phase of their product or service. An example of some barriers to entry are high switch costs or a high learning curve. The monetary costs, learning curve, disruption need to all be low enough compared to the next best alternative so that the net value to the consumer is high enough for them to buy your product or service. 

Is the timing right for you to launch your product or service?

Every market has a lifecycle, and every opportunity thus has a limited window of time before it expires.  Anyone can solve a problem and find an opportunity. However, there is also a risk in being too early to a market, since chasing unproven markets can lead to dead ends, or worse, a viable opportunity that will not bear fruit for years to come. That’s a much longer ramp than most startups can finance. 

Competition

Is there an imbalance of excess competition compared to new customers entering a market that make a mature market turn unfavorable for new entrants?  Or is the market new, fragmented, or stagnant ripe for disruption?   Can you develop a differentiated positioning strategy?

Finance

How much up-front investment of capital (sunk cost) will this product require to develop? Do you anticipate large gaps in time between accounts payable and accounts receivable (working capital float)?  Both scenarios represent financial risk that you need to weigh against the potential benefit you’re anticipating. Every business requires money to get started, but the goal should be to minimize the risk and cost where possible, and to weigh those burdens against the potential for returns.

Think of this in terms of building an efficient investment machine. Our goal is to achieve maximum output (profit) with the minimum possible inputs (risk and cost).

Your Team

If this is competitive warfare, how confident are you that your team can win the battle?  Assuming you have limited resources, you should opt out of any battles you are not confident you can win, and preserve the resources for later opportunities. Someone on your core team needs to intimately understand the nuances of the customer you’re addressing, if you are to solve their need or desire.  You’ll also want a technical expert on your team who can devise a well-crafted product that answers the need.  Consider also whether you have access to favorable sourcing and distribution relationships you’ll need to remain competitive.

Contact us to find out how we may be able to help your start-up

At Strategic Edge, we help early stage innovators to develop successful strategies to overcome these obstacles and succeed in commercializing their products and services. Our advisors are attorneys, accountants, financial consultants, engineers, and marketing and business development experts with a history of helping clients with honing their ideas, develop technology and corporate build out strategies, building teams, and nurturing their ventures from early stage startups to commercial launch and profitability.

U.S. Ventures Seeking to Expand

For established companies looking to expand their market reach, through our business venture networks in Europe, India, Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, East Africa, and South Africa. Strategic Edge can help your business establish strategic alliances, joint ventures or even set up physical offices overseas.

Our network of professional contacts can help you:

Developing In-country Relationships

In general, to achieve rapid growth, creating global in-country relationships are crucial to enter fast growing markets. We work with international partners to build a bridge between innovative companies in the United States and foreign investors, foreign small to medium size companies, and government agencies that are looking to either create a new market sector for a new product or either begin marketing latest generation products for existing market sectors. 

Access Global Markets Through Multinational Companies

We help our client-partners create strategic alliances with leading multi-national companies that are looking for new products for their existing customer base by utilizing licensing strategies. Such strategic alliances are a powerful tool that allows our client-partners to focus on their core products and reach a large new client base.

Co-Branding Partnerships

By leveraging our relationships with companies with established and recognized brands in foreign countries, we provide our client-partners with instant credibility that allows them to promote their newer products and services in these new foreign markets by leveraging the marketing power of the foreign co-branding partner.

Technology Transfers Through Licensing Agreements

By engaging in in-country relationships, strategic alliances, and co-branding partnerships, you will learn to understand the economic, social and cultural aspects of doing business in new foreign markets. This will allow you to negotiate licensing agreements for your technology that will allow your company to gain mass distribution channels overseas.

Open Branch Offices Overseas

Once you are comfortable with doing business overseas, you may decide to have a physical presence overseas. We have trusted contacts within our network that can help you setup branch offices overseas, handling everything from incorporation to helping you find the right location that is suitable for you.

Foreign Businesses Seeking to Enter the U.S.

For investors, entrepreneurs, and businesses located outside the United States, Strategic Edge provides a full-service turn-key consulting practice devoted to helping you make the transition to the United States as smooth and effortless as possible.

Through our network of advisors, we have access to corporate lawyers, accountants, human resource managers, realtors and other professionals who can help guide your business through the transition to the United States.

We can help you with:

  • Due diligence on investment opportunities
  • Joint Ventures
  • Technology Licensing and Development
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Business and financial planning
  • Immigration planning
  • Finding Real Estate
  • Finding the right resources for your team