A short interview with Dirk Loeckx, Epihunter CEO & co-founder suggesting that internationalisation is a people business, that works well only with long-term relationships.
First step towards internationalisation. Young start-ups struggle in establishing an internationalisation strategy, based on the available resources. What would be your tip to them, to maximise the impact of their actions?
Think about internationalisation from day one, especially if you are (like most startups) in a niche industry. And then choose your markets carefully, but not too carefully. I would go for a country where you have some link or connection (through the founding team, or maybe just by meeting a nice person), yet that is also on paper a good candidate (e.g. in healthcare: easier reimbursement, good research scene, ...).
Hand-on experience. Could you please summarise the internationalisation activities of your company in few sentences?
Epihunter is active in Belgium, the Netherlands, UK and Australia. We chose Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK based on their proximity and because we speak Dutch and English. And Australia, rather by accident, yet also because they have a very good research scene in epilepsy and have an easy reimbursement for our solution.
In summary, based on your experience what is the ‘secret sauce’ for successful internationalisation?
It's a people business, that works well with long-term relationships.