Lemonsqueeze’s Mik Strøyberg: “Home markets don’t really exist anymore”

Lemonsqueeze helps European startups scale into the US market from their offices in Brooklyn.  Now, the company will be expanding internationally themselves – back to founder Mik Strøyberg’s home country, Denmark, and much more.  For the first time, local startups will have access to Lemonsqueeze’s specialized knowledge in reaching outside of their home market.

While the Nordics are one of the top places in the world to start a business, companies often struggle to scale outside their home countries borders.  Lemonsqueeze, founded by Mik Støyberg in 2013, arose to fill the massive knowledge gap European companies struggled with when trying to make a dent in the US market.

The company reached fast success, and has hardly been able to keep up with demand.  But founder Mik Strøyber has become increasingly aware of another knowledge gap, one that is often overlooked by consultants.

“At the moment if you want to expand with a great expansion plan, you go to a consultant – because you ready to grow right away,” he says.  “But if you don’t know how to expand, there’s nobody you can turn to.”

He is referring to a stage that many growing companies face.  How do you even know if you’re ready to expand?  What needs to be in place?  What benchmarks should your business have reached?  What should you be prepared for?

Lemonsqueeze has ambitions to open offices around the world to help companies with these questions. “To adapt to a new market there are so many features you need to be aware of,” he explains.

“Even if you are not scaling at the moment, we want you to know what it takes to scale into the market, so you have everything you need when you are ready,” says Mik.

“Readiness” can mean everything from budgeting and back office development to the uniqueness of your product in the market.

Go global or go home

For Nordic companies to reach “unicorn” levels of success, it is essential that they scale outside their relatively small home markets, and fast.

“Often companies start out in a place where market is too small – and they  grow out extremely fast,” says Mik.

It is a common trope in the Nordics for startup companies to use their home countries as a “test” market, before stepping out into the wider world.  But as Mik explains, the concept of “home markets” itself is nebulous.

“There is just one market, and the market is all over the world.  What we are experiencing right now is more and more companies scaling out of their home markets, because home markets don’t really exist anymore.”

A travel agency for businesses

Lemonsqueeze wants to create a space where anyone can walk in and feel comfortable honestly explaining their company – and get expert opinions on scaling. “Like a local travel agency,” says Mik, “but for companies”.  Instead of considering vacation plans, companies consider their future expansions.

Lemonsqueeze plans to start up in Copenhagen this summer, and is currently starting up an Asian accelerator program, for Asian companies planning to move into the EU or US.

By bringing international expertise into the Nordic ecosystem and beyond, Lemonsqueeze can help the startup ecosystem – and the Nordics – reach greater heights.

“We are doing something for a bigger purpose.  We want to make sure everybody has sufficient advice and a place you can go to just to talk and get opinions.”

The Nordics can only benefit from more international expertise, and interest in Lemonsqueeze’s Copenhagen office is already tremendous.

“We hope that we can keep on improving our ecosystem, and not lose the momentum,” concludes Mik.

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