GA Trade Sep-Oct Interactive - page 14

challenges our thinking and enables
us to build our product around our
U.S. customers.”
Andreas Schroeter, founder of wywy,
a technology that synchronizes
accompanying TV content and
advertising in real-timewith the
actual live broadcast, emphasized:
“Innovations in the advertising
industry usually come from the U.S.,
which is theworld’s biggestmarket in
this segment. NewYork offers an
outstanding diversity inmany
respects. Being part of such an
environment will inspire us to think
outside the box and to avoid common
pitfalls. This gave us a head start over
ourmainly European competitors on
the U.S. market.”
For theGerman industry, the U.S.
with its trade volume of approx. EUR
136.9 billion is by far themost
important foreignmarket outside the
EuropeanUnion.With a population of
318million and an estimatedGDP of
17.5 trillionU.S. dollars, as projected
for 2014, the largest national econo-
my of theworld continues to attract
and offers profitable business
opportunities. This holds true
especially for NewYork City and the
U.S. East Coast.
However, distribution and sales in
the U.S. differ greatly from how it is
done in Europe. "For someone from
central Europe, only used to a
relatively large population in a small
area, this can be a real challenge,"
says Christian Leicht, Global Sales
Director of Mykita GmbH, a German
companywith a subsidiary in the
Northeast of the U.S. However, he
sees "a huge potential" inMykita’s
strongest market, especially inNew
York City as the fashion and finance
capital of the U.S.
High-quality design products are
particularly in demand. "We came to
the U.S. 30 years ago because we
were fascinated by the size of the
U.S. market and because we were
also convinced that our quality
products would have an excellent
chance in this country," says
Klaus-Peter Siemssen, Chairman of
Berlin’s SeluxAG. As withmany
other companies, initially it had only
been planned to export products, but
this was not sufficient. A sustainable
success in the U.S. can only be
achieved if the particularities of the
U.S. market are observed. According
to Peter Stanway, CEO of Selux
Corp., the U.S. subsidiary of the
company, products designated and
designed for the Germanmarket
have to be „Americanized“, even if it
is only regarding subtleties. Further-
more, it is important in the U.S. to be
recognized as a U.S. company.
Whether Seluxwould have been
awarded the contract for the lighting
system for the 9/11Memorial at
Ground Zero if it had applied as a
German corporation headquartered
in Berlin instead of a U.S. corpora-
tion located in the state of NewYork
may be considered unlikely.
To go local with a subsidiary can also
be a crucial advantage for startups in
their search for investors. "It is rather
unlikely for aU.S. investor to invest
into aGermanGmbH, a limited
liability company under German law.
Americans are often having a hard
timewith theGerman legal andfiscal
systems, and already have a substan-
tial pool of promising companies to
choose from in their local market,"
says Nikolas Schriefer, one of the
founders and CEO of StagelinkGmbH,
who thinks that just for that reason
alone forming a corporation in the
U.S. is an option to think about. The
Berlin startup Stagelink offers online
solutions for themarketing ofmusic
events andwill make themove to
NewYork City in linewith the
GermanAccelerator program.
n
S P O T L I G H T S
Left to right: ArashHoushmand (Contigua), StephanHerrlich (Intraworlds),
andAndreasSchroeter (wywy) at theGermanAccelerator kick-off event
Translation fromGerman
bySandy Jones, GACC
14
GermanAmerican Trade Sep/Oct 2014
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