U.S. Market Entry the Octopus Ventures Way: Part 1

Are you a CEO considering U.S. market entry? The decision to scale into the U.S. market, followed by the execution, is not for the faint of heart. That said, according to the World Bank’s Doing Business Project and statistics shared by SelectUSA, the United States ranks in the top ten overall for ease of doing business and number one among nations with populations over 100 million.

Easy or not, everyone can use support when navigating a foreign market. At MEET, we help international B2B growth companies soft land and scale in the U.S. through trade shows and in-person events. To learn more about how we can help scale your business in the U.S. market, contact us today.

U.S. market entryTo highlight some of the work our partners do to support companies endeavoring U.S. market entry, we spoke with Priscila Bala, Head of the New York Office for Octopus Ventures.

Headquartered in London, Octopus Ventures operates as part of a venture capital investment group that manages over £8.5 billion on behalf of 50,000 investors focused on supporting entrepreneurs in three key areas: industry, money, and health.

As one of Europe’s largest early-stage investors, the partners at Octopus realized that a significant amount of the money they were deploying in Europe was being spent in the U.S. This prompted the idea to open a center in New York specifically focused on supporting these firms with U.S. market entry.

Priscila was Octopus Ventures’ first U.S. hire. Tasked with truly understanding the challenges and best practices that come with U.S. market entry, she jumped into action.

“We went on a mission to interview over 100 VC-backed European companies that had expanded to the U.S. market and then documented their challenges and patterns of success. We then built a library of resources to support our portfolio of companies based on those findings.”

Recognizing the immense value of this exercise, Priscila’s team decided to share the wealth of these findings by creating a reference guide to U.S. expansion titled: Question the Questions. Originally released in 2017, a 2nd edition was unveiled in 2018 with additional focus on fundraising and how to build effective teams.

Before exploring all that Question the Questions has to offer firms currently exploring U.S. market entry, we wanted our listeners to get a better sense of how Octopus Ventures supports their firms in this endeavor.

How does Octopus Ventures support U.S. Market Entry?

Octopus Ventures sees itself as a soup to nuts advisor during international expansion.

U.S. market entry“At the outset, we provide strategic insights, asking the critical questions of:

  • Does internationalization make sense? If so…
  • Should it be the U.S.? If so…
  • With whom, in how much time, and with what level of resource commitment?”

“Once the U.S. market entry decision has been made, we provide an entire suite of resources to help them execute that expansion effectively. This includes a roster of service providers, discounts and benefits, even candidates that could join their team”

Priscila’s goal is to help firms hit the ground running. Once these resources are secured, she offers support with go-to-market strategies.

“These are bigger resources on how to operationalize and scale up processes that might be different from Europe. We help them think through the regulatory environment, then recruit, and even interview new team members.”

Does Octopus Ventures offer support with fundraising?

Fundraising can be one of the most time consuming and resource intensive processes for a start-up. As a result, Octopus Ventures has made fundraising support a strong focus of its U.S. market entry resource suite.

“Once our companies are established in the U.S. we are able to broker connections with other U.S. investors that could syndicate with us and provide follow-on rounds of funding.”

“We have a vested interest in creating as wide and as big a network of support for our companies as we can and so I spend a lot of time with my American counterparts thinking through what are their metrics and milestones for companies that really are a good fit to try and expedite that process.”

To learn more about the challenges and best practices to U.S. expansion, check out our full interview with Priscila Bala: Reviewing Octopus Venture’s Treatise on U.S. Market Entry: “Question the Questions.”

For access to all of MEET’s webinar content on how to successfully scale your company in the U.S. market through trade shows and in-person events, subscribe to our YouTube Channel.


MEET (meetroi.com) helps international B2B growth companies soft land and scale in the U.S. through trade shows and in-person events. MEET’s processes help its clients ramp-up sales quickly and maintain a steady stream of high-quality prospects going forward.  Contact Bill Kenney for a free, no-obligation consultation bill@meetroi.com or +1 (860) 573-4821.

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