Don’t underestimate culture differences – A talk with… ABC Venture Gates!

With  ABC Venture Gates international startups who want to conquer the German market do have a partner. The Munich based accelerator helps startups like  the polish  social listening company Senti One or the turkish startup Segmentify to conquer the german market.  Besides, the  accelerator is buliding bridges  between Silicon Valley and Europe.

Sometimes there is also startups from Munich at ABC Venture Gates, such as blik or 3Bears. This is not the core business, but  categorized as ‘giving back to the ecosystem’ by Grega Potokar, Co-founder & Startup Scout at ABC Venture Gates. We had a talk with him.

Focusing on the growth-stage

Please tell us about yourselves.

I am Grega Potokar, Co-founder & Startup Scout at ABC Venture Gates in Munich. ABC Venture Gates is part of the Acceleration Business City, a global Acceleration group founded in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and with it’s headquarter in Silicon Valley, U.S.. ABC Venture Gates in Munich is the gateway to the German market, focused on the best international growth-stage startups. At the same time we are also the bridge between Silicon Valley and the best European startups.

What do you focus on when working with startups?

Our whole team represents local expertise with global ambitions. We are focusing on every startup individually to connect them in the best possible way to the local market and to provide promising business connections to potential clients.

The right mindset and the right team

To be successful, a startup needs to…

… have the right mindset and wants to go all-in. That means the entire team needs to have the drive and the wish to be successful and needs to put all the energy and strength into it. That’s most important — you need to have a high-performing team that always has your back.

When it comes to expanding to a new market, a successful startup needs to fully understand the new market they want to conquer. They need to adapt their product or service to the local market, but also their mindset. They need to understand the needs of their future customers, the culture differences and characteristics.

Leverage the local expertise

Why would a good startup even need an entrepreneurial center like yours to back them?

You don’t necessarily need it. But in order to focus on what you are best at and on growing your company on a new market you can simply leverage the local expertise from an expert. You should focus on your business and we’ll take care of everything else.

ABC Venture Gates is also providing office space in Munich.

Entering a new market with the help of a local expert, no matter if this is a friend, mentor or even an organisation, is helping you to not building everything from scratch or spending too much time and strength on the struggles the new market brings.

Experience your future clients

What is the biggest mistake a startup can make?

The biggest mistake a startup can make in regards to an expansion to a new market is to think that you can sell your product or service the exact same way you are successfully doing it on another market already. It is essential to be physically present in the market you want to enter to study, understand and especially experience your future clients.

Startups often underestimate culture differences. German business culture for example is built on trust. Trust on the other hand requires personal connection and therefore physical presence.

The trends of the year …

… are topics related to social-(media), apps and email are declining. Healthcare, messaging, and artificial intelligence on the other hand are rising. So how CB Insights formulated very appropriately: “Bring on our chatty robot doctors!”

International, fast growing and extremely supportive

What makes the Munich startup scene so special?

From business perspective Munich has such a unique startup scene because of the presence of so many big corporations and strong midsize businesses who are overall very interested in new innovations. This is also the the reason why Munich is such a magnet for talent.

From a community perspective, the Munich startup scene is a very international, fast growing and extremely supportive environment. There are so many great (networking) events where you can always make outstanding business contacts.

CEO meets Jeff Burton” Event at ABC Ventures Gates.

Last but not least: Who should startups contact if they would like to meet up with you?

You wish to conquer the German market or want to discover your options for Silicon Valley? Don’t hesitate to contact me: