Relocating your business, be it only across the border of two European countries, may not always be without difficulty. The culture is different, the etiquette, the language, and the perception of business practices may also vary.
“It very difficult for companies outside Europe or even in Europe to move to another country,” said Ines Santos Silva, co-founder of Startup Exchange Program in an interview for Inc. magazine. “We are very different in terms of language, in terms of culture, in terms of the way we do business. We wanted to facilitate that process.”
The Startup Exchange Program is mentor-driven and aimed at providing startups with an opportunity to introduce their products to a local European economy, and establish their own network of contacts to entrepreneurs, corporations, and potential investors. (We recently reported on a similar programme in the U.S.). The non-profit initiative is considered most beneficial for startups “that already have traction in their own market and maybe want to go abroad,” Santos Silva said.
The programme is currently accepting applications, and will select 20 technology-based companies that have at least four full-time employees on their teams. The startups must have completed a pilot, and be able to show that they maintain a strong customer relationship, among other criteria. During the 4-to-6-week-long programme – between April 29 and June 15, teams will work at one of the eight incubators and co-working spaces chosen for the purpose. In Vienna, sektor5 was selected to host the exchange. Other cities include Berlin, Milan, and Gdansk and Poznan in Poland.
The Startup Exchange Program does not cover living costs, but provides startups with logistical support and access to free working space at the incubators and co-working spaces.
Information on the application process is available here. The deadline for submissions is March 9.